On Inspiration, Motivation and the Drive to Succeed

by Sarah Sung
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On Inspiration, Motivation and the Drive to Succeed

At MyFitnessPal, we love to celebrate major milestones — from major weight loss to major non-scale victories — what our community accomplishes is no easy feat. Success is all around us, and it’s usually sparked by a pivotal moment. We’ve asked our Under Armour ambassadors to share their journeys, inspiration and driving forces. We hope this inspires you to share yours in the comments below.

ADINDA SUKARDI


“Do what makes you feel alive. Love your body. Play outside.”


Adinda, an obstacle course trainer, is inspired by her mother and Mother Nature. “The two mothers that have always supported me since Day 1. Without these two women, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.”

MOTIVATION

It comes as no surprise then that Adinda’s fire comes from the outdoors. “To wake up and have the possibility to discover what my body is capable of doing beyond what I thought possible and being proven wrong. Nothing is more motivating to me than to be active while having the opportunity to learn about different cultures and discovering different parts of the world.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

Adinda hit rock bottom and wasn’t taking care of herself — not eating right, drinking too much and not getting enough sleep. Her sister introduced her to bikram yoga. She slowly adopted a healthy lifestyle once again. Then, a trip to Vietnam changed things. She had one beer and her body rejected it. “I started ordering fresh coconut water through the concierge, enough to last me, for what it would seem like, a whole month on a deserted island. I drank a glass of coconut water every half an hour in hope to detoxify the toxins in my body and rid of the water retention from the swelling. I prayed and drank and prayed and hoped.” Eventually she was OK. “This was the time that I realized that I needed to love my body. This was the beginning of @Saktidin. This is my story and the prologue that signifies where I am today.”

AMANDA BROOKS


“I am enough.”


Running coach and Run to the Finish blogger, Amanda looks inward for inspiration. “I’ve always been internally driven to seek out my best,” she says. “I don’t need to win a race, I just need to know that I showed up for myself in moments that were hard and I chose not to quit.”

MOTIVATION

She meets each day with wonder, “I’m excited to see what each new run will bring. Will it be a glorious sunrise? Will it be a run that I never want to end? Will it be a hot, humid, can’t breathe will-I-make-it-through run that leaves me smiling because I did?”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

When Amanda suffered her first real injury, she recalls, “It was the first time I discovered the power of training my mind, and that led to greater success in every area of my life. I dug into podcasts, mantras, affirmations and suddenly it was just an injury, not the end of the world.” As we know, those low points can teach us many things by uncovering weaknesses that become opportunities for greatness, “I know how to flow with the discomfort and always keep my eyes focused on finding the solution.”

CHALEY ROSE


“I will rise under pressure.”


For Chaley Rose, singer and actress on “Nashville,” her mother was her rock and source of inspiration. After a divorce, her mother went back to college to get her masters in journalism. Rose recalls, “I watched her, at the age of 40, hustle her way into her first on-air job. Everyone told her it was too late for her. It was impossible. But she never heard them. ‘No’ was subjective for her, and I learned that and have lived it myself.”

MOTIVATION

For Rose, her day-to-day motivating factor is simple: “There’s nothing more motivating than knowing that you can have your dreams if you’re willing to fight,” she says.

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

Rose’s own experience gave her the courage to try new things. “I think there are lots of pivotal moments along the way to success,” she says. After a bad experience with a production company in Atlanta, Chaley looked to open up her career to acting. “It was the right place at the right time with the right coach. I fell in love with it and decided to pursue an acting career from there. I am where I am now because of that Atlanta experience. Painful as it was I wouldn’t change it.”


Under Armour is honoring under-recognized feats of empowerment — elevating them to where they belong: Above gender roles. Above labels. Above convention. Above comparison. Get the full scoop on Misty Copeland and other athletes in the Unlike Any campaign.


DANI VITALE


“Treat everyday like an audition and every human you meet like they are going to be your boss one day.”


A dancer, Dani is inspired by bold people who are relentlessly pursuing their passion. She says, “People that inspire me today are the groundshakers, the ones who decide to pave their own path and way. Not waiting for a hand out and just taking risks and chances!”

MOTIVATION

So many different things motivate people, and Dani found hers in adversity. “The driving factor, honestly, is the people that doubt me, that whisper behind my back and question my abilities. I do it for the ones who ‘don’t understand,’” she says. “Then, the successes that happen along the way remind me what I set out to do is all worth it.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

For some, pivotal moments come a bit more regularly. “I have had a ton of low moments in my career. Being a freelance professional dancer, you can get off of a four-year world tour performing in front of 80,000 people every night sharing the stage with one of the biggest artists in the world, then when it’s over, you wake up that next day in your bed unemployed. That repeats after every job, no matter how monumental it was, when it is over, it’s the ‘what’s next” game,’” shares Vitale. “There was one job where I auditioned for 16 straight hours not eating or drinking a thing, then the next day another 8 hours to find out I am in ‘serious consideration’ to attend a week of rehearsals before tour.” Ultimately, after being assured she got the part, she didn’t. “I didn’t leave my bed for a week. That launched me into wanting to prove to everyone that I can achieve more than just this tour. That I don’t need the title of ‘Hi I am Dani and I am dancing for …’ and that skyrocketed my versatility in dance and the ability to reinvent myself as an artist! Sure enough after not getting [the initial part], I did about six huge performances with her the following years.”

DEDDEH HOWARD


“Don’t lose faith.”


