As most of you know, in 2008 I set foot into a gym hoping to lose some much needed weight and do something big, as my 30th birthday loomed ahead in the next year. My co-workers convinced me to sign up for the 2009 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K. 5 miles!!!
At the time, I thought there was no way that I can do that. I bought some shoes, a pair of cotton workout pants (yes, I said cotton!) and I hit the streets of Chicago in the winter of 2009 training. The first couple of weeks I could barely run a mile but then one mile became 1.5 and then 2. My life started changing and I have never looked back.
Life, unfortunately, had other plans for me and in May 2009 I was diagnosed with Stage 3A cancer while training for my first marathon in Chicago. I wasn't sure how I was even going to beat this but I promised myself that I wouldn't stop training. So there I was, every Saturday, out on the lakefront path slowly moving along, making a pact with myself that I would beat this diagnosis and accomplish four bucket list athletic goals: finish my first marathon, complete an Ironman, finish all 6 world major marathons and run the Chicago marathon 30 years later, at 60.
I accomplished, goal one, that fall, while in treatment, and haven't looked back. I've been in remission since 2011, but I have used the motivation of living a life that I wasn't sure would be here, every day!
So here I am two goals checked off the list, and five of the six world majors accomplished. I will be running the Boston Marathon this spring, to be one of 3,400 people to have completed their six star and run all six world major world marathons, for Team 261 Fearless because living a life without fear is exactly the life I have promised myself I would live.
I am asking each of you to join me this year and help me raise $9,000 for the 261 Fearless Foundation, a global non-profit organization founded by running pioneer Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. 261 Fearless uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through education opportunities, the creation of local 261 running clubs, communication platforms and events.
Kathrine is an inspiration to me that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
Join me in this mission to empower others through the power of running!
Thank you all for being a part of the amazing community of people who have supported me, challenged me and changed my life through this sport!
Learn more about 261 Fearless at www.261fearless.org