Two Years that Changed My Life

By , SparkPeople Blogger
There are many dates that stand out in our lives--the day we graduated high school and/or college, the day we met our future spouse, the day we got married, had our children, and the list goes on and on. For me I will add another date and that is August 1st. You may be asking yourself why this date is so significant to me and how it allowed me to become the person I am today. Well, that was the day I was given the incredible opportunity to come work for SparkPeople just two short years ago.

I was, and am, so honored and humbled to be asked to share my talents with all of you. While I never pictured myself as a writer, I am slowly gaining the confidence to move in that direction. I think my high school freshman English teacher would be quite proud of me today. Even though she was one of the toughest teachers I ever had, she taught me to go outside my comfort zone and do things I never thought I could do. So for all you teachers out there, never underestimate the power of your role in shaping the lives of your students even 30 plus years later.

One of the most amazing aspects of my job is getting to meet so many people, whether in the virtual world on the message boards and SparkTeams or in the so-called 'real world'. Having traveled to two SparkPeople conventions in San Diego and Cincinnati, to traveling to New Orleans, Seattle and Chicago--where I am today--to Portland, Oregon in just a few short weeks to Victoria, British Columbia, to San Antonio and then Las Vegas in December all to participate with other SparkPeople members, I must say I haven't met a SparkPeople member that hasn't left me with a special gift of friendship.

I am blessed to work with some of the greatest people in the world. While I don't work with them in the Cincinnati office, they have never made feel as though I was not part of the team. From SparkGuy himself, Chris Downie, on through the ranks, everyone welcomed me with open arms and has helped me become the person I am today. THANK YOU!

My husband laughs when I tell him where my travels will lead me next. Never in my wildest dream would you have found me, a once timid and shy person, traveling thousands of miles alone to meet people I have only met on the internet. While some may call this crazy, there is such a sense of camaraderie when you come together as a team with people you have shared so much with over the weeks, months and years.

SparkPeople truly lives up to its name. It is the SPARK that allows us to go outside our comfort zone, to spread our wings, and do things we never would have imagined ourselves doing.

One of the most exciting adventures is to see the Dallas SparkTeam take off! What was once a quiet little team is growing into a small active team, planning events and seeking others to join our group. Amazing how just a few people can take the tiger by the tail and turn the tide.

This is my challenge to all of you--get active in your local SparkTeams and if you don't have one, form one. Even if it your rally is just you and another SparkPeople member, bring it on. I think you will see that this is what makes SparkPeople unique. It isn't just another weight loss site, yes, I did the e-Diets deal, Weight Watchers online and even South Beach, but nothing has truly changed the course in my life like SparkPeople and all of you who make SparkPeople what it is.

SparkPeople brings together people who may have never had the opportunity to meet. And of course I will have the honor to meet lots of members tomorrow as we share the journey of healthy living and friendship together. Be prepared--SparkPeople Members Take on Chicago will be my next blog.

Would you be willing to call a SparkPeople Rally in your town or community? Have you attended a rally in your area and if so, did you build a bond with other members?

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I wish I can join a outside-Internet team. Actually, one of the heads in my department frequently asks me to join his Harshing group - walking/running up and down hills which is quite a famous activity in my hometown. Hmm, I guess if I join any nearest SP team, might join his team, the activity sounds fun and I might meet other interesting people! Report
"Would you be willing to call a SparkPeople Rally in your town or community? Have you attended a rally in your area and if so, did you build a bond with other members?"

I am soooo glad that I have found this spark place. At first I felt that I would love to attend a rally in my community or even somewhere in the US that is within driving distance. But in truth, as time passes, I think I need the distance, anonymity and detachment that I CAN feel here. I became very involved with another self-help online community, and it has not been without problems. Thank you for all that you have done for SparkWorld!

Happy Anniversary - Spark People is so fortunate to have you working for them!!

Meeting Spark friends in person...priceless! Report
Having a SP rally in my area would be cool. I've not been very active on teams in the past and I think I need to start posting and encouraging others more. Thanks for the reminder. Sounds like you really love your job! Report
Life is great and that's what the big picture is. Great job! We all benefit from it.
Please make NYC one of the places you guy's look at for a convention. Love to have you here. Report
I would love to attend a rally. How do you find out when one will be in your area? Report
I would love to go to one of the SP conventions ! I'm waiting for you folks to hit the east coast. If you have a convention in NYC, I'll take the bus down ! I'd love to meet up with some of the cyber buddies I've made here !

Though I've been a member for less than a week, I already feel so positive and motivated. Your enthusiasm is a model for all of us! Report
I live in Victoria. When are you going to be there? What are you going to be doing there? Report
YES!! I would love to have a mini-convention here in NYC! I mean hello! There are 8-million people here. We just have to get something together. Report
I would love to see a rally happen in Atlanta! The SparkAtlanta team has been quiet here for some time but just recently I see activity picking up and am excited to participate. Another local team I have been part of, The Risky Fitness Friends, has done a great job of planning an activity at least once a month to get outdoors and get moving. The Team Leaders have been very planful and enthusiastic. What great resources! Report
I think it would be wonderful to have a rally here; however, my team isn't active at all. I guess I need to change that, huh! Report
Congratulations!! It is so nice to have a job that makes you feel fulfilled.. I would love to attend a Rally or a conventon, unfortunately, I don't know any other Sparkers in my area, when I first joined there was someone from my hometown, but they seem to have disappeared. How do you find a bout about Spark events? Report
Well, I traveled to Cincinatti and New Orleans to meet up with some Sparkers which was way fun. And up here in podunky, little Fairbanks I've gone out walking for lunch with a couple of other Sparkers. Good times. Report
Interesting read, I would love to see a rally or something of Spark in the Phoenix, AZ area. Report
Congratulations Nancy! You are my inspiration. If I hear of anything in NC or FL, I will be there. I certainly would love to meet you and other fellow Sparkers.

