Spot Light Blog: Samantha

Spot Light Blog: Samantha


One of the first blogs I wrote was about finding your motivation. I truly and passionately believe that if you find what motivates you and what drives you to get up out of bed each day, you’ll be more successful and more consistent. You need to find that fire, deep down that you can draw on when you have nothing left to give. This lady I’m spotlighting today- found her motivation. She has a chronic illness called POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Never heard of it? I hadn’t either- and I’m in the medical field.  It’s a disorder that affects the central nervous system in people who were previously healthy. It’s characterized by an increase in heart rate & decrease in blood pressure which cause dizziness, fatigue, weakness and other debilitating symptoms.

That is Samantha’s fire. This is her reason to get up each day. Samantha refuses to let her disease win. She fights each day to beat this and to prove to her kids and other POTS patients that the disease doesn’t have to control you.  Now POT’s unfortunately found Sam, but she dug deep into that set back and found her motivation. I watched as Sam struggled to find her footing with this new illness for the first few years. It was a major lifestyle change for her and her family. The right mix of medicine and lifestyle were something of trial and error for her, each person with this disease is different.   Oh, and did I mention Sam is a high school assistant principal too? Sam’s plate was full with two young kids, a stressful job and a household to run- who has time for anything more?!?! But somehow, she found the space. She made health and exercise a priority.  How? By finding her motivation and letting it light a fire in her.

I watched as Sam joined a gym, found a trainer and kept herself accountable. She found what worked for her and ran with it. She ran in fact, right through this year’s Wicked Muddy Mainer Obstacle Course race.   Now, I will admit- when Sam agreed to do this with me, I was concerned about her health a little. I’d done several mud runs, they are hard.  I worried for a minute about if her body would let her do this.  Then that minute passed and I saw how strong she was and realized that it didn’t matter what her body said- she was doing it.  So in July of this year, Samantha and I took on 4 miles of the thickest mud I’ve ever seen and 20 obstacles that tested not only our physical ability but our mental toughness- and I’m proud to say we did every, single one and finished with smiles on.  I watched Samantha battle through fatigue and heart palpitations and win every single time.

Moral of the story, find what Sam found. Find what makes you want to do and be better. If she can find time to make it work, so can you.  Stop making excuses, get inspired. Read about Samantha and start your journey. Or start it again.  Whatever it takes to get you there, do it.

Jana Grant

About Jana Grant

I am a qualified, and I like to think fairly skilled, Occupational Therapist specializing in geriatrics and hospice care. I have an undergraduate degree from Springfield College in Springfield, MA in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from Springfield College as well. Prior to that, I was a standout student-athlete from Bucksport High School- later following my passion and skill of softball onto Springfield at the collegiate level.