Hi, Friends!

Hi there. I’m Carolyn, the latest addition to INspiration family. Each day I strive to inspire others by eating, living and being well. Life is one big adventure, and I’m fortunate to have found a beautiful, happy place despite all the twists and turns.

I thought I’d share some of my INspired moments as an introduction.

Peace Corps Thailand

During my junior year of college, I read a self-help type book and on the last page it talked about giving back to your community. There was a link to the Peace Corps. I immediately went online to check it out, called my parents, and proclaimed, “I’m joining the Peace Corps when I graduate.”

After graduation from the University of Texas, I went on a road trip that took me from Horning’s Hideout in Oregon to the Adirondacks to work at Nature’s Classroom. I stopped at a few coffee shops along the way to fill out my application, flew back to Dallas for an interview, and was given an invitation to Peace Corps Thailand beginning in January of 2005.

My time spent in rural Thailand was one I’ll never forget. I gained a new family in my community; learned so much about a culture that has so little, yet is overflowing with joy; and blossomed into the person I am today. I am forever grateful.

Marriage

I met Dave through a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group when I moved to Florida for a job after finishing up my service. After numerous emails regarding  group events (and me flaking out on attending since I was still in “ride my bike everywhere mode” and these meetups were 40 miles away), we met up at a local folk festival, talked each others’ ears off about our Peace Corps experiences and went on fun and exciting dates for 2 years. We were married at Selby Botanical Gardens on February 6, 2010. It was a beautiful day with family and friends.

Open Water Swimming, Triathlons, and Running

I was an active child and teenager who lived at the pool growing up for swim practice. When I went off to college, I quickly forgot about my health and opted to have lots of fun. I got out of shape, gained weight, and became depressed. My life was spiraling out of control.

It was the summer after graduation when I started to get a handle on myself, and during my two years away at the Peace Corps I worked hard at showing myself and my Thai friends and family what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle. I ate a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, rode my bike everywhere, taught aerobics at the village temple, and helped organize yoga seminars for a women’s health group. I never felt better.

When I came back to the States, I kept up my healthy habits and even picked up a few more. I started competing in open water swim races, running races, and triathlons. Through these sports I’ve made amazing friends, have challenged my body, and pushed through huge mental walls.

Yoga
I began practicing yoga while in the Peace Corps. My parents send me a yoga dvd that I would do at my house. Shiva Rea’s Yoga Shakti dvd was my first introduction to yoga. I remember thinking, “I’ll never be able to do that.” But I did. And I can.

I practiced bikram yoga for a year upon returning. I loved the mental clarity it gave me and the new found confidence I gained from it. Though when I started training for a marathon, yoga fell off my radar.

It was quite unfortunate, as 3 years later, I use yoga as my medicine. It is what keeps me healthy and able to swim, bike and run. It calms my heart and brings clarity to my life. After suffering a few injuries, going to physical therapy, getting MRIs, and being told I’m could have back pain for the rest of my life, I turned to yoga. My frustration with my body subsided quickly as I realized yoga was the key to my health.

Vegan Food

For over 7 years I have thrived off a plant based diet. I’m lucky I get to travel often for business and have dined at some amazing vegan restaurants across the county. When I’m home, I prefer home cooked meals, big ‘ole salads and smoothies. I seriously could eat smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lucky

Lucky is the coolest dog in the world. I know because I got her in Thailand in a paint bucket and brought her back to America with me. She spent 2.5 years of her life living free, chasing chickens, and roaming rice fields before she got her passport stamped though. I love waking up each and every morning and walking with Lucky.

So there you have it friends. A little (or a lot) about some INspired moments. I look forward to getting to know y’all more and living INspired together.

Carolyn

P.S. Are you interested in joining the INspiration Nation family? Leave a comment and let us know.

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