Not all transformation stories are created equal, what motivates one person to make a change in their lives may not necessarily be the same thing that motivates another. Recently I was able to speak with Kimberly Easterling-Stewart, aka The Mud Pixie. Kim recently debuted her new mud pixie look this past spring and while many people think her costume is “cute” there is a deeper meaning behind why she wears the costume. Before we get into all of that, lets get down to the nitty gritty, who is Kimberly Easterling-Stewart?
Kim was an ordinary girl growing up in Texas, she was involved in sports, very athletic and she was a wrestler and played softball in high school. She was so good in fact she scored a scholarship to play softball at Northwood University. All was going great for Kim until after her first year of college. Personal hardships ensued and she was unable to go to school for her sophmore year. Faced with a difficult decision on what to do with her future, she took an easy way out. She ran off with her boyfriend at the time who was a military man.
Vincent Van Gogh once said “As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.” I believe that after speaking with Kim, everything she has gone through to this point, has made her the person she is and her inner strength was forged.
The military years were to say the least, less than thrilling. This us where everything started to snowball into the place where this transformation truly begins. After having their first child, it started with trying to just lose the baby weight. Several years consisted of yo-yo dieting and no exercise. Then came the car accidents, two car totaling accidents in a six week time period. Having hurt her neck in these accidents, this is when she felt the first signs of depression.
Depression hits us all in different ways, sometimes we feel like we are not good enough, skinny enough, or worthy enough for all of the people in our lives and unfortunately we are the only one who can eventually tell ourselves we are and we can and we will. She told me “You don’t know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice.” Before we get to where Kim was able to say all of that, she had a few more hardships to endure. As if the accidents and neck injury was not enough, she found the holidays approaching in the fall of 2012. The only bright spot she had, is that they found out they were pregnant with their second child. Unfortunately on black Friday of that year, she lost the baby. This started a spiral of self loathing and more depression. Not only was she dealing with the loss of the unborn child, but she had to also deal with the fact that her two sisters had also become pregnant and were having their babies around the same time she would have had hers.
“You don’t know how strong you are, until strong is the only choice”
In 2013 fast approaching the year anniversary of her loss, she found herself weighing close to 220 lb at 5’5″. She had been battling her weight and was fluctuating between 168-200 lbs, but now she had finally had enough. In February of 2013, she saw an advertisement for “The Vampire 5k.” She made a decision she was going to run that race, she went to Ehow.com and downloaded how to train for a 5k run and started working the plan. Kim stated: “I had this feeling, like I had wasted my life and I never lived up to my potential” and she was determined to do something about it.
“I had this feeling, like I had wasted my life and I never lived up to my potential”
Four weeks into her training, she was sticking to the plan, she started eating a little better, making smart swaps on eating healthier. Then a friend asked her to run in a race benefiting Lupus. She ran her first 5k, running the whole time in 33 min. Having felt such a sense of accomplishment, she continued to train, vowing to run at least one run a month.
Then on June 1, 2013, she ran her first obstacle style race, the Fair Park Urban Dash. This race had become her motivation, where she feels it all started. Her grandfather passed away just days before this event. So along with her cousin, they dedicated this race to him. Kim is still weighing close to 185 lbs and felt like she was doing everything right. This event is where the light bulb went off, she fell in love with OCR.
By August she decided she would sign up for the Tough Mudder. Knowing this was a serious race, she decided she needed to get serious about everything. Not only was she training, but she also went on an 8-week therapy session to get her neck, back and hips fixed from those accidents she had a few years before. Better eating habits, running, physical therapy and spin class is what her weeks entailed. Then in October 4-weeks before the Tough Mudder, she started taking supplements. When she started this, she went from 175 lbs down to 158 lbs by the time she competed in the TM at the end of October.
“I want to be the best me I can be and the person I was always meant to be.”
She then went on to compete in Savage Race and The Spartan Beast to end the year. In 2014 she made an all out dedication to the OCR world and as she says, “I want to be the best me I can be and the person I was always meant to be.”
After competing in the Atlanta Spartan Sprint, she felt after placing 3rd in her age group and 13th overall on day 2 in the open heats, she had a new goal. She was going to focus the remainder of the year to reach her goal of running in the elite heats instead of the open heats.
So now we have come full circle since the beginning of the article. Kim created the Mud Pixie persona to show everyone that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. Her costume, or her wings rather represent her transformation, on how she didn’t let depression beat her, she didn’t let her weight slow her down, she made the decision to reshape her mind, her body and most importantly her spirit. She has started this journey and she really shows no sign of slowing down.