Sami Stoner

Do limitations exist?  I´m sure it´s easy to answer yes to this question based on situations you may have experienced or are currently experiencing.  This story may help you think again.

MyGoal #011 illustration - girl and dogSami Stoner is a runner.  Even with a rare eye disease, called Stargardt´s disease, which causes blindness, she still runs.  While this story has been around for awhile, and Stoner has since graduated from high school, it still bears repeating.

Even though Stoner was deemed legally blind, she ran cross country in high school.  With just a bit of peripheral vision, she traversed the trails with her guide dog, Chloe.

Sound incredible?  That’s because it is!

In her early high school years, Stoner ran with a friend, but when her friend graduated, Stoner didn’t quit running.  She got a guide dog instead.

After training with her dog and being cleared by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to participate in cross country events with a dog, Stoner and Chloe were off and running.  Even though she couldn’t technically place in these events, it didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion.  Since she didn’t run for time or place, she was able to connect to the real reason for racing:

Her pure love for the sport.

Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be?

I’m not wishing degenerative conditions or limitations on anyone, but there sure is something to be said about connecting to the real joy of an activity.  Sami Stoner serves as a shining example of doing something just because she loves it.

That’s not to say she’s slow, because she’s not.  While she and Chloe had to wait back at the starting line for each race, she was often passing runners once integrated into the race.  With the help of her dog, Chloe, she was able to sense the movements in her harness to find her way.

Talk about trust!

Still she admits there was still an element of fear, but she didn’t let that stop her.  How many of us have a fear of falling flat on our face even without being legally blind?  If not literally, then figuratively.  Stepping beyond limitations always comes with such a possibility.  The unknown can be scary.

Stoner is testimony to the fact that while obstacles may occur, there is always a way through.  The key is you have to want it and be willing to change course.  Whatever your current limitations to staying motivated to lose weight are, I promise you they are not impossible to master.  Your new weight loss story is just waiting to be written.

Whether you have someone pushing you like Rick Hoyt, someone running beside you like Sami Stoner, or someone waiting for you at the finish line like Kayla Montgomery, one thing is certain:

The journey to weight loss is easier and more meaningful when shared.

Let these stories inspire you to move beyond fear, limitations and excuses.  Whatever you think you can’t do, Hoyt, Stoner, and Montgomery are here to remind you, you can!

Face your limitations head on, and do it anyway.  Even if you start alone, you just may find your own personal guide along the way.