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Fearless Female: Heather Holmes

It isn't about the absence of fear, but doing things in spite of it. Each Friday I recognize amazing females I've come across that are helping others change their lives in a positive way and represent a type of fearlessness that we can all learn from and be inspired by.

She's hilarious, smart like a scientist (like for real), can make anything out of cake and fondant, and has a heart of gold. Meet Heather Holmes!

You could call her my neighbor. That's where I started too. But over the last 5 years she's become one of my best friends. At first glance you wouldn't think we had much in common. She's a scientist, I'm in marketing. She's an amazing cake decorator, I burn toast. But we had two girls close in age who found each other and brought us together. We then found a common love for fitness, fun and 90s rap. She really is the master rapper though! Besides all that is the biggest heart in the world. She will show up in ways you didn't know you needed with a listening ear and sound, unbiased advice. Very few times in life do people have an opportunity to befriend someone like this. It's my honor!

Why I chose Heather:

1) Her Heart is Gold

Sweet with a little bit of spice, she shows up for people in her life and others that don't even know her. She shares her delicious gifts for fundraisers, Icing Smiles Cakes for kids with cancer, and her famous monster cookies with her closest friends (which we REALLY appreciate!)

2) She Gives All In

Time is the biggest investment in people we can give. She gives of her time (and talent) like it is endless and she gives 110%. She is one of the most passionate people I know with the upmost integrity in everything she invests her time in. It's those core values that make her a wonderful person and an amazing friend.

3) She breaks barriers

When I first heard Heather ran, and how much, I admit I checked her off my running buddy list! I could never run a half marathon. But after hearing her story of health struggles that I understand based on my own health issues, I was amazed and inspired by her power, strength and dedication. She's brought me to new heights cheering me on all the way! I'm so thankful for a friend like that. Read her story below and you'll understand why she's the best!

Here's her story on overcoming obstacles and fears.

I have some health issues that were really wreaking havoc on my life about 6 -7 years ago. I was home from work on short-term disability and could barely be in an upright position for more than 5 minutes at a time. It was incredibly frustrating and scary to be contemplating applying for social security and long-term disability at 29 years old. After a lot of trial and error with medications, I slowly started to feel better and was able to be upright for longer periods of time and walk longer distances. I began to ease my way back into exercise and work/normal life again. As my condition improved, I asked my neurologist if he thought I could train for a half marathon as I had been contemplating one before I became ill. He immediately told me no, and that with all my various health conditions, it would be too much for my body to take. Anyone who knows me well knows I don’t take being told I am unable to do something all that well. I walked out of his office determined to prove him wrong. After a lot of hard literal blood, sweat, and tears, 6 months later I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon having run the entire way. Crying/hugging my mother at the finish line is still one of my favorite memories of all time. It felt so amazing to know I had come so far and proved my doctor wrong. It was so scary setting that goal for myself because I really had no idea how my body was going to handle such vigorous exercise. I learned two important lessons from that situation that I still utilize in any challenging/scary situation I encounter. The first is that your WHY has to be bigger than all of your excuses and your apprehensions. Your why needs to be inspiring enough to you to keep you going when you inevitably run into obstacles and lose motivation. The second is to “run the mile you’re in.” In other words, don’t spend too much time focusing on how far you still have to go to reach your goal. (This is one of my favorite mantras during really long runs!) At the start of a long run (or big goal), it can be easy to overwhelm yourself with the distance in front of you. Instead, focus on where you are in that moment. Taking your big scary goals/challenges one step at a time makes it feel so much more manageable. It can help get rid of that paralyzing feeling of “this is too big/far/hard for me.” You are capable of so much more than you could ever imagine. You just need to put on your shoes and head out the door!
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