Happy Valentine's Day!! I hope yours has been splendid.
On this day, I wish to take time to highlight a few people I love. These are the people who shape me on a daily basis. These are people who have changed my life or have brought meaning into it since they arrive in some form or another.
I love that ever since I wanted to take part in road races and triathlons, Matt Miller and C Different Foundation have been there. In fact, it was five years ago tonight that I flew to Fort Lauderdale to run in my first ever half marathon event.
The wonderful individuals who have volunteered to guide me over the years. There have been so many I can not possibly list them all. I will highlight a few. In the first ever 5K event I ran, my long time friend, Angela Scheffler, volunteered to run with me. From there the list of amazing athletes kept growing until it lead me to such tremendous people as; Andrew Murray, Todd Smith, Brendan Hermes, Clark Bishop, Ross O'Dowd, and Michael Crissie. A special place is reserved in my heart for the talented Ironman triathlete Kimberly Shah and elite marathoner, Jennifer Pfaff.
I love that the main reason I have been improving and developing as an athlete has been pro triathlete, model, and actress, Jenna Parker. I am so blessed to have the most amazing spectacular coach in the world guiding me through my preparations. It is an even greater thrill and honor to call the talented, amazing, and beautiful Jenna a friend.
The way these talented individuals give of themselves to help me inspires me. I am also inspired by tremendous people like Caroline Gaynor who is a gifted triathlete and cyclist. In recent years, Caroline has become a top notch guide for blind athletes even becoming the first woman in history to guide a blind person through an Ironman. she has done so several times and will do so even more in the near future. I am inspired by my friend, Nina, who completed her first marathon at Chicago last October. Her race report on her blog was one of the most emotionally charged recaps I have ever read. Nina's moment with her mom just a few hundred meters from the finish line is something that as I think about it now to write this line, I am in tears. I love that princess Megan reached out and became my friend. She has been a wonderful friend while brining two additional princesses into my life. Sarah and Jennifer. I am so lucky! Greatness is Melissa Stockwell. The first woman wounded in the Iraq War three weeks after her arrival, Melissa has gone on to be the current three time defending National Champion for Paratriathlon in the category of above the knee amputee. Add to that, Melissa is also the current three time defending world champion for Paratriathlon.
I love that I have friends like Marrielle, Brendan, Michelle, and Jenna who read my screenplay and give me feedback. I love that they believe in me and my ability. I love that there is someone I respect like the talented author, Jen Knox, who encourages and supports me when attempting my hand at writing Flash Fiction. I have been writing a few stories recently. I only wish I would have done so sooner. thank you Jen for opening up another door of possibility and opportunity for me.
When I write characters in screenplays and plays, I have an idea of who I wish to play them or who I would wish to direct these pieces. I love that among the talented directors with whom I would entrust my work are Emily Lotspeich and Jacque Lueken. Another fabulous director, actress, and instructor is the lovely Laura Sturm who has taught me to break down my emotional walls as an actor. This has come in handy when attempting to write emotionally charged scenes which I hope will evoke responses from my readers and viewers. I am lucky to know four of the most beautiful, talented, and amazing actresses, models, and artists such as Kate Bergeron, Julia Kessler, Laura Shatkus, and Amanda Marcheschi. Four women who I always think about when I write scripts hoping one day I will be privileged enough to see them bring my work to life.
There are so many people I love. I have taken time to highlight a few of them in this post. They are near and dear to my heart. Of course, they are not the only ones. I am lucky to know and be friends with some of the most amazing people in the world. Because of them, every day is Valentine's Day!