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    SPARK Blog — Momentum Motivator

    This is your moment: Every moment has its place.

    Here at Momentum, we are currently celebrating our moments. We think you should, too. Whatever your dreams are, whatever goals you have, and all those items on your "someday" list—we believe that it's time for you to take action. To start where you are and simply begin. But we get how hard that can be. So over these next few days, we'll be sharing a series of blog posts from our ambassadors that will help you define (and chase down) your own special moment. Up first, Amanda from The Running Señora. She's here to help you understand that every moment has its place:

    School started, and we are suddenly reminded that only a handful of months remain in the year.  If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve revisited your that list you made on that snowy day back in January where you set your sights on some big goals for 2018.  You have trained hard with great effort and perhaps you’ve already celebrated your accomplishments.  Thinking back, those were your moments, and you are proud of them.  Moving forward, you’re excited and somewhat overwhelmed wondering how, in these last months of 2018, you can do enough to victoriously embrace more of those moments.  But…life.

    The busyness of our days seems to drown us at times because we are pulled in all directions.  Most days, we can lose hope that we won’t ever be able to have another one of those moments—the ones that bring joy and pride—for a long time.  I know this because that’s exactly how I feel sometimes.

    I am a wife to a traveling salesman, a mother of two young and active daughters, a musician, a teacher of all things (preschool and high school Spanish and violin), and a “professional recreational runner” who loves to inspire, motivate, and encourage others to move and be joyful.  I love the community within my home, church, and neighborhood.  I require much rest, fueling, and recovery in my intense training.  My days are filled to the brim, overflowing with to-dos that never get scratched out.  The life around me is busy.

    Many of you would probably say the same thing about your schedules.

    It has taken some time for me to come to this realization:  It’s okay to be busy. It’s okay to enjoy life and the things that fill it up.  It’s okay to lavishly pour love into the people around you.  And it’s even more okay to put motion into your passions.  “Saying no” and “taking it easy” aren’t natural phrases in our vocabulary on most days of the week—and that’s okay.

    So if it’s okay for us to be busy, what does it looks like to put our heart and soul into our families, work, AND dreams?  Do we have to give up something to gain something else?  Do we resign to the idea of not having a social life so we can train for those athletic goals?  Does our family have to suffer because we put so much time and effort into our job or hobbies?

    My response is simple: NO.  Someone once told me that “life is a balance of all the precious things.  You give and you take away, and eventually you settle on what matters most.”  But the older I’ve gotten and the more I have experienced, I’ve come to realize that life isn’t about balance.  We don’t have to put our work, family, and hobbies on an even scale, nor do we have to sacrifice (time, sleep, money, relationships) in order to embrace our big moments.  That mentality can be so oppressive and can keep us away from living out our dreams, whatever they are.

    Instead, we should figure out how it can all work together.  I like to view the 24/7 rush hour days filled with carpooling, fixing lunches, teaching children, cleaning house, working hard, paying bills, AND intensely training for an NYC qualifying half marathon as more of a harmony—all the things that drive me are mixed together seamlessly in life.   It is an effort of simultaneously combining all those aspects to create a day that functions and allows for achievement. 

    I love that I can sleep, train, work, inspire, and laugh with family and friends through each compartment of life.   Each has its place in the day, nothing overpowers the other, and they all thrive off one another.  With this in mind, I chase down my goals, I celebrate them, and I embrace my moments with joy.

    And you can, too.  Take these months ahead to create that harmony in your life so that you can celebrate 2018 proudly.  Remember, this is YOUR moment!

    ...and to that, we add that it's time you "get up and go!" Check out this, and two other brand-new Motivate Wraps in our new Fall Collection. Be sure to follow Amanda on Instagram, and check out Momentum, too. Tag #momentumjewelry so we can see you chase down your special moments.

    Momentum Motivator Caroline Tackles the Incan Trail

    Momentum Motivator Caroline Tackles the Incan Trail

    On Monday, we shared a little about what makes Caroline from "So She Did" tick, but that only scratches the surface on some of the amazing adventures she's had. 

