Saturday Spotlight- Sharon Madison-Fricker

NAME: Sharon Madison-Fricker

AGE: 42 (as of last week)

NICKNAME: When I was a child my grandfather called me “Short Stop” because I was so small and fast. I actually thought that was my name until my Mom corrected me in a supermarket. I secretly wish that I had an adult nickname lol.

HOMETOWN: Complicated. The day before I was born my family moved from southern CA to Memphis, TN. When I was 2 years old we moved back to Thousand Oaks, CA. When I was 12 (against my severe protests) we moved to Commack, NY. I learned to love it and now consider Long Island my home. I have lived in Chicago and in Florida and I couldn’t wait to move back to Long Island each time.

CURRENT TOWN: Ronkonkoma

MARITAL STATUS: Married and in love for 18 years come November ❤

PETS: Buttercup (60lb terrier mix) and Fiona (70+lb pitbull/lab mix) – Otherwise known as The Princesses or The Girls.

OCCUPATION: Full Time: Marketing Manager for an International Courier and Customs Brokerage company. Part Time: Yoga Instructor

EDUCATION: BA in Psychology from SUNY Stonybrook, MBA from Dowling, Certified Yoga Instructor

FAVORITE SONG: Depends on the day and activity. I love my yoga music and make it a big part of my classes. “For What It’s Worth” re-mix by DJ Drez is in almost every one of my class playlists. Alternative metal and workout re-mix is key for a good run and/or workout. “A Warrior’s Call” by Volbeat is a must for the hills. 1960’s rock, Depeche Mode, Country, POD… too much to choose from. Yes, I know that I am a mess.

FAVORITE KICKS: I love my Brooks but I have my eyes on a pair of Hoka One – I hear they are like running on clouds.

MAIN INTERESTS: Running (obviously), Yoga, My Dogs, Strength Training, Obstacle Racing, hiking, anything outdoors really, all things silly and fun, Golf, travel, health & wellness, cooking, anything history related….

WO AM I?: The true crux of who I am, my true purpose, is inspiration and help for others. Everything that I am comes from a place of love and a genuine drive to help other people love themselves, find the courage to be themselves and become the best versions of themselves.

WORDS TO LIVE BY: 1. PERSPECTIVE! 2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

OK, so, DON’T MIND THE MESS! Where do I even start? When Lou asked me to be the warrior of the week I was so flattered and honored. I truly enjoy reading the posts from everyone else each week and you all have such amazing stories. So, here goes…. I will try to not write a novel.

I am new to running as of Jan 2017. I now love to run. I am a member of Northport Running Club and the Northport Women’s Racing Team. I LOVE to adventure/obstacle race and SPARTANS are now my obstacle race of choice. I strength train a few days a week and do A LOT of yoga. I absolutely love to teach Yoga. I feel that my personal destiny, my purpose, is to inspire others and to help others thru difficult times. Inspiring others is what lights my internal fire and helps me be my own best version of myself.

Traveling is another passion of mine. My Father and I travel the world together. We have been traveling together as a ritual since I got married and that is our way of staying close. I feel that it is my job as the youngest (and favorite lol) to fulfill his bucket list. Our next trip is to Greece in September.

I am the youngest of four. My brother, the oldest, was diagnosed with Melanoma when he was 27 years old. He fought for 10 years and lost his battle at 37 years old in 1999. I have a sister that lives in Madison, WI and another sister that lives in California. When I was born all of my siblings were teenagers. I was (am) spoiled rotten!

I met my sweet husband in college in 1995. We became very best friends and did everything together. We finally started dating in 1999 and we were married in November 2000. He is still my very best friend and my family.

I have been into fitness and yoga from a very young age. All the way to my adulthood I loved fitness and kept in decent shape. But I never liked to run. Running hurt my lungs and body. Runners were like a different breed of human to me and I never thought that I would be one.

In 2009 my entire world was set ablaze. I finally became pregnant after years of trying. The entire family was ecstatic! I went into pre-term labor and had my son at 36 weeks. Joshua was small but he was going to thrive. After two days his body began to shut down and he ended up on life support. My husband and I held him as they unplugged everything. I had to burry my sweet little boy. No being should have to suffer such a circumstance. So… I lost myself. Looking back I see that I wanted to loose myself. Over the years I became extremely unhealthy. I gained A LOT of weight and every day I felt sick – I always felt like I had a cold or flu coming on or something. I would try to regain my health but just didn’t care enough or think that I deserved to feel good. I secretly wanted to suffer, thinking that was me being a good mother. My husband was amazing and loved me fully thru everything without judgment or expectation. He suffered too but was a complete saint with me.

Finally, fast forward to Christmas 2015. I was 170+ pounds at 5’2” and I felt like I was dying every day. Something in me sparked and I woke up a little. I decided to change my perspective. I was 39 years old and had already outlived my brother and was living only to suffer. I decided to live my life in honor of those that could not- I was destroying the most beautiful of gifts of each passing day. I decided to begin each day feeling thankful for my life and for those that I have loved. By Christmas 2016 I had lost 65 pounds and found my passion in inspiring others. There is SO much more to this story but I don’t want to write a novel here.

I still was not a runner but thought that some short runs were a good way to keep the weight off. In Jan 2017 I decided to join my first real 5K at the Jones Beach Winter Run Series. I did not know a soul! I just showed up, got my number, ran and went home. I felt like such an outsider but I loved it just the same. I decided that I would get up the nerve to actually talk to people at the next race (which took every ounce of my courage) but I did it. After a few races I met my great running friend and mentor at Aspire 2017 and was then introduced to NRC. The rest of my running and racing is history lol. I ran my first Marathon in Suffolk October 2017. Zero to 26.2 in 10 months… yes it can happen!

I firmly believe that everything in life is about perspective and choice. After what I have gone thru, everything has a different perspective. Hard stuff just doesn’t seem that hard anymore. And loving life each day is a perspective that I choose every morning via gratitude and love.

So…. Those are some of my more gory details. It is going to take some serious courage for me to post this. Eak!