If you had told me two years ago that I would be running the Boston Marathon, I would have told you "that is absolutely not possible." I was 41 years old and completely out of shape. I hadn't run in over 15 years, and I didn't possess the confidence to start. My spirit was broken. Although I had been active when I was younger, running cross country in high school and into my twenties, once I entered the workforce and became consumed by a demanding job I made less time for an activity that I loved so much; one that boosted my spirit, gave me a sense of confidence and strengthened my self-esteem. All balance in my life had been lost. In my late 30's, I lived in a cute apartment in Wellesley Hills outside of Boston, directly on the marathon route. I remember seeing the runners train and feeling hopeless because I believed that there was no way I would ever be able to accomplish anything like that.
Two years ago, my life began to change. Incredible blessings were set in motion. I was fortunate to meet my personal trainer who encouraged me to run my first 5K race in October 2011. My only goal was to finish, and I was so excited when I did! Next up, a 10K. Again, success! In the meantime, the transformation that was happening to me was so incredible that I changed careers. I became a personal trainer to help others achieve their goals through fitness. Soon after, I graduated to my first half-marathon, and that was followed by three more! My thoughts turned to the next logical challenge - a marathon. And, I started to think about Boston, about how a few years earlier I had felt so hopeless looking out onto that marathon route and about how I didn't feel hopeless anymore. I had to give it a try.
Last August, my cousin Kendra from Boston was visiting our family in LA. She had run the Boston Marathon for charity a few years before. As I quizzed her about her experiences, I just knew in my heart that this was it. I should run the Boston marathon for charity. Not only would running a marathon give me a new goal, but I could actually help people by doing the very thing that helped me so much - running.
The Boston Marathon supports many wonderful and deserving organizations through its charity program. The one that stuck out for me was Summer Search. Summer Search sends Boston youth from low-income families on life-changing summer trips and matches them with Boston based mentors during the academic year to prepare them for college and beyond. The first summer trip is always an outward bound program or one like it where students are pushed out of their comfort zones and challenged to their physical boundaries. Students who have never run before are strapping on their sneakers and pushing themselves to their physical limits simply to run a mile. The results are overwhelming:
- 99% of Summer Search seniors graduated high school
- 95% of seniors went to post-secondary education, including 93% to college
- 85% of students in post-secondary are on track to graduate
This charity seemed like a perfect fit for me, because I know how pushing one's self physically can make a life-changing difference.
I am thrilled to tell you that I am an official member of the Summer Search Boston 2013 Marathon Team. My hope is to help and encourage others to achieve their goals through fitness. I am so grateful to God for placing people in my life who have helped support and guide me along this path. I want to use my experiences to help the wonderful kids of Summer Search along theirs. Perhaps most importantly, I am running to prove to myself and others that what we once thought was "absolutely not possible" absolutely IS possible!
My goal is to raise $5,000 for Summer Search. With your help, I am confident I can achieve it. Please give what you can to support me in my first marathon run for the wonderful kids of Summer Search Boston and help me show them that All things are possible.