Going for the Goal

Amy Kibler, mother of three, completed her first half-marathon in April 2014. Photo by Joe Kibler

Amy Kibler, mother of three, completed her first half-marathon in April 2014. Photo by Joe Kibler

Passing Amy Kibler frequently as she ran along the roadside during our brutal winter weather was the impetus for me to contact her; talking with her inspired me to let her story inspire you.

Amy—a professional occupational therapist in her 40’s and mother to three children ages 4, 11 and 13—began her change in health habits in November with participation in the Color Me Rad 5K in Wilmington. Motivated by the desire to improve her health while serving as a role model to her children (and knowing the family would be putting in a swimming pool over the winter), Kibler considered the idea of running a half-marathon. She began training by running on a treadmill at home then progressing to the streets of Southport.

“I want to show my kids that it is important to take care of yourself,” Kibler shared. In fact, her dedication to healthy living has been a family activity. One child began riding the bus home three days a week to accommodate Amy’s runs after work hours. Another child often validates her when she puts on her running shoes saying, “Have a good run, Mom!”

As a beginner, Kibler sought training programs available on the internet for novice runners and settled on a 12-week program developed to train for a half-marathon. She utilizes the Jawbone Up fitness-tracking band, the MapMyRun app, and the MyFitnessPal app. Together these tools integrate her exercise, activity, and diet to keep her on track.

In addition, Amy enlisted the help of two friends to participate in the race, so the trio could act as accountability partners for each other.

Spring Richardson, teacher and mother to two children, has been running for exercise but was training for her first half-marathon, too. She is active in Girls on the Run (a program targeted to get elementary-age girls running) and recently completed a race with her daughter, Caroline.

Audra Rickman, local veterinarian and mother of two children, ran her first 5K in the Color Me Rad race in November. Leading up to the race, the ladies’ Facebook posts shared successes in distance and time so that, even though they did not train together every run, they were held accountable by their team members.

The women chose the Divas Half-Marathon scheduled April 27th, 2014, and began training. The Divas run is focused on non-competitive  personal accomplishment for women. The glitter and glam is flowing as participants cross through a boa and tiara station before crossing the finish line, where they receive a glitzy medal! Kibler even pre-ordered her pink sequin skirt and sequin visor for the occasion. The families all planned to participate in the event in Myrtle Beach. “This teaches my kids about setting a goal and achieving it,” Amy shared of the family weekend.

Writing this article, I realized that in making this health change, Kibler effectively incorporated several elements necessary for success. She picked a goal that was a challenge but something she would enjoy. She recruited the assistance of others: team members and her family. She utilized tools available to her to keep her on a schedule, such as internet training plans and fitness apps on her smart phone. The event itself was family-oriented, teaching the lessons of health from each mother to their children. An added benefit for Kibler has been a weight loss of over 20 pounds since November. Plus, she has started a 30-day arm and plank challenge to keep well-rounded in her fitness.

“Amy has been amazing in getting this all going!” Spring exclaimed about her motivation for the half-marathon. She started by trying to run the Southport Elementary School field in March 2013 and “just kept going a little further.” Spring, who feels a closeness to her late father who modeled healthy living via running, stated, “I am a better mom because I run.” She uses the word “decompression” to note the benefits she achieves from her fitness routine. Spring also relates the encouragement that seasoned runners have provided to her when she needed help.

Kibler reported that the event was a huge success: All three team members completed the race without injury.  Currently there are plans to run their next half-marathon in October. Kudos to these amazing Southport women—Amy Kibler, Spring Richardson and Audra Rickman—for showing us that there are  no excuses for achieving your goals! I am inspired!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine