THE INSPIRATION DRIVING AMERICA'S STRONGEST FREMALE THRU-HIKER

Known as “Anish” on hiking trails across the United States, backpacker and trail runner Heather Anderson gave herself the name in honor of her great-grandmother’s Native American Anishinaabe heritage. Anderson also made a name for herself this year by becoming the first woman to complete the Calendar-Year Triple Crown, which involves hiking the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles), the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles) and the Continental Divide trails (3,100 miles) all in one season (she began in March and finished in early November)...

20 WOMEN WHO ARE CHANGING THE SPORT OF RUNNING

Just Curves founder, Yolanda Williams and CEO of Dream Big Toy Company, Jodi Norgaard had some inspiring words to share when it came to women influencing the world of athletics...

Norgaard says, “I’ve faced a lot of opposition with people telling me that my dolls wouldn’t sell because they aren’t mainstream, but the truth is mainstream ideas do not create change and I am creating change.” 

“I had no clue if the idea of the Oneder Suit was a good one or profitable one,” says Williams. “I just knew it was something I had to create.”

ONE TRIATHLETE TELLS HER STORY OF RACING DURING TITLE IX ERA

Today, women like Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Danica Patrick, Emma Coburn and the final five Olympic gymnasts dominate the world of sports. With their physiques packed with power and drive filled with the desire to win, very few hold a light to these women, and so many others, who have paved today’s current path of women in sport. However, it’s also important to note that this path has been possible barely in the last 40 years. With feminist movements and more outspoken women leaders at the forefront of our society than ever before, it can be easy to forget that there was once ever a time in sport where women weren’t allowed to compete on the same stage of men; before Title IX passed, women were not afforded those opportunities...

WHY IS EVERYONE POSTING VIDEOS OF 22 PUSHUPS?

The 22 Challenge is a global movement started by veterans and executed by both civilians and military members. After learning that an average of 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day, often stemming from severe PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Honor Courage Commitment, Inc., founded the #22Kill movement to remember and honor those lost at war—or due to the aftermath. The challenge? To do 22 pushups for 22 days, or even 22 weeks, to show support for veteran empowerment programs, to help veterans maximize their talents and understand their value outside of the military, and to demonstrate respect and admiration for those still serving...

7 EXCERCISES TO STRENGTHEN LOWER LEGS

“Crack!” It’s the last thing any runner wants to hear while running…right next to “Pop!” or “Snap!” While discomfort can occur anywhere in the body, the lower legs (calves, ankles and feet) are one of the most vulnerable areas. That’s because bones in this part of your body tend to be more fragile and contain less muscular cushioning. Unfortunately, it’s also these delicate sections that are responsible for carrying the majority of our body weight. Whether you are plodding along pavement, dashing through wilderness trails or beach running in the sand, your lower legs are going to experience some pressure. According to athletic trainer Sarah Koss, who works at Minnesota’s University of Northwestern–St. Paul, there are three lower-leg injuries most common in runners...

COVER RUNNER KILEY LYALL IS DOING EVEN GREATER THINGS!

Remember Kiley? The spunky, smiley, super-fast 2015 cover runner winner who sprinted across the pages of our magazine and into our hearts with her inspiring story of overcoming epilepsy? It has been almost six months since Kiley was featured in our January/February issue and a lot has changed in her life. Back then, she was on the fast track to success—running half marathons in her hometown of Chicago, competing in races to raise awareness for not only epilepsy but also for children with all kinds of special needs and even competing in the State Special Olympics. However, Kiley was also experiencing recurring, life-threatening seizures. When we were shooting her for our cover, Kiley was a candidate for brain surgery, something that could result in her being seizure-free forever...

YUSRA MARDINI SAVES 20 LIVES, JOINS 2016 REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM

Yusra Mardini is a teen refugee, swimmer, and now a member of the first ever Refugee Olympic Team. But Mardini is also one another, more important person: a hero. When the war in Syria escalated in 2015, Mardini and her sister left their home in Damascus to make a treacherous journey to Turkey, then across the Mediterranean Sea to smuggle their way into Greece. Twenty people were crammed into a dingy meant for only six, and the group set sail. On the voyage, the tiny boat began to flip, endangering the lives of everyone abroad, more than they were already endangered just from risking the journey...

PARALYZED WOMAN HIKING THE 2,190-MILE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

A 2,190 mile hike seems like a more than large feat to most people. The Appalachian Trail runs from Maine to Georgia and only one in four individuals who attempt to hike its far reaches complete the endeavor. However, Stacey Kozel, a woman paralyzed in both legs, did anything but shy from the challenge. Kozel is nearly halfway through the hike at 905 miles and, aside from her specialized leg braces, she is doing it alone...

THE ATHLETE WHO WON ESPY’S PAT TILLMAN AWARD IS INCREDIBLE

The 2016 Paralympic Team Trials have come and gone, and our U.S. teams are on their way to Rio for the September games. Sgt. Elizabeth Marks, in addition to being chosen for the U.S. Paralympic swim team, was also awarded the Pat Tillman Award at the 2016 ESPY awards. “The Pat Tillman Award for Service honors those individuals who inspire us with their service and selflessness,” said Connor Schell, senior vice president of ESPN Films and Original Entertainment, in an interview with ESPN Media Zone. “Sgt. Elizabeth Marks—this year’s recipient—is an athlete of remarkable courage and perseverance who has made extraordinary sacrifices in her own life to help others and serve our country.”

OLYMPIAN SERENA WILLIAMS STARS IN BEYONCE VIDEO

Olympic tennis player Serena Williams made a starring appearance in Beyonce’s new music video, “Sorry”—just in time for the Olympic year. The singer’s music video, produced in black and white with Williams dancing alongside Beyonce who sits on her throne, was released Wednesday. Williams has already captivated the world of athletics with her strong demeanor, not to mention amazing tennis skills, so it’s no surprise the Internet went wild when the queen of tennis and the queen of R&B joined forces to make an epic music masterpiece...

LAURIE HERNANDEZ MAKES HISTORY ON U.S. OLYMPIC GYMNASTICS TEAM

The US Olympic Gymnastics Team is said to be one of the hardest US Olympic teams to qualify for. Sixteen-year-old Laurie Hernandez, shocked and wowed the gymnast judges with her enthusiastic and bubbly personality and her high-ranking stunts on the balance beam. Hernandez will be dancing her way to the Rio Olympics this summer along with her teammates Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian. However, the young teen has already begun to make history before even landing on an Olympic mat...

RONDA ROUSEY’S PERFECT NEVER CAMPAIGN IS BADASS

Professional UFC fighter Ronda Rousey used to pride herself on her once-undefeated and unmatched fighting record. Then, in 2015, perfection came to a crashing halt when Rousey took a fierce foot swing to the head from Holly Holm during a fight in Australia. Rousey took both a physical and emotional beating, culminating with the fighter taking some time away from the limelight. Now Rousey is back, inspiring us all to embrace our humane imperfections with her new campaign with Reebok: #PerfectNever...

MULTIPLE OLYMPIANS HAVE BEEN HELD AT GUNPOINT IN RIO

The 2016 Olympics Games in Rio will get the world excited for competition and homeland pride as it does every four years. However, Zika warnings, a jaguar escape during the torch ceremony, and, just recently, potentially violent circumstances have created a dark cloud over Brazil with barely six weeks until the opening ceremony. Though petty crime has always been a part of Brazilian culture, recent robberies at gunpoint pose a threat to the wide number of professional athletes flocking to Rio to compete in August...

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