Do What You Dream

“Do What You Dream” is probably the saying that Sparkle. Pounce. lives by more than anything else. Our goal is to motivate and inspire people (especially women!) to stop merely existing, and to start chasing their dreams.

And that’s exactly what we did last week as we finally launched our Etsy shop! It was SCARY and we really weren’t sure if we were ready, (let’s be honest…we probably weren’t!). But it was a dream we’ve been chasing for a long time, and it was time to say, “GO!”

What a whirlwind of a week it was. We were overwhelmed by the amount of support we received from friends and family. Our inventory quickly dwindled to nearly nothing, and we scrambled to place more orders with our distributor and try and calculate which items were going to have the most sales as we moved forward. In some cases, we were right, and in others we were really surprised! Our “Do What You Dream” design proved to be a best seller, and that makes us SO HAPPY! Not only do we LOVE the feather design, but the saying is one that we want to spread to the world. It’s never too late to “Do What You Dream”!

Whether your dream is to run a 5K, run a marathon, lose unwanted weight, start your own business, complete a triathlon, run an ultra, complete a road bike tour, or any of the other adventures that are out there waiting…we will be here to share some “Sparkle” and watch you “Pounce” those dreams! (Preferably while wearing one of our awesome shirts!)

Thanks again for all of the support last week! We are so excited to keep moving forward in this journey.

Sparkle.Pounce. Do What You Dream.

The Journey is the Reward

***This post was originally published on October 3, 2013 to my own personal blog, “Always Wear Your Invisible Cape.” I thought it was a great one to share because it was during this race that the idea for Sparkle. Pounce. started to take off…

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On Sunday, I ran the Vermont 50, a 50K through the mountains of Vermont. To say that it was amazing is an understatement. 31 miles of the most beautiful landscape that I could have imagined, and I was blessed to run it with four of my favorite girlfriends by my side the whole way. It was a blast.

Was it hard? Yup. 5600 feet of climbing that we were no where near prepared for. But to me, it really didn’t matter. I had been looking forward to this journey for a while, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.

From the second our car crossed the border into Vermont, we really just couldn’t believe how picturesque the state was. Every beautiful picture that you see of Vermont and its adorable covered bridges, stunning mountain views, quaint small towns, and brilliant fall colors are spot on accurate…through the WHOLE state! And getting to see it up close and personal through 31 miles of mostly private trails was an experience like no other.

The pre-race scene that we are used to at triathlons and road races is much different that what we experienced before the 50K ultra. Everyone seemed much more laid back than what we were used to in some ways, but in others, it was obvious that everyone else there was taking the race a bit more seriously than we were. I think it had something to do with the matching “Sparkle. Pounce.” tanks and sweatshirts that we were sporting. And the fact that we really weren’t taking the race seriously at all. Our day consisted of two goals. First, we wanted to finish. And second, we wanted to stick together through the whole race.

From the get-go I loved this race. As we jogged through the start line and up a small hill I already started joking about being out of breathe and noted that we had gone 0.22 miles. And as we reached the hill at mile 1, EVERYONE started walking up it. Not just the five of us, but every racer that I could see. It was awesome! It took the guess work out of the equation. These “hills” weren’t hills. They were mountains and no one was running up them. 

And that is how the race continued. I kept track of the distance and time, and we ran in between mountains, and walked up them. And the whole time, I noted how “pretty” everything was. And I kept reminding the girls how “pretty” everything was. And I can’t remember what mile it was that one of them told me they really didn’t need to hear how “pretty” everything was anymore, but I reminded them anyways. You’re welcome ladies! 

