Today’s Rockstar Runner has a very special story, because running not only changed her life, it saved her life. I was moved to tears when I read it, and grateful that she was generous enough to share it with all of us. Please pass this story on, because you never know who might be going through a similar struggle, and hearing this story of hope might make the difference between life and death.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am 47 years old. I have three grown children and three grandchildren, I am a full time employee at Publix and a full time student studying human resources. I live in Auburn, Alabama. I have been running for two years.
How/why did you start running?
I started running after a very messy divorce that left me broke and homeless. I had packed on the pounds and didn’t even reconize myself anymore. I was a tired, old, heavy, suicidal woman who had given up on life. My children were all adults with families of their own and I was at the end of my rope.
I can remember sitting in my broken down mini van in the parking lot of McDonald’s after using my last dollar to buy a cup of coffee and thinking “why go on like this? I have some meds for anxiety, why not swallow the bottle and fall asleep? I’m just a useless waste of space.” But, before I did that, I called my son. I didn’t tell him what I was thinking, but I think he knew. He told me to hang on while he called my daughter. My daughter put me on a plane to my mom’s house the next day . I arrived in Boston exhausted and broken. My 83 year old mother asked me an interesting question. She said ” where were you when you were the happiest?” My answer “Alabama”. She said “then go there and find your happy again.” She then co-signed an apartment for me and put me on a plane to Alabama.
I arrived with no car and very little money, yet I knew big changes were about to happen. I walked the next day to find a job….success. Then I went to the gym that was included in my rent and walked on the treadmill for the first time in years. After the first week I had lost two pounds. Then I started running a little and after a month I took my running outside. It was a long road before I dared to try my hand at a 5k. I finished in 45 minutes. I haven’t stopped running since and I’m now down 110 pounds, a size zero and a 24 minute 5k. I have run half marathons and training for a full in 10 weeks. I will also be running the Pine Mountain 40 in December. It’s a 40 mile ultra marathon.
What do you love about running – what keeps you coming back time after time?
Running gives me time to think and regroup. It makes me strong mentally and physically.
How do you get yourself out the door on days when you’re just not ‘feeling it’?
I think about those dark days and how far I’ve come and how I never want to go back. Moving forward is the only option.
Do you have an inspirational and/or funny running story (or stories!) to share with us?
I always tell the same story, but I’ll tell it again.
I was on vacation last year in San Francisco when I decided to run from my hotel to the Golden Gate bridge and cross it. It was a bucket list item for me.
I ran along the 14 mile route to the bridge when suddenly the sidewalk ran out and I found myself in some traffic. I turned around and saw a sign with a picture of the bridge and the words ” scenic route”. I took that path and ended up on a beach. It was beautiful. Between the awesome waves crashing on the shore, my blaring beats and the view of the bridge itself, I didn’t notice, until I was a mile onto that beach run, that everyone, except me, was totally nude. I text my boyfriend to ask him what I should do and he told me I had two choices, either get naked or keep running. I kept running. And I finally made it. I ran across the Golden gate bridge and back. It was wonderful.
How has running changed your life?
Running has changed everything about my life. I would not be the person I am today without it.
What words of wisdom do you have for brand new runners?
Never give up and never put yourself down. Baby steps. Just keep moving forward.
What are your favorite inspirational blogs to follow?
Have you ever been injured running, and how did you recover?
I had to have some PT for a tight back, but I’ve never been injured.
What running gear do you think you can’t live without?
My Mizuno gloves in the winter and my wireless iFrogz headphones.
What’s your favorite race distance?
13.1, but anything over that is also great. I’m more of an endurance runner than a sprinter. I don’t really like the fast 5K’s.
What was your favorite race?
Auburn classic half Marathon.
What are your top 3 songs to listen to when you run?
Brave :Sarah Barellis
Psycho – Rozzi Crane
Hello, my name is – Matthew West
Treadmill or outdoors?
Anything else you’d like us to know?
My life is now wonderful and complete. I had to start my life over and remember how to truly live again. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself, but now I have finally found me again. Depression is real, hopelessness is real, and suicide is forever. God was with me that night. That one phone call changed everything.
If you ever find yourself in a desperate place, please reach out. I never would have known the joy I know now. Holding my grandchildren, laughing with my kids, enjoying every moment I can with the wonderful man I now share my life with, and the joy of running and feeling free. Who would have imagined that my life would be this wonderful. I never, in a million years, would have thought, for one second, that my life would turn out like this.
How can we find/follow you on social media?
Such an incredible story, right? Please share with someone you love!
If you’d like to read about other Rockstar Runners, click HERE.