SparkPeople Gives Thanks

By , Alicia Capetillo, Staff Writer
Here at SparkPeople, we like to sweat--really, really sweat. Whether it's a quick sprint up the stairs after lunch to get the heart pumping, a long run beside the river or a jump-rope-slash-strength-training circuit that results in puddles on the floor, working a bit of exercise into every day is a huge part of our lives and helps keep us feeling healthy and empowered all year long. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we wanted to tell you what we are thankful for and take a moment to recognize all the inventive ways we workout and the people and things that motivate us to sweat.

Chris "SparkGuy" Downie, SparkPeople Founder and CEO: One of the guys in our engineering department introduced me to a thin jump rope, which is great. It's great to use indoors in my office or in a hotel room when traveling, though I try not to do it too early if I’m on a floor above someone!

Jen Mueller, Community Director: I'm grateful for my new love of Muay Thai kickboxing. Who says a mom of four can’t learn to throw punches like a prize fighter?
Josh Knepfle, Chief Technology Officer: I'm thankful that chasing my five-year-old around the house trying to get him to put pants on is a good fitness break. I'm also thankful for those 20,000 step days while touring Disney World with my family.
Kelly Crockett, Office Manager and Human Resources Coordinator: I am very thankful for Apple Music. Thanks to its huge variety, I no longer have to waste time putting workout playlists together. I could not survive without the treadmill desk in the office—it is has been life changing! My daughters are also the two best coaches and cheerleaders—they teach me every day how to make myself a healthier person from the inside out. I wouldn’t be who I am (or who I continue to strive to be) without them!
Alicia Capetillo, Assistant Editor: Sweat-wicking fabric, thank you for existing. When I hit that final round of squats, you're always working your little fibers out to keep me feeling cool. Thank you to jump ropes for helping me get my heart rate up without having to step foot on the dreadmill. Finally, to the ricotta doughnuts at that place where Drake and Serena were seen kissing, thank you. Your deliciousness motivates me to work out in the first place so I can eat you later.
Rachel VonNida, Vice President, Accounting: I am thankful for the stories that audiobooks tell me during my long runs. I am grateful for ambitious friends that push me further in fitness than I would on my own, and I am thankful for my children that inspire me to pursue fitness for all the right reasons.
Jaime Arszman, Director of Client Services and Sales Marketing: I am thankful for my CSA (community-supported agriculture) and the access that I have to fresh and local organic vegetables. It feels very rewarding to also support a local business in my community!
Amanda Kanaga, Chief Revenue Officer:  Thank you friends who motivate me to make it to boot camp class by setting up my mat and weights at 5:30 a.m. I'm grateful for runners who are 20 years older and passing me in half marathons. I would also like to thank good and supportive running shoes!
Billi Watland, Sales Director, Western Region: Thank you, my four-legged wellness manager, Kealani, for getting me out to walk and play two times a day! I am thankful to my SparkTeam coach for keeping me motivated to reach my monthly goals. Now that I am able to fit in them again, I'm also thankful that I held on to my "smaller" jeans. Thanks, easy-stretch material inventor!
Katie Glossner, Senior Planner and Client Services Manager: Pure Barre, kettlebell and short workout videos have really helped me stay active and strong throughout my pregnancy, and for that, I am so thankful. I'm grateful for days when we all get to go outside in good walking weather. And thank you, motivational music, for keeping me going when I feel like I am done and can't go another step!
Denise Tausig, Support Director:
I am thankful for my toddler and two dogs that go on daily walks with me—they keep me healthy and entertained!
Merle King, Customer Support Specialist: I am thankful that I was so slow in my first Flying Pig Half Marathon that I have been able to improve my speed each of the two years since then. 2015 was the best yet and I'm already looking forward to 2016! I think of it as a blessing that my friend and neighbor joined a fitness center with me the last week of 2014. If one of us gets lazy, the other provides the needed kick in the butt, so 2015 has been a great fitness year for us both. My feet thank Santa for the gift card to the local fitness specialty store. Those new Brooks shoes are just what I needed!
Elizabeth Lowry, Assistant Editor: I am grateful for foam rollers to help reduce muscle soreness. I am also grateful for the many parks we have in this town that make taking workouts outside more fun!
Joe Robb, Digital Marketing Director: I am thoroughly grateful for my two-year-old's patience when I choose to lift him instead of weights on days I can't make it to the gym. I'm also eternally grateful for Q-Tip reminding me to "Keep it movin', yeah to the K.I.M." whenever he comes up on my running playlist.
Your turn! Tell us, what's on your health-themed grateful list? 