Note…I kept track of the distance. For some reason, these girls trusted me to be the sole barer of a Garmin to track our distance and average pace. Mua ha ha ha ha! I had a plan that worked like a charm…for a while.  Starting around mile 4, I kept telling them that we had gone a little less than we had really gone. This wasn’t a typical road race course where the miles are marked, so they had no idea. So, when we had run 7 miles I told them we were at 6.5. When we were up to 10 I told them we were almost at 9 miles. By the time we got to 18 miles I had them tricked into thinking that we had only gone 16.5. It was awesome!!! And then we hit the aid station at mile 18 that said we were at mile 18…. For a while I tried to get them to think the sign was wrong, but in the end I just told them that I had been lying to them all day. At first they were pretty mad, but I got them to admit that it felt pretty amazing to be 1.5 miles farther than they had thought. Mission accomplished.

In my opinion, the race flew by. There were parts when I could tell it was hard for some of the ladies to stick together, but for me, the journey was the reward. I was soaking in every moment of our time on that mountain. Did I want to be done? Yes. But did I realize that once I was done I wasn’t going to get to spend anymore time out on those beautiful trails? Yup. So, I was really in no rush. And I didn’t mind when we stopped for photos in the middle of the race. Or walked even when there wasn’t a hill. Because pictures like this don’t take themselves, and the action shots of us running just aren’t nearly as cute!

In the end we were able to reach both of our goals. We finished together. And we spread quite a bit of sparkle on the way. Lots of other racers commented on our “cute” tops and we were welcomed with a cheer into every aid station as the “Sparkle. Pounce.” team. We were pretty hard to miss.

So, will I do another 50K? I think most definitely. Will it top that one? Probably not. 

 Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.


That journey was my reward. And I loved every second of it!!!

Sparkle. Pounce. Enjoy the climb.

-Kendra

Inspire

I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say "Because of you, I didn't give up."

About a week and a half ago I got a Facebook message from a friend. The gist of the message was this:

“I need some serious motivation in my workout life and you seem to spark that for me with your posts! The problem, I suck with follow through and bum myself out. So, I’m wondering if you would be willing to walk/jog with me once a week and keep asking me if I’m walking or exercising on my own? I hope this message isn’t weird to you, but I feel like you might actually provide some accountability for me!”

This message literally made me grin from ear to ear. I felt so honored to be given this task and to know that I am inspiring someone to make a life change. So of course, I responded with a message saying that I would LOVE to hound her regularly and that she might regret asking me that! And we set a date to exercise together every Tuesday after work. 

For our first workout, the plan was to walk the trails at Stony (because if I’m going to trick anyone into loving exercise, THAT is going to be the place to do it). We enjoyed a 3 mile walk through the woods that left her a bit winded and tired. SUCCESS. And, as promised, I sent her “get your butt moving” texts throughout the week. 

Yesterday, the weather didn’t quite cooperate as planned for a stroll through the woods. Pouring rain hit, with severe storms, literally one minute before work was out. And although there was a part of me that wanted to call it a day and go home early, I made arrangements for us to meet at my school’s weight room for some circuit training. And let me tell you…It. Was. SO. Hard. We were both drenched in sweat and feeling a bit nauseous when we were done. So…once again….SUCCESS!

And before we left, we ended up being cornered by a personal trainer who was giving us ALL KINDS of tips on eating healthy and fueling our bodies. I mean ALL KINDS of advice. The kind of advice that leaves you thinking, “Oh my goodness. I can never eat an Oreo cookie again,” kind of advice. It was a bit over the top, but it got BOTH of us reevaluating our current eating habits and realizing that some simple changes can definitely be made. (Don’t worry, I will still be eating my daily dose of Oreo cookies, and I was assured that a glass of red wine every day is practically essential for a healthy heart and mind – hahaha! Just kidding!)

But really, I am so excited to be helping someone create healthy habits! I woke up this morning surprisingly sore from yesterday’s circuit training, and found myself packing a much healthier lunch than usual. The reality is that every time I am a success with inspiring others, I undoubtedly end up making better decisions for myself as well. I love it! 

And that is truly one of my most motivating goals…to inspire others to chase their dreams and realize that their goals are within their reach. 

Sparkle. Pounce. Inspire. 

