The Flourishing Experiment

Featured guest and Runner of the Week, Kim Stemple, gives listeners an update on her health and her organization We Finish Together since her last appearance on TRLS in November and since her story went viral through Runner’s World and social media. Go-to, real-food dietitian Serena Marie, RD, talks about the importance of being mindful and having conversations during mealtimes. Kari and Serena also get deep and discuss gratitude.

Featured Guest and Runner of the Week: Kim Stemple

Kim Stemple, previously featured on “Special Mindful Monday w/Kim Stemple, Founder Of We Finish Together” (Episode 103) gives Kari and listeners an update on her health issues, including a painful nerve condition called sodium channelopathy, a rare mitochondrial disease, benign bone tumors, and lymphoma.

  • Kim is at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Maryland currently, and her doctors are baffled as to how she’s frankly still alive.
  • Kari and Kim recap the Cupid’s Undie Run in Washington, DC in February and what a wonderful race it is that goes to charity (Children’s Tumor Foundation).
  • She shares what she’s learned being in palliative care, which is a multidisciplinary approach to specialised medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis.
  • This month, she’s hoping to do the Shamrock Marathon's Townebank 8K and the Anthem half marathon in Virginia Beach, VA, then she hopes to do a North Face Endurance Challenge 50K trail race in April.
  • Her palliative care doctor approves of Kim having goals and anything to keep her going, and the 50K will be a family event.
  • Kari mentions “What Happy People Do” (Episode 24) based off of Bronnie Ware’s book—some of the top things that people share with her.
  • Kari asked Kim if she felt comfortable sharing, and Kim thinks it’s necessary to talk about what happy people do in the face of challenges.
  • Every moment is a gift, and we tend to look at the negative side, and Kim looks at the positive side now since she’s been in palliative care. Everyone’s journey isn’t the same, and we need to talk about other things than being sick and to talk about what makes us happy.
  • Kim tries to look at the present and takes things one day at a time. Things are so much worse if you dread them versus just hoping for the best. Take the happiness as it comes, and don’t dread what’s to come. Don’t sweat Mile 26 of the marathon at Mile 1. Run each mile that you’re in.
  • She also talks about wishing she had gotten together with friends more despite the messy house or no makeup. The you is what’s inside, not how clean your house is or what’s on your face. Just like a runner is a runner no matter how fast you can.
  • Kim’s big thing now is to smile at every runner that she sees and to say hi. It calms people down and changes the race experience.
  • Don’t let a [test] result (of any kind) measure you. You are not your finishing time in a marathon or how much money you have in a bank account.
  • What you say to someone else defines you as a person.
  • With We Finish Together, the medal is a way to get the ribbon to someone, but it’s the words on the ribbon that mean the most.
    • Right now the organization is doing a children’s literacy outreach program.
    • They send medals to hospitals, such as to a girl named Ruby. According to the We Finish Together Facebook page, “She received her own medal for strength and courage while battling soft tissue cancer. Since then, Ruby's been paying it forward and handing out medals to her friends at the Children's Hospital of Atlanta.” They use the medals as art therapy!
    • We Finish Together also sends medals to an organization called Back on My Feet, which “uses running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence” according to their site.
    • To start your own We Finish Together fleet, go to the site here.
    • The second life of the medal is so inspiring!
  • Be afraid not to try. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Start within your own community to see what you can do and how to be a positive force.
  • No one’s day is promised, so find a way to find some happiness in every day. Use your energy wisely, and be the change of positive.

Marchin’ (or Runnin’) with Jabra

TRLS show sponsor, Denmark-based Jabra, is giving away a pair of Pulse or Coach earbuds this month, so run over to and sign up for the TRLS e­mail list at to enter to win (in addition to receiveing the amazing 11 Strategies to Live the Running Lifestyle)! This month’s winner will also be the lucky recipient of a thirty-­­minute Skype chat with Kari. She loves the Pulse model because of its unparalleled sound quality, it’s customizable ear bud options, and available in-ear heart rate monitoring feature.

Serena Marie, RD

Serena Marie, RD, talks about studies which strongly suggest that children who eat meals with their families have lower BMIs. Maximize the quality time that you have with your family but also better your children’s health. Studies focused on three actions:

  • #1: Create the habit if it doesn’t exist already of finding time to eat with your family and children. Put meals on the schedule if need be.
    • Kari’s husband and son make sure to have breakfast together.
    • They have dinner together at least three times a week.
  • #2: It’s also important to spend around 20 minutes at the table during meals.
  • #3: Have positive conversation at the dinner table. Keep the conversation light in general.
  • Kari loves the idea of discussing with her family what was one positive during everyone’s day but also what was something each person has failed at (which might sound counterintuitive). Sometimes we’re so afraid of failure, that we don’t try things.
  • Kari mentions Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University who talks about having a fixed or a growth mindset. One of the worst things we can say to a child is that he or she is smart. The most important thing that kids can do is to try.
  • She also mentions Brene’ Brown’s books Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead and Rising Strong.
  • Kari has inspired Serena to try new things and not to shy away from new challenges.
  • Kari talks about her three vision boards, one of which from November 2013 says the following:
    • Possible
    • Spread a little sunshine
    • Courage
  • Serena tells the story of she and Tim Van Hooser (the “master connector”) in the grocery store.
  • Kari chats about the gratitude jar concept in her house. They write things that they are grateful for on brightly colored sticky notes and place them in the jar.
  • Kari asks what Serena is grateful for, and she says she’s happy for a lifting victory during a squat (her heaviest weight to date) recently, and she’s enjoying lifting and doing HIIT workouts.
  • Kari is grateful that she’s able to get in for her MRIs of her back, brain, and spine quickly.
  • Kari gives a shout to Christine Schwindt who got into the TCS New York City Marathon and Phyllis Strand, who is signing up for Action for Healthy Kids for Chicago. Kari also gives a shout out to Todd Miller, who was named most improved runner by the Loudoun Road Runners

April Book of the Month

Kari announces April’s book of the month, which will be 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. The premise of the book is that we have more time than we think during the week, and we need to get our priorities straight—like being able to have chance encounters and talking to people. If you follow your heart, things happen!

Next week, Kari chats with some of the Harrisburg, PA runners for her recent Fleet Feet Sports meet up and how the gift of running has changed their lives. And don’t forget to leave a review of TRLS on iTunes please! Here’s how:

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Kim Stemple:
Facebook: /kimberlystemple
Twitter: @StempleKim



Serena Marie, RD:
Facebook: /SerenaMarieRD
Twitter: @SerenaMarieRD
Instagram: SerenaMarieRD


Kari Gormley:
final unedited 2 (1 of 1)
Facebook: The Running Lifestyle Show
Twitter: @KariGormley
Instagram: @KariGormley

Direct download: kim-stemple-03-24-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EDT