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?