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Thankful for free videos for fitness here on Spark and on YouTube, and even available at my Library. Thankful that Spark is still a free option. Report
I am thankful for all the new veggies I have learned to love, the good reports I now get from my yearly bloodwork and mostly I am very thankful that I am able to move my body! Report
I was going to send this directly to Sparkguy but since here is the Gratitude thread:

Dear Sparkguy,

I want to tell you how you saved my life, or at least my sanity. Today, the day before Thanksgiving , I went to the pharmacy to pick up my meds. One was missing, my anxiety meds. The pharmacist told me they had faxed over to my doctor a request that he had denied. Sort of scared of being without them for the holiday, I went to your site and looked up the withdrawal symptoms. I have detoxed my some major drugs and booze in my day, so I braced for the worst. But something in what was written on your site, made me try to call the doctor to find out: why, what to expect, and would I be safe. I was informed that the doc had faxed over my refills several days before and the pharmacy just didn't see it. So his office called them and they found it and I got my meds before the holiday. So tomorrow I will feel my usual and NOT be detoxing over the holidays, and I'll be able to enjoy myself.

Bottom line: If you did not have such an informative and wonderful site, I might not have known where to get the information I needed so I would call the doc and get my meds before the holiday! (BTW, some of the side effects were seizures and the like.)

Thank you!

Sharyn_Bellah Report
I'm thankful for the support I receive from my SparkFriends in my journey to better health. I'm thankful I have the ability to exercise. I'm thankful that I've finally internalized the motivation to become a healthier person! Report
I am grateful for all my blessings...loving family and friends, a roof over my head, nutritious food for my body, and all the people involved with Spark People who keep me going daily! I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! Report
I, too, am grateful to the Spark People site that showed me the way to lose 50 lbs. and keep it off. Something I had tried to do for more than 60 years!!! I'm thankful for "Spark Guy" who cares enough about others that he originated this site!!!
And to all of my Spark friends, teammates, and others who encouraged me.
I'm grateful that as an 80 year old I can walk, do water aerobics, and ride the recumbent bike for exercise.
Thanks for the help, SP. Report
I am grateful for each day I wake up and know the love of family and friends and I am thankful for SP for helping me be able to be healthier and wake up
each morning with an attitude of gratitude. Report
I'm thankful for SP, and everyone who is Sparking along with me! I am thankful for the grace to live each day, and know that I am loved, and am able to love others as well. Perhaps I can cover everything by saying that I am grateful for Life itself... The ups, the downs... The sorrows and joys. Thanks be to God! Report
Above all I am thankful to the person that issued the invitation for me to check out! I never finished reading the email to find out who it was. Or maybe I should say thank God first for making me WILLING to be open minded enough for everything to make sense and keep me here on sparkpeople. I kicked 166 lbs to the curb due to sparkpeople. Been keeping it off for over 5 years!!! Woo Hoo!!! Report
I am thankful to have found a water aerobics class less than ten minutes from home, and through that class found a walking partner. And I am thankful that my DH encourages me to be healthy and fit (without nagging me about it!) Report
I am thankful for all the work you guys do to make this site possible. Using SP I lost 45 lbs and continue to work on my new journey. Thank you all, so very much. Report
I'm thankful for Sparkpeople in general and my Spark journey so far. It was 5 years ago and 50 lbs heavier when I joined. All I wanted was to lose some weight, be able to exercise and fit into my clothes. I never could imagine all of the aspects leading to my transformation inside and out. I live a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and I thank all of you for all the work you do for all of us! Report
I'm thankful for knowledgeable doctors who were able to cure my husband's cancer. A happy, blessed Thanksgiving to all who celebrate! Report
I am thankful for a body that allows me to move. As Coach Nicole knows, I am blind, so I am thankful for Coach Nicole, Jessica Smith and other fitness video instructors who give great verbal cues I can follow! I am thankful for my Curves coaches who help me at the gym and to reach my best limits with Curves Smart! Whew, so thankful for so much!! Report
I'm thankful I lost enough weight to be energetic again - we're on our way to Machu Picchu!!!! Report
I am thankful to be able to take care of my disabled husband, that makes me sweat, and I don't even need music to do it. Report