6 Incredible Stories of SparkPeople Friendship & Success

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Helen Keller said it best: "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." The road to a healthy lifestyle is filled with ups and downs, but having the support of friends to celebrate your victories and lean on when times are tough makes the journey much easier to navigate.

The SparkPeople Community is full of members who have formed special bonds as they work toward their goals together. Whether they meet for coffee once a week, go on group vacations or just check in on the site regularly, these relationships help define their success. Why go it alone, especially when you don't have to?

Bonds forged through message boards, SparkTeams and our Community Feed happen every day, and, for many, those supportive networks are the glue that holds their ultimate dreams together. Through thick and thin, good days and bad, scale victories and weight-loss plateaus, these six stories from the SparkPeople Community will inspire you to believe in the power of friendship. After all, there's a reason people say this community is unlike any other.

Supporting Each Other Through the Ups and Downs

Trish (RACING4ME) joined SparkPeople in 2006 and soon after started the Rookie Running SparkTeam. The founding members of her team are still her friends today. The original group eventually progressed into distance running and have been meeting to run races together all over the country and even Canada. In addition to the support she's received along her healthy lifestyle journey, Trish also has constant support from her SparkFriends in her personal life. "My husband was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma in June 2011. He had a very large tumor in his chest that was pressing on his lungs. I told my close SparkFriends about what was going on and got so much support from them," she recalls. "They even sent a card from place to place, getting all our friends to sign it. It meant the world to me to have so many friends that are so close to me, yet live so far away."

The group decided to do the Flying Pig Marathon in May 2013, and because her husband was better, Trish initially planned to join them for the race. When his cancer returned in late 2012, she says her SparkFriends were there for her again. "They reached out through text, email, Facebook, SparkMail—pretty much any way they could.  They let me cry, laugh, gave me other things to think about." When his health began declining, Trish had to cancel her trip. "The morning before the Flying Pig, Don passed away.  My friends that were at the race had a moment of silence for him before it started, and again, were there for me and my family."

The year after her husband's death, Trish's SparkFriends ran a race in his honor.

RV Buddies Become Lasting Friends

About four years ago, the RV Enthusiasts SparkTeam started planning a get-together. Eileen (JAMER123) is part of the group that chose Custer, South Dakota as their meeting spot. Seven members of the team were able to attend that inaugural meetup, which is now an annual event. "When we pulled into the campground, we didn't get into our camper for over an hour," Eileen explains. "There were hugs all around and we started chatting like old friends, even though it was the first time we'd met in person." This year the group is planning a trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado. "We try to pick locations throughout the United States so that we can add more people to the group and so some don't have too far to travel," Eileen says. "I know the support I have has helped me lose over 100 pounds, and I know it's helped others in the group as well."
Pictured from left to right: GLASSART43, JAMER123,SHARONSPARKLE, JUDE, DAMICHAL  
RUTHANN05 (who wasn't able to attend this trip) made the potholders and PJSTIME made the visor. 

An Annual Tradition

Diane (LOPEYP) has met a number of other SparkPeople members over the years. "My husband and I travel and if we're going to be in an area where a SparkFriend lives, I reach out to see if they want to meet," she says. Diane met Merle (SHEENADEE) and Cathy (COMPUCATHY) on different fitness challenge SparkTeams and for the past six years, they have met up annually. "We were teamed together in some of the challenges and worked hard to complete the required workouts to move to the next step in the challenge," Merle explains. "It really pushed me to do more fitness than I would have otherwise because I didn't want to let my teammates down. Those challenges have been great motivation." 
Merle shares that the group often does something active when they meet. "That may be walking around a fun town in the area or walking a path at a local park. Last year we went out on a lake in pedal boats. I never would have gotten my husband out on a pedal boat if it had not been for my visit with SparkFriends," she says.

Diane explains how their friendship has helped her progress along her healthy living journey. "Both ladies have done well on SparkPeople and that has been motivational to me. Cathy writes great blogs, some about pushing through the tough times, and I found her to be inspirational," she explains.


Sharing Chocolate and Friendship

Cathy (LECATES) has met a number of SparkFriends in her 10 years on SparkPeople. In one memorable meeting, her friend Lindie (LINDIEMAE) came all the way from Canada to stay with her for three weeks. "We went to Lancaster [Pennsylvania] and met up with two other SparkFriends for three days of togetherness. We toured Lancaster, Hershey's Chocolate World and Gettysburg," Cathy explains, taking care to note that while in Washington, D.C. the group also walked more than 20,000 steps. "It was an enjoyable and fun time together. Even though none of us had met in person before this, it seemed like we had known each other forever because of our connection on SparkPeople", she says. "And because we had all been walking and doing what we could to get in shape, we were able to enjoy activities that might have been a challenge just a few years before."

Being friends with these ladies has kept Cathy motivated to keep moving and not to give up on her personal goals. "We have supported each other through several downfalls in our lives, as well as shared in the joy of successes. Without my SparkFriends, I would not be as active as I am now. I don't want to give up and they won't let me." 

Florida Friends Share Love of Tai Chi

Sandi (GOOZLEBEAR) and TALLYFL met on the Team Tallahassee SparkTeam after TALLYFL invited her to a tai chi open house. Now, they see each other in class multiple times a week. Sandi says that TALLYFL has been a source of encouragement on her journey to lose 65 pounds over the past year. "TALLYFL invited me to join I Matter, a SparkTeam she leads, which has also been a source of support along my journey," Sandi adds.  

