How it all Started
Growing up, I never played any organized sports. I was never did team sports in high school. I wasn’t a loner by any stretch, I just wasn’t into sports or athletic activities. Then I went away to college and found that my university had one the best fitness facilities. Going to the rec center was an activity that I did with my friends and sorority sisters. It was in college that I started to enjoy exercising.
After I graduated with my degree in special education I landed an amazing teaching job. I had a class of seven students all with severe to profound disabilities. It was incredibly rewarding but stressful. I started running after school as means of stress reduction after a rough day in the classroom.
In October of 2005 I completed my first ever 5K with a couple of friends. Shortly after that I watched the Chicago marathon and thought to myself “I can do this.” I was amazed to see all ages, shapes, and sizes running. I decided on that day that next year that would be me. So, I went around telling everyone I knew that I would be running the Chicago Marathon in 2006. I selected a charity, the Run for Autism group, and raised money for them. I trained hard and worked even harder and in October of 2006 I completed my second race and finished in just over four hours.
Just like everyone else, I was hooked on running and continued to run various races in Chicago and enjoy long runs on the lakefront. Running was my “me” time. It was my therapy.
I gave birth to my amazing daughter in June of 2009 and in November of 2009 while I was running on my treadmill I decided that again, I was going to run another marathon. 10/10/10 was exactly one week after I turned 30 and so once again I set my goal to run Chicago as part of the Run for Autism group. Thanks to the support of my amazing husband I set out for long runs with CARA and got out of bed at the crack of dawn for countless mornings.
I finished my second marathon in 3:53 and I know that my marathon days are far from over.
Since then I have run several ½ marathons and other races. This past October, I did the Title IX women’s race and my daughter who is now three got to run her first kids dash. Her first comment upon crossing her finish line was “I want the next race to be longer.”
I love running and I love fitness. More importantly I love that my I am setting an example for my daughter who enjoys doing push-ups and jumping jacks right by my side. I know that our running and fitness days together are just beginning.