Secret of DD blogger and influencer, Deddeh sees her mother as her role model. “My mother is my biggest inspiration, as an African mother, she had been through so much and she still managed to get on her feet and raise three children. Her strength and power inspire me.”

MOTIVATION

For Deddeh, being active and pursuing her passion keeps her motivated. “My yoga practice and my blog make me leap out of bed every day,” she says. “I can’t live without yoga, and I love writing and producing content to inspire people because their stories inspire me, too.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

Embarking on her Black Mirror Project took her to a new level. “I was sick and tired of being held back because of my skin tone and I just wanted to do something about it. I decided to put myself out there and mirror two images to show the world that if we are given equal opportunity, black models can do just about the same as a white models.” This moment still resonates with her. “The world reacted to my story, it was unbelievable, and now it makes me want to do even more. I’m inspired to speak out and make more changes for myself and the future generation. It made me stronger.”


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KYM NONSTOP


“We practice courage by pushing our limits.”


Cyclist and fitness vlogger, Kym is inspired by “the women who have come before me who have ignored the warnings and blazed their own trail,” she says. “I’ve been told countless times that it’s dangerous. I’ve been asked ‘wouldn’t I rather just stay home? Do something else?’”

MOTIVATION

Nonstop knows women are held to a different standard, but have to keep going and work a little harder, “while my male counterparts are just expected to show their grit.” Kym doesn’t let anything get her down. “I know that potential has yet to be reached. There’s more to learn and more to teach,” says Kym. Each day is “an opportunity to live my life to the fullest and to inspire others to do the same.”

LUCIE FINK


“Fake it ’til you make it.”


Videographer Lucie Fink has her family to thank for inspiring her. “I grew up with parents who told me that if I worked hard enough for it, I could be anything I wanted to be. Each time I reach a new personal or professional milestone, it’s that energy and positivity that motivates me to keep on moving.”

MOTIVATION

Lucie is fueled by her close bond with family and her boyfriend. “These relationships nourish me and cause me to wake up every day with love, happiness and energy.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

It wasn’t college, but it’s what came right after college. “I remember feeling like I wasn’t in the right place; I wasn’t doing what I loved, and because of that, I wasn’t flourishing and shining. That was when I started making art — for myself, for my family and for my portfolio.”


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MONIQUE VOLZ


“Be daring, be different, be impractical.”


Ambitious Kitchen blogger Monique Volz also looks within for inspiration. “I know it seems silly but there is no better investment you can make than believing in who you are. Chase your vision and dream every day no matter what, there’s always a way to make it happen. Over the course of your life you will transform into several different people, so just be who you are, be wild, practice self-care, and love yourself and those around you.”

MOTIVATION

For Monique, her work is her driving passion, “I love what I do and that most of the time it doesn’t feel like work. I’m proud that I have worked hard to become the woman I have become today,” she says. “I love getting up, getting a workout in and having ‘me’ time before I get in the kitchen and make recipes to help and inspire others to eat healthier. Inspiring other people is my success story.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

After losing her father, Monique dealt with her grief by traveling and working out. This ultimately led her on the path she’s on now. “I found myself on a beach in Australia asking myself what I was going to do with my life and how I could become the person I was meant to be,” she remembers. “After I came home, I started cooking and baking as a therapy and to teach myself a new skill. Shortly thereafter, I launched my blog and worked endlessly doing what I love. If you love something, your passion and talent will shine through.”

PAOLA ANTONINI


“If life puts obstacles in your way, try always to find the positive side of it.”


Brazilian model Paola is inspired and driven by gratitude. “I think that my biggest motivational factor is to enjoy life, because I really appreciate it,” she says. “Every day I wake up thinking about doing something new and always in a better way. This inspires me.”

MOTIVATION

Paola emphasizes the importance of staying positive and how it can be  contagious. “I always strive to motivate people around me, showing them that everything is possible.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

Losing her leg changed her life. “I didn’t imagine going through this, but when it happened I just faced it and moved on in the best possible way. My family, my boyfriend and my friends were essential at this moment. It was so nice to receive support of everybody. I learned a lot when I suffered the accident, like realizing value of things that really matter in life.” People are always trying to find the big opportunity of their lives and sometimes this opportunity comes with a step back. “The way I looked at this moment — the worst of my life — was very important because it turned out to be the turning point of everything.”

SIERRA PRESCOTT


“Life is RAD!”


Skateboarder Sierra Prescott finds inspiration from having a vision, being in the driver’s seat and knowing her priorities. “The fact that I am in control of me,” she puts it. “With that, the pressure is on. The pressure I put on myself to do better, to be my favorite version of myself. That I am the only one responsible for my failures, and in turn, any success.”

MOTIVATION

“There is always something to improve on, start or finish, so once my eyes are open, my brain is on.”

HER PIVOTAL MOMENT

For Prescott, it was when she dedicated her work to herself that she knew she was onto something. “When I decided to stop working for anyone but myself. It gave me a massive change of pace and the ability to be in charge of me. I was now my boss.” That realization still impacts her today, “It is my present.”

Let’s continue to shed light on our successes — recognizing it’s the culmination of stamina, perseverance and grit to get here. Please share yours in the comments below. We want to hear from you!


BE UNLIKE ANY WITH THESE COLLECTIONS

> Zoe Zhang, Actress & Taekwondo Black Belt
> Jessie Graff, Stunt Woman
> Alison Desir, Harlem Run Founder
> Misty Copeland, Principal Ballerina
> Natasha Hastings, World Champion Sprinter


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