Well Being

That Girl: 10 Most Inspirational ‘Real’ Female Athletes Of 2012

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Each week on Blisstree, we feature “real” female athletes who motivate us with the way they balance fitness and health in their lives. These are everyday women who, in addition to being a mom, running a business and/or having a career, kick some serious butt on the road, on the slopes or in the gym. As 2012 comes to a close, we took a look back at all of the amazing women we have celebrated this year and came up with our top 10 most inspiring “That Girls.” Take a look and be inspired to take your fitness to a new level in 2013!


Jacki Donaldson is an inspirational breast cancer survivor and runner. Jacki says running was never in her “line-up” until she got cancer, but after completing a half-marathon, she now knows that anything is possible. Read her full story here.


Kim Reynolds is the founder of Chicks Climbing (otherwise known as Chicks with Picks–a title we love). At 53 years old, how does Kim stay fit and healthy? By ice climbing, of course! It’s something that gives her confidence, strength,  positive energy and the wisdom that she can do anything. Read Kim's full story to find out more about Kim and how she trusts herself, her friends and Mother Nature to get her to the top of those very steep–and icy–peaks.

photo-26Frances Cordova is a natural model, personal trainer and ambassador for Healthy is the New Skinny, an organization that strives to bring health, joy and responsibility to the beauty and fashion industry (hooray for that!). Frances says she grew up playing basketball, field hockey and lacrosse. Now, she’s more into boxing, circuit training and conditioning. “Anything that gets my heart pumping: count me in!” We especially love what she says inspires her to get fit everyday…take a look at Frances' story.


Holly Woodcock is an inspiring woman who lost over 100 pounds through Crossfit. Holly’s philosophy is, “In sports and in life you will never get any better if you can’t check your ego at the door and learn to take feedback.” By doing so and having the courage to walk into Crossfit two years ago, she has changed her life. Read more about Holly’s story and how she lost the weight.

pushupCarla Birnberg is a mom who says weightlifting enabled her to lose 35 pounds and completely change her life. To her, weight training is about “being heard, feeling empowered and knowing that I am capable.” We love that. We also love that she keeps her workouts short (yet intense) so she has time to play with her daughter and enjoy life. Read her story and be inspired by the unique way she recovers after a hard workout!


  Meet Jan Graham, aka Crabby McSlacker, who is a wellness coach and all-around fitness buff despite being “cranky, lazy and persnickety.” What we love about Crabby is that she loves hiking, biking and running, but she is also honest about it all–even saying that she only does strength training so she can eat more cupcakes. Take a look at her inspiration, her “S.H.I.I.T.” workouts and her secret “ugly” breakfast!


Chrissy Wallis Henry is an inspiring die-hard Crossfit athlete who says this sport has changed her life. Anyone who has ever done Crossfit can surely relate. Not only does Chrissy share some of her best kick-ass workouts here, but she also divulges her best power-building and energy-building breakfasts. And if you’re wondering where she gets her inspiration and motivation from, just look at her mom, who we also featured on That Girl earlier this year! Take a look.


When you think of a true adventure girl, think of Tamara Jacobi. Not only is Tamara a health coach specializing in holistic nutrition, but she runs a true jungle lodge in Mexico and practices what she preaches (and then some!) by doing everything from stand-up paddleboard surfing to skiing to trail running to biking, and more! Take a look at the great inspiration and health tips that Tamara has to share, including her favorite green smoothie recipes and best workout routines:


Doing an Ironman is one thing, but doing 50 of them is impressive beyond words. The grueling 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run is anything but easy. But if you ask Susan Haag, it’s pure joy. In fact, the accomplished triathlete says she likes the way all of this makes her feel–especially afterwards. “I like knowing that God gifted me with my body and my mind. I feel free while I swim, bike and run all around this beautiful outdoor world, knowing that I CAN DO IT.” Read on for more amazing inspiration from Susan.


Ashely Cooper-Heath is an inspiring 28-year-old wheelchair athlete who was paralyzed eight years ago in a drunk driving accident. Ashley is a true inspiration, taking a tragedy and turning it into motivation to become an athlete who can still work hard and compete to win. Here is her story.

Congratulations to all of our 2012 Top 10 “That Girls!” And thank you for inspiring us this year!!