In The Spotlight: Meet Sandra M.

THE FIT LIFT’s In The Spotlight category will interview active, inspiring women from all walks of life who demonstrate strength in many ways. Whether you've made small steps to lead a more healthy lifestyle or train like a beast, we want to celebrate YOU. We believe that by sharing our stories, we can help others to both start, and continue on the path of living a healthy lifestyle by leading by example.  If you would like to be featured on our blog, please email us.  

This In The Spotlight interview supplements our READY TO RUN series on THE FIT LIFT.  We hope you've found this series educational and motivating.

Meet Sandra, an active mom of 2, and accomplished competitive runner.  Sandra and I live in the same city, however, we've yet to meet for that tea we've promised each other, and we keep up-to-date on each other's lives through Instagram.   She has always been such an amazing vocal support for me.  I am constantly inspired her family's zest for the outdoors, and year-round activity.  And, truly, I can't help to be envious of their beautiful escape outside the city.  Though her children are small, I always recognize how important leading by example and living a healthy, active lifestyle is to Sandra.  Whether it's skiing, hiking or biking, their little ones are out there with them, having fun and getting dirty!

I admire Sandra for her ability to preservere through injury and surgery.  She is so motivated to remain mobile and active, and determined to stay strong.  And, like many, and like myself, Sandra deals daily with anxiety, and she has discovered ways to simplify, cope and focus on what matters most.   I am so proud of her courageous vulnerability through this interview.  It is the true meaning of strength.

I encourage you to read Sandra's interview and celebrate her STRENGTH and BEAUTY.

1. Provide us a brief introduction about who you are. 

I'm Sandra Miller. Mom, Wife, Photographer and lover of all things home made. I have two little people in my life that remind me each day that health, sleep, and staying active is the only lifestyle for us (and sleep isn't always happening around here….) We are busy and active and enjoy the outdoors, skiing, biking, running. We spend every chance we can in a small biking/ski town that we call our second home. We LOVE to be away from the expectations of a large city.

Before I had children I committed most of my spare time to the triathlon world. Training and enjoying the fellowship of other likeminded racers. Swimmers, Bikers, Runners. I'm a very competitive individual and believe competition can be a positive part of our world. I've put most of the swim/bike/run lifestyle on hold for a few years to enjoy another kind of triathlon, Kid1/Kid2/Husband, it's an incredible race almost every day. My competing days are only on hold… they will return when time permits.

2. What does STRENGTH mean to you?

I truly believe strength starts in our very own minds. If we can dig deep and overcome our inner challenges then we can tackle pretty much anything. With the training and racing I've been a part of, I've found self talk helps me get over so many 'hard' moments. No matter how fit we are or how many muscles we can see in the mirror, our minds will carry us through the hardest of moments and overcome the negative. We hear and see negative all around us in our world today, how we process it in our minds is so important. Really, the sky is the limit, we just have to think strong.

3. What does BEAUTY mean to you? 

BEAUTY to me is all on the inside. How we treat others and care for those around us is the best indicator of beauty to me. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing people help each other. I have had so much kindness passed my way. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful people. I also think beauty can be difficult to see. Often we really need to look close, that takes time, we need to give more time to finding all things beautiful. Sometimes even look or walk away and glance back to find that beauty. It is incredibly empowering to find a tiny bit of beauty in things other's can not.

4. What inspires you? What is your driving force? 

I find inspiration in so many people and things around me.

Silence. I don't hear much of it these days with a busy family but the fresh air surrounding the area I grew up in rural Alberta provides me with hope and so much inspiration to be all I want to be. It recharges me and brings me back to the wholesome basic lifestyle I grew up with. It inspires me to remember where I came from, remember where my family started and charges me to have similar successes with my present and future life and in my own way. Country life is so foreign to so many. I wish I could share this kind of inspiration with everyone. Silent, homemade, simple inspiration.

My parents and my husband inspire me every single day as well. Incredibly hard working people find success in so many ways. This doesn't always mean MONEY. Good old fashioned education and hard work provide so many opportunities. Everyday we hear about lotteries and get rich quick schemes. No other way than the hard way I think. These three amazing people inspire me to always put in the time up front, it always pays off, always.

5. What is your proudest accomplishment? 

Becoming a Mom. 

Without a doubt it is the hardest job I've faced. I'm pretty proud of my two healthy happy little people and the opportunities we are introducing them to. The entire journey is an accomplishment that seems to get HARDER and so much better with time. When does becoming a parent get easy? I'm crazy grateful to be able to be a Mom and I feel it is a gift, a privilege? I have an amazing Mom as a roll model, I hope to be as awesome as she is, I look to her often for guidance, most of those times she doesn't even know it.

6. What is your biggest challenge? 


Hands down it is a villain trying to attack my inner superhero. I unfortunately face it daily. I often create lofty deadlines, place unreal expectations, and generally put unnecessary pressures on lil ol me. I am only one person, it is impossible to be everywhere, get everything done, and make everyone happy all in one day AND come out smiling.

I've struggled with post partum anxiety for exactly 4.5 years. It's not something I talk about to most but it is real. It's shocking how many others struggle with daily anxiety. I have had relief by simplifying our days and cutting my expectations back. We are busy, but many days we don't even leave our yard, we stay busy doing simple things and that is just the way I need life to be for now.

Reminding myself what I NEED and WANT to do are very different things. At the end of the day my kiddos NEED me, everything else may just WANT me. The WANTS just have to chill out and wait. I'm super grateful though for wonderful family and friends that have patience and generally understand this side of me.

7. What is your mantra? What are your favorite words to live by? 

OFFER Kindness. 
CHOOSE Generosity. 
GIVE Love. 

I truly believe we need more of all of those in our world today. I can't change the world but it sure feels good to do kind, generous and lovely things for others, even strangers, simple as that.


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