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I'm speechless...

I just finished a deskside interview--when people come into the
office to meet with editors, and either show us a new beauty product or
introduce us to someone impressive in the industry--and I'm completely
amazed by the two women I met: Linda Quirk and Wendy Booker. They're
part of BP's Team Invigorate, a group of three outstanding athletes
that defy all odds and excel at their respective sports despite their
ages and personal obstacles. Linda--a grandmother of three--is 55 and has
made it her mission to run a marathon on each of the seven continents
to raise $1 million in scholarships for Caron Treatment Centers, a
non-profit provider of alcohol and drug treatment. She will be
completing her last race this March in Antarctica (how do you even run
in those freezing, cold conditions?!) and when she does this, she'll
have reached her goal in under a year! Linda shared some really great
tips with me on training for my triathlon--which happened to be her
first race, before she even got into marathons--and I have a feeling she
may become like a mentor to me in the upcoming months. (I'm already
thinking of everything I want to ask her!)

 

Wendy is attempting to be the first person with Multiple Sclerosis to climb the world's seven highest summits--and in April she'll attempt Mt. Everest. I was shocked to find out that she called herself an 'accidental athlete': before her diagnosis at 44 years old, she did Jazzercise because she considered it the only physical activity that didn't make her sweat--but in the past 10 years she's competed in nine marathons and climbed five of the world's highest mountains! I think
she may just be the best accidental athlete I've ever met. And to do this while managing a very serious illness really proves that anything you put your mind to you can achieve.

 

Both of these women have inspired me so much in the past hour of
just meeting them. This is really one of those days when I'm sitting at
my desk and feeling so lucky to have the job that I do. Shape
has not only given me a career, but it's also given me a new lifestyle,
to better myself in new ways. Everyday I aspire to be a little bit like
the people I meet and get to write about.

 

For more on Linda and Wendy, and BP's Team Invigorate, check them out at www.bpinvigorate.com!

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