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iGnite Spotlight: San Diego Member, Sara Swanson


I grew up in a small rural town in Nebraska (population of about 800!). For college, I wanted to head somewhere warm, so I went straight south and attended the University of Arkansas. I graduated with a fine arts degree and became a graphic designer in Memphis, TN where I met my husband, Tim. From there we moved to Chicago, Pittsburgh, PA, and then to sunny San Diego.

Family Life

Tim and I have been married 12 years and we now have two crazy active boys, Jack (8) and Nate (6). They keep us busy with sports and Jack’s favorite new place, the Del Sur Skate park. We also have a sweet rescue dog named Mia.

Work Life

I worked for 10 years as a graphic designer and art director, and then started up my own custom jewelry design business. When we moved to San Diego, with two small boys (6 months old and 2 years old!) I decided to concentrate on family and my health. I also keep busy with volunteering and room mom activities in each of their classes.

I am most inspired by...

My parents inspire me. They both taught me that working hard and doing your best will take you far in life. My mom was a hard working teacher for 25 years and to this day is tough to keep up with! My dad was an electrical engineer, but decided to take over the family farm with his brother in Nebraska to help turn around a struggling farm-and that he did. He was a very hard worker and instilled that in my sister and I. He would use his engineering talents inventing machines for the farm and eventually powered their new house with a wind powered generator that he built himself! He taught me that “great things are possible if you put your mind to it”. He passed away after a fight with Lymphoma in 2009, but still inspires me to this day.

The biggest lesson I've learned through my iGnite experience is....

iGnite has taught me that exercise can change so much in a person’s life. It can change you mentally as well as physically. I have struggled with rheumatoid arthritis since I was 12, and there were many times doctors would tell me not to run or even jump. Now, I do know my limits, and know I will never be a marathon runner, but ignite has taught me that I can push myself and am capable of more than I think. I am stronger because of ignite mentally and physically. It is also so much more than just an exercise group, it is truly a place to support each other and build friendships. Some of us are at the same stage in life, and some in others, but I think its great we can all come together and learn and be encouraged by each other.

When I have free time you'll find me..

I am usually baking something and trying out new recipes I found on Pinterest! I love changing dessert recipes by trying to make them healthier -but don’t get me wrong, I still love the real deal!

I also love to shop, paint, and go to the beach with my boys. It’s fun watching them explore and find new treasures. And of course, I love going to the iGnite classes as much as possible!

My favorite t.v. show is....

I love watching The Voice because its just so cool to see how crazy talented people are! I also like watching This is Us, and shows that take you to a different time period like The Queen.

I am looking most forward to...

going on a trip to Hawaii or the Caribbean. Anywhere, you can swim in warm blue water! I love to travel and see different places and have new adventures!

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