    "I love to travel," she proudly shares.  In fact, she loves it so much that one of the reasons she went to college was to find opportunities to explore the big, wide, world.  And explore she did, as she landed an opportunity to study abroad in Argentina...  Which led her to want to see the sights Peru too.

    When it came time for her and her husband to start picking vacation destinations, she was not at all indecisive.  "My husband and I have an agreement to alternate choosing our destinations, but of course he’s a sweetheart (and I was a bit pushy) so I got first pick!"  And so, Peru it was (and her husband is a total champ, btw).

    During their two incredible weeks surrounded by the wonders of Peru, they challenged themselves to their limits by taking on some of the wildest, most physically demanding excursions there are, all in the name of fun...  Including a grueling, but awe-inspiring, four-day journey along the Incan trail.

    "Our hike was explained to us as 4 days of easy, grueling, astonishing, and the culmination," she says.  Day one she says was the "easy setup" (!) of walking 15k at a low elevation.  But day two, things got serious with a 12k hike and an elevation of 13,776 feet, capped off with a stop at the highest point, called Dead Woman's Pass.  Supposedly it's named because the vista looks like a woman laid to rest, but Caroline observes "I think it was because I was going to die on my way up there."  Um, who can blame her?

    Day three she describes the landscapes and views as some of the most breathtaking sights she'd ever witnessed in her life.  After spending the night in a cloud forest, she hiked along the edge of the Amazon Rainforest, stopped at two scenic waypoints (one of which was so pretty she almost refused to leave), and arrived at the famous Inti Pata just in time for sunset. 

    Finally, on day four, the woke up early and nearly sprinted the final 5k to Machu Picchu...  Only to find that the famous Sun Gate should have been renamed "Cloud Gate."  "We couldn’t see anything!" she said.  Undeterred, they finished their hike and were duly rewarded for all their efforts.  As the day marched on along with them, the sun burned off the clouds and left behind views too beautiful to describe .  Caroline wistfully recalls, "it was beyond incredible.  All the photos will never do it justice.  It is so much larger in real life than I thought it would be."

    The moment wasn't just about gorgeous views and physical challenges, however.  Caroline enjoyed a sense of reverence for all she'd seen and done, and it was a revelation that made the whole journey truly meaningful.  "Walking the Incan Trail there, knowing it was the way the Incan people would take, and that they hid the trail to protect this sacred site is really awesome to think about.  I loved touching the walls and knowing people literally slaved to find rocks or make rocks that fit so perfectly together that they’ve withstood earthquakes, downpours, wind, and, in general, the test of time."

    Caroline was so moved by her whole experience that strongly believes people should get out there and see the sights for themselves.  "Seriously, if anyone has questions about planning their Incan Trail hike – they can even email me at atwoodcc@gmail.com because I need to tell them to do it!"  And with such gorgeous pictures, a fascinating story, and a sense of empowerment that comes with truly pushing yourself to the limit, I can see why! 

    Through it all, there was one major accomplishment that she was able to check off of her list along her journey that made me chuckle...  And I bet you could never guess what it was...

    "My #1 goal for the trip was to touch a llama."  Yup, that's right.  All the things she saw, all the trips she took, all the adventures to be had in Peru, she wanted to touch a llama.  And I'm thrilled to report, she got her wish.  "I also met my new best friend, a llama, (at Inti Pata)," Caroline proudly brags.  "So, goal achieved!"  Woo-hoo for hitting your goals!

    For more about her trip through the Incan Trail, as well as some gorgeous pictures, and some info about some other trips she took during her vacation, be sure to head to her blog "So She Did" and check out her Instagram for even more breathtaking pictures from her amazing journey through Peru.         

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    We keep hearing about how we inspire you, be we thought it was time to share how you inspire us!

    Each week we will feature some of the pictures and stories from our fans because we believe the greatest inspiration comes from people who dare to dream big and live out their adventures.