Sharon Report
Happy Anniversary! I love that you love what you do!!! That aside, while I'd happily ATTEND a rally in the Jacksonville area (or even Fort Lauderdale-it'd give me a reason to take off work and go home!), I can't say that I'd have what it take to actually call one.....I like my comfort zone! LOL! Kudos to you! Report
Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your journey! Wonderful story of your life! Report
Most of my best friends I've found through Spark. I love meeting new Sparks and getting people involved. Report
Great story...yes, your English teacher should be proud! Thanks for all your work. Happy Travels.... Report
I think that a lot of people are confusing conventions with rallys, understandably. This article explains what a rally is, or can be.
Congradulations and thanks for the great blog! Report
Congrats on your anniversary, Nancy! Report
Congrats Donna. 2years of being able to help people
probably enriches your life more than thought possibe
I have been a spark member for a few months. This
is an amazing site. I would love to see a rally
up here in Calgary Alberta Canada Report
Sparkhugs for my runnin buddy! i would love to attend a convention! You are really blessed to work at an occupation that energizes you and that you believe in, that is worth far more in the long run than anything else. Report
Happy Anniversary!... and I think Chris Downey was the winner in this one! You are an amazing inspiration... I love reading your 'stuff' and following your events - and I love seeing your pictures - you have the greatest smile in the world! Report
Yes this Is life changing. Thanks for all your hard work! Report
Wonderful story Report
I hadn't heard about these rallies before now. Report
Congratulations! Report
Oh and also, the San Diego team just had a rally TODAY! It was a hike meetup which I'm so happy I attended. I had forgotten how great it felt to be aroun others who share my quest dfor healthy living Report
August 1st marks my 2 year health-aversary!!!!!

It was an absolute honor to haven you at the San Diego contention last year :) may our paths cross once again :)

Violet Report
I'm part of the Dallas team and can't wait to go to an event. Everyone online seems amazing. I've gotten a big spark from SparkPeople. Report
We have a great Team Leader in Carole for the PENSACOLA, FLORIDA SPARKERS, so a rally here would be great, since we have "Clean" beaches now after the Oil Spill. Report
It would be fun to attend a rally and meet people where I live that are Spark Friends. I enjoyed your blog and I can imagine how good you must feel sharing with so many wonderful people. Keep it going! Report
Very nice blog. I've found that being part of SparkPeople is something really special. I have a part-time job working for JC Penney and have found multiple people who are also part of SparkPeople buying clothes that are smaller, etc. and they're so excited and we discover that we're both part of SparkPeople. I met someone from TX visiting her daughter who was also on SparkPeople and now we've connected as friends online too. It's exciting to share something that has made us into people with challenges in our lives greater than we ever thought we could do! I've been able to ride my bike on 10.7 mile bike rides on a regular basis now and I never would have had the endurance to do that before without my 65 pound weight loss or the "baby-steps" I've taken to get myself to that point. I'm in the Chicago area and one of these days I'm going to try to get to a local rally around here. It's so enlightening meeting up with other SparkPeople! Report
Nice Job! Great Blog. donna Report
Very Nice Story! Thank You for sharing....on my way to Town Spark Team right now! :-) Report
Very nice story! Report
nice story . good job. Report
No I never attended a rally in fact until now I had no idea about them. I will try and find out if there are any in my area. Report

I've never attended a rally - I'm fairly new to SparkPeople. But I'd love to attend one in Washington, DC! Report
More Cincy events! Report
Wow! I had no idea you were traveling so much! I haven't attended a rally or organized one, the whole thing sounds really daunting to me! It has been so much easier to meet and maintain my friendships online. But I totally need to step outside of my comfort zone and meet these amazing Sparkers in person!

I had no idea you were coming to Portland either. Hopefully you haven't already swung by, because we should definitely set something up with the Portland team! Report
You're so right, Nancy! We had our NH Sparkers rally at the end of June, and it sparked even more communication and support among members a team that was already really awesome. Report
Awesome blog Nancy, but we don't expect anything less than that from you these days.

I hear a battle cry for the Dallas SparkTeam......COME ON....It's ON DALLAS....fall picnic....Sept, be there! HA

Congrats on your success and for being such a wonderful SPARK to all of us Nancy! Report
Congratulations on your journey with SparkPeople. It has been a pleasure getting to know you throu your blogs and message boards. You are a true motivator and friend. I have enjoyed knowing you as a leader the 6 months I have been a member of Spark. Report
Hey there... Just to add a different perspective... What is working for me is the annonimity of SP. While I am involved in threads, posting, etc. I still like my privacy. Suffice to say, I'm not the one to begin a rally... Report
Congratulations on your two years! I would love to attend a rally in my area just let me know when and where. Also, I am job hunting and would love a job of this type! Isn't it an awesome feeling when you are doing things that you never thought you could! Again, congrats and thank you for your work with SparkPeople. Report
nice blog Report
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