Tara Costa first caught our hearts during The Biggest Loser season 7, and she’s gone on to do some great things, including training for her first Ironman. Her favorite part of the grueling race? “It’s definitely the camaraderie amongst the athletes. Ever since the first race I participated in, I realized how giving and inspiring all the athletes are,” Costa said. “I am so blessed to have the opportunity to participate and be pushed by elite athletes.”
If you would have told her a few years ago she’d be competing with world class athletes, Costa wouldn’t have believed it. She sees the race as a testament to how far she’s come. “I also love when I see the finish line. Each time I have the finish line in sight, I realize that I am doing something that I would never have been able to do years back. The finish line reminds me of how far I have come and how you can do anything you set your mind to do.”
Aside from continuing to push herself physically, Costa’s been hard at work creating her own foundation Kicks4Kids. This program, designed to supply under privileged children with new sneakers and a playbook, will provide the child different exercise games/activities to help them achieve the daily 60 minutes of exercise that is currently recommended. Kicks4Kids is set to launch in Hawaii in October, coinciding with the Ford Ironman World Championship that Costa will run.
After competing on The Biggest Loser in season seven, Tara Costa knew she didn’t want to go back to her old finance job. “I knew that I wanted to continue down the path of helping people, and helping people never feel the way I felt at 300 pounds,” she told DietsInReview in an interview yesterday. “Realistically, it’s a horrible feeling to never be able to feel comfortable in your own skin.” Tara knew she wanted to be involved with helping people live healthier lives on a daily basis. “It always stemmed from, ‘How can I make a difference?’ ”
Tara answered this question in two ways. The first was to return to school and pursue her masters in physical education. The second was to found the Inspire Change Foundation. Tara explains that the mission of Inspire Change is “to help both children and adults to lead healthier lives and to embrace change, and not be fearful of it.”
Over the past year, Tara and her team led by executive director Michelle Robie have worked to turn her idea into a reality. “A lot of time, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into creating everything,” Tara says. The foundation’s first project is Kicks 4 Kids, which will provide athletic shoes to children from kindergarten through eight grade who would not otherwise be able to afford them. Their goal for 2011 is to donate over 500 pairs of shoes to kids in at least 10 cities in the U.S.