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Heidi is proof positive that “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” is not just a cliché. It is a truth that is proven over and over by so many like Heidi, who manage to do what others deem impossible. sunsets, and inspirational vistas after a long, long climb. . . . When I am on my long trail runs I feel connected to myself and to nature. . . . I am usually ready to tackle anything after one of my long trail runs.” “Ultra Moms” Make The World A Better Place Heidi sees all she does as nothing less than a necessary part of being a good mother. She notes that, in her opinion, the most important part of being a mother is “loving [her children], caring for them, and preparing them to become responsible adults in a crazy world.” Susan has run distances of up to 50 miles – by slowly and steadily working up to farther distances. During the week, she runs anywhere from 3 to 6 miles at a time, and reserves weekends for long distance trail running, logging three hours, four hours, even all day runs when the her mind and body allow her to run for such prolonged periods. Sports Gwinnett’s “Ultra Moms” prove that the ways in which parents can care for and inspire their children are endless. There certainly is no one particular path one must follow. And all, in their own way, have proven to be awesome moms. And they influence many more lives than those of their own children. These ladies have and do make positive impressions upon everyone they encounter. No one could dispute that she has and is going beyond her call to duty. Susan Fleming A Truly Ultra “Ultra Mom” S ports Gwinnett’s final “Ultra Mom” is Susan Fleming. Born in Lima, Peru, she has lived in Gwinnett County since 1990. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Susan has been a nurse practitioner since 2002. She works with Gwinnett Medical Center’s IMPACT program, where she is responsible for evaluating and helping to prepare “higher risk” patients for surgery. Susan and her husband, Bill, are “ultra” runners – those who regularly run distances beyond the traditional marathon distance of 26.2 miles. Susan started running 22 years ago after the birth of her first child – for the simple purpose of losing weight and maintaining her health. When she first started, she had no goal (nor idea, for that matter) that she would be running the distances she runs these days. Susan and Bill have two sons – William, 22, and Andrew, 20. They attended Collins Hill High School, both running cross-country. William also played soccer and Andrew played lacrosse. Susan was team mom for William’s soccer teams for several years. William is currently a senior in college and played soccer in college (Nova Southeastern University) for three years. He is contemplating attending medical school upon graduating from college. Andrew is currently in training with the United States Coast Guard in Cape May, New Jersey. Upon completing his training at the end of this month, he will then have a five-year commitment with the Coast Guard. To sum up her main role as a mother, Susan believes she has been a role model for her children with respect to the notion that one is never too old to start something new. She went back to school when they were 8 and 10 years old. (They saw firsthand that, with true commitment, one can “change course” and always find new a new path in life.) And even now, at 47, she is proving that it is never too But with the encouragement of her hus- late to follow a new passion and push oneself band, she simply started walking and running mentally and physically. at times and paces with which she felt com- With one of her sons pondering medifortable. As a matter of fact, for 21 years, she cal school, and the other serving in the Coast described her running as “low key.” It has only Guard, it is safe to say that Susan has met her been in the last year (after joining Gwinnett goal of being the type of role model she set out Medical Center’s running club) that she has to be. worked up to ultra distances. Within the last year, she has taken up trail running as well, enjoying the beauty of nature a trail run brings, as well as the relaxation and energy she gains on these runs. Notes Susan, “for me, ultra running is about slowing down and truly enjoying the process of running for hours on end while watching wildlife, beautiful Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to each one of Sports Gwinnett’s “Ultra Moms.” Reg L. Carver is a writer and photographer in Johns Creek, Georgia. You may find him at and More Online Check online for the story when it gets posted for an image gallery from our photo shoot weekend, plus short videos taken during the shoot. Celebrating 10 Years of Supporting School Sports Catering parties, sports banquets and events on premise in two event spaces. 835 Lawrenceville/Suwanee Road Lawrenceville Georgia 30043 770-339-0909 www.ottavern. com SPORTS GWINNETT MAGAZINE MAY 2014 21

Sports Gwinnett, May 2014

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