    Would you like to be featured? Email jerusha@designsthatmoveyou.com for more info.

    Have fun,

    Jerusha

    Meet Caroline From "So She Did"

    Meet Caroline from So She Did, a gal who loves to travel, believes in the power of positivity, and has learned to embrace all that life has to offer!

    We first ran into Caroline on her funky Instagram account (seriously, the fitness tracker route of her swimming laps is pretty much the most relatable fitness picture ever), but it was the pictures of Caroline's adventures in Peru that really took our breath away.

    She was bitten by the travel bug early, thanks to a family who also loved to travel, and Caroline attended college with a hunger to study abroad.  Her Junior year, she got her wish and spent six incredible months studying in Argentina.

    "After my time in Argentina, I knew I HAD to also go to Peru at some point," she tells us.  "I thought two weeks would get us through the whole country, but we barely hit the tip of the iceberg."

    If she only hit the tip of the iceberg, it was a tip with some pretty insane adventures.  She tackled a 4-day hike along the Incan Trail to Machu Picchu ("The photos will never do it justice!"), kayaked in Lake Titicaca ("The lake is so clear that you can see a dozen feet down to the bottom."), and took a three day adventure tour that consisted of white water rafting in Arequipa ("my favorite!"), mountain biking in the shadow of volcanoes ("my least favorite..."), and sandboarding.

    Are you guys as ridiculously jealous as we are?  She squeezed more into two weeks than some people do their whole lives!

    But it's not just her vacations that make Caroline totally fascinating.

    She's from a small Connecticut town, but considers Columbia, South Carolina home...  Even though right now, she lives in Oklahoma!

    She's originally from a town she compares to Stars Hollow from "Gilmore Girls," only a few hours from both Boston and NYC, but for now she's in Oklahoma.  "My husband's position relocated us to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma," she says, "I went to college at University of South Carolina in Columbia and I prefer to cal that 'home.'"

    How she defines her biggest achievements makes us want to be her training buddy.

    "Most times, I think my greatest achievement is even beginning," she shares.  Even though she did track and field in high school and didn't do as well as she wanted ("I sucked big time," according to her), the team unity kept her from quitting.  And even though she didn't run for the next 6 years, when she needed a way to blow off some steam while her husband was deployed, she went back to racing by lacing up her shoes, signing up for a 5k, and running the whole way!

    Now she says "I have really grown to love" running... Half Marathons!

    Even though she's done four half marathons, she says "I don't really consider myself a 'racer," I'm definitely a runner though."  

    She has the best. Attitude.  Ever.

    She set herself a goal of tackling a half marathon in 2 hours, 30 minutes, but in the process of training she had emergency surgery for appendicitis and it forced her to change her training schedule.  Instead of giving up, she changed her goal to trying to get as many high fives as possible.  She ended up running her half with a time that beat her personal best by 9 minutes, and showed us (and her appendix) who's boss!

    Her dog has his own hashtag on Instagram

    She has pretty much the cutest dog on the Internet, adorably named Brodie.  He's a shelter dog, he's a therapy dog, and he's a dog that lives for a good belly rub...  Because, seriously, who doesn't?  Check out his selfies with the #BrodieBrode hashtag and prepare to fall in love.  Those ears get us every time.

    ----

    These are just some of the reasons we think Caroline totally rocks, so throughout the week we'll be sharing more of her story, from her greatest highs to how she takes her setbacks and turns them into opportunities, and of course, some highlights from that amazing trip to Peru that we all wish she took us on.  

    Can't wait for more?  Follow her on Instagram and check out her blog, then prepare to be bitten by the travel bug yourself.

    We keep hearing about how we inspire you, be we thought it was time to share how you inspire us!

    Each week we will feature some of the pictures and stories from our fans because we believe the greatest inspiration comes from people who dare to dream big and live out their adventures.

    Would you like to be featured? Email jerusha@designsthatmoveyou.com for more info.

    Have fun,

    Jerusha