An 80th Birthday to Remember

Gloria (GLORYB83) and Mary (RAINBOWMF) have been friends on SparkPeople for years. "Though we live just two hours from each other, we'd never met," Gloria explains. Two years ago, though, Mary planned a big surprise for Gloria's 80th birthday. "My daughter knew about our friendship and invited her to my birthday party," Gloria recalls. "Mary kept it a secret and surprised me to no end when she walked into my birthday bash! We hugged as though we'd known each other in person for years. Mary brought her sister and daughter who are also SparkFriends of mine. What a delight it was to meet them all!"
Gloria says that Mary's no-nonsense approach and encouraging words have helped along her healthy lifestyle journey. She also credits other SparkPeople friends for keeping her on track. "Thanks to this wonderful site, I've been getting in better shape, lost some of the excess weight and have made many, many friends. I appreciate and love each of them."

Have you made lasting friendships in the SparkPeople Community? Share your story in the comments below!

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JUDY1676 5/17/2021
WooHoo for friends! Report
JAMER123 9/29/2020
This one is very special to me as our group was pictures and we have continued to travel together annually. This year though, we weren't able to get together due to the Covid-19. We hope to start up again next summer. Our last gathering we added 3 more campers to the group that were able to join us in Branson. We are all doing well Report
EVILCECIL 8/1/2020
This is inspirational. Thanks. Report
VHAYES04 7/17/2020
Friends are important Report
Friends are important Report
very nice Report
I love Sparks, the only thing I don't like about it is editing me when others say the very same thing! Report
isn't it great to have such good friends Report
Thanks for again featuring our story, the RV Enthusiasts!! We again met in Sept. 2019 in Branson, MO having a larger group than the last couple yrs. We have met every yr. since this gathering or Rally began in Custer, SD. We are even closer friends and love helping each other stay on the healthy lifestyle path. Report
Love this! Report
Yea, Cathy! Report
For all the positive changes I've made, it's SparkPeople that I attribute the most credit to. If not for this incredibly supportive community, I would easily and quickly lose interest and motivation! Report
Thank you for the great information Report
Thank you for the great information Report
Wonderful! Report
Friends rock Report
I met a Spark friend last year on her bus trip stop in Philly. It was so nice to spend the day with her and her friend Report
I am very grateful for the SparkFriends I have made over the years! Report
Great. Report

I have awesome Sparkfriends

i Report
Would be wonderful to actually visit some of the friends but a virtual visit is great too. Report
This is my second account somehow I lost my first account it vanished ?? So now I have no friends and starting from the beginning:( I was a high lvl on my other account with quite a few people I converse with . Hopefully I will meet some new people going through same stuff I am . I need help staying focused Report
Thanks Report
I meet a few people but talk to more on phone Report
I always love the true stories of SP success. Report
it is nice to meet people on sparks only 2 I have meet so sweet they are Report
Great article! I wish I had close friends. Report
What if you don't have friends? What do you do? Have them here But not outside of here..I would like someone to excise or walk with.. Just have one to talk to Report
Beautiful ator Report
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth
or burn down your house, you can never tell.
- Joan Crawford Report
SparkPeople has a certain way of sharing lives and we love to meet up with others to keep motivation and inspiration going!! Thanks for sharing our camping story. Report
Awesome stories and I believe typical of the kind of connections that are made here on SparkPeople.com. I have met several of my Spark friends in person, was surprised to find one lived within a mile and a half of me, but also traveled across the continent and met others. Some made it a point to meet when we were traveling through one another's locales. And every last one has been in person just the same wonderful supportive person that they are on-line!

Thanks to all of the above for sharing their stories! Report
Synergy - awesome friendships and friendship stories !! Report
me too! Report
I've made some great friends on Spark People! Report
i have had the good fortune of meeting several of my sparkfriends in real life. i live in the boston area and have met friends from san diego, tallahassee, and the san francisco bay area. the most recent meeting happened in tennessee when my friend from sf took an uber from knoxville to nashville, a 3 hour drive, in order to meet up with me!!! we had an amazing 5½ hours together. Report
Two years ago I was struggling not to regain the 20 lbs I'd lost and reached out, asking if any of my Spark Friends would help. Two responded, and since that we've written to each other every Monday, talking about our successes or struggles, our families, and just getting to know each other better. Thanks to these two special people, I've lost another 10 lbs. and gained two real friends. We haven't met i. Person, but I'm hoping that will happen some day. Report
I may never meet my Spark teammates face to face, but they're a vital part of my social and emotional life! Love you guys at Living Low Carb! Report
My AMAZING spark friends make my world go round! They held my hand through the grieving period in the loss of our beloved son. I still tell his stories and honor his life with my sparkling friends...they are always willing to listen and empathize. I have met two friends in person and we pick up the same convos we have on the site. Such a blessing these wonderful people are to me.

I look at my 'spark time' as a little piece of goodness I can share with the world, we all reach out and encourage each other, lean on each other, and I'd say love each other.

Where else can you ever do and experience such good?

Thank you Sparkguy for igniting a movement of health and happiness! ;-)) Report
thank you for sharing great article Report
It's always more effective and longer lasting when you have a partner or two or three… Report
Thanks for sharing Report
Support is motivation Report
One of this group is one I am in and we have had a wonderful time together. SP are friendly and add camping together to be the best! Thanks for putting this as Today's Tip. A wonderful read! Report
good info Report
I hope to meet friends on Sparkpeople. Report