-Kendra 



Take the Leap

Take a leap of Faith #quotes #inspiring #inspiremecafe

Everyone has heard the saying, “If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll be waiting the rest of your life.” This saying holds true in many situations.

There are just some things in life that we will never be fully prepared for. The question is, will we be brave enough to trust that even though we don’t feel ready, we have the skills to handle the things that will come our way?

How many of these thoughts have you had in the last week, month, or year?

“I know I should look for a different job, but I’m just not ready.”
“I know I need to start working out, but it’s not a good time.”
“I really want to find a church that I like and is good for our family, but it’s so much work.”
“I really need to start eating healthier, but it’s so expensive and takes so much more time.”
“We want to have a baby, but there’s no way we’re ready.”
“I really want to start my own business, but now isn’t the right time.”

I think this list of thoughts could go on and on. There are so many things in our lives that we know we should be doing, or that we really WANT to do, but we put them off them because we aren’t “ready.”

Well, Sparkle.Pounce. has decided that now is as good a time as any to “take the leap”! After months of realizing how much we didn’t know about starting a business, and hours of work on figuring things out, we have finally realized that we are never going to be “ready,” so we might as well go for it! The road might be a little bumpy, but we’re SO excited to have family and friends to support us on this adventure!

Sparkle. Pounce. Take the leap!


Dedicating the Miles – Lansing Marathon

The day of the marathon, I woke up in normal pre-race fashion feeling nauseous and making multiple trips to the bathroom. I was beyond nervous. 

My marathon plan seemed simple enough. I would find the 9:00 min (3 hours and 55 mins finish) pace group and stick with them as long as I could.  When I found them (a brother and sister team), they told me that they were the ONLY pacers at the event. (And yes, I did take that as a sign!) I introduced myself and explained that my goal was to finish in under 4 hours, but I was worried because I hadn’t trained at that pace and my previous PR was 4:21. Then I showed them my arm and explained my mile dedications. (Each mile of the race was dedicated to someone fighting a battle of some sort or someone who had lost their battle.)


I felt pretty good for the first 9-10 miles. At each mile marker I would check my arm and see whose mile it was. I was just taking it one mile at a time, not really having a hard time keeping up with the pace group.

By mile 15, I was feeling pretty rough. And I had to pee. There were port-a-potties throughout the course, but I was just sure if I stopped, I would never catch back up with my pacers and that would be the end of me meeting my goal. But really, I had to go. So, the next port-a-potty I saw I let me group know that I had my eye on it, and I sprinted as fast as I could to get to it, in it, and back out. Unbelievably, I was able to catch back up. But I was hurting.

It was at about that time that my mind-set changed for my mile dedications. For the first half of the race, I was spending time thinking about each person and lifting them up in prayer. I was trying to send positive energy their way, but now, it seemed that I was trying to seek energy from the people I was thinking about. My desire to walk and take a break was growing stronger and stronger, but I didn’t want to “give up” on anyone’s mile. So, I was making deals with each mile dedication. Thinking things like:

“Ok. If I don’t give up, you can’t give up either.”

“I know you hurt this much every day, so I know I can feel this pain for one more mile. If you can stand the pain, I can stand the pain.”

“Please, just help me through this mile. If you help me get through this mile, I promise I won’t quit.”

“We can do this. I can do this. We can do this. I can do this.”

Yup, those are the thoughts that consumed me from miles 16 – 26.2. (My husband told me I shouldn’t tell anyone that because it makes me sound like I’m a little crazy. HA! I probably am.) But, I just couldn’t let anyone down. So I kept going. And going. 

After mile 22, I lost sight of my pace group. I just couldn’t keep up anymore. If I wouldn’t have had those names on my arm, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not have met my goal. Focusing solely on my own pain and discomfort wouldn’t have resulted in a happy ending. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other and ended up crossing that line in 3:58:08. 

I don’t think I will ever run another marathon without dedicating the miles to people who need it. The truth is, I needed them as much as they needed me…probably more.

Sparkle. Pounce. Keep fighting.