In less than a few weeks, I will cross a threshold of achievement called my 40th birthday. Like most women my age, I started thinking about turning 40 shortly after turning 30. These thoughts started to get even louder as every year passed and I wondered a few years ago if I should create a bucket list for myself? Who doesn’t love an inspiring checklist of things to do or try as they enter a new decade of their life?
I am not dreading turning 40. Not at all. I am running towards it at warp speed - seriously! I have been given the honor and opportunity to run the 2020 Boston Marathon and will be running on behalf of 261 Fearless, an amazing charity organization and in memory of my grandmother Catherine DiTullio.
Growing up in Massachusetts, you did not have to be a runner to know the Boston Marathon was something extraordinary. I didn’t become a runner until almost eight years ago, thanks to Stacy, my best friend who challenged me to run a half marathon. It was not until completing my first half-marathon, the Smuttynose Rockfest in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and a few other half marathons, that the idea of running the Boston Marathon was added to my bucket list.
My grandmother, Catherine was supportive in many things I have done in life, including running. I can still recall watching the Boston Marathon with her a few years ago and told her my little secret of wanting to run the 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon someday. I can still recall vividly, even though Alzheimer’s was taking away pieces of my grandmother a lot at that time, the grin she gave me with the encouraging words of “You can do it!”, she knew it wasn’t a question of if I would run Boston but when.
When my grandmother passed in 2018, I promised that I would make her proud and promised to keep her light and her spirit alive. By running Boston 2020, I feel I’ll be fulfilling that wish in some way and continue making her proud.
We have been conditioned to be afraid of turning 40. Remember Sally’s meltdown in When Harry Met Sally?
Sally: [Crying hysterically] And I’m going to be 40!
Harry: In eight years!
Sally: But it’s there! It’s like a big dead end!
Only this isn’t the end. As I turn 40, I still have much left to do including lots of hours and miles training! This year, my 39th, I have been building my cocoon in preparation of my upcoming #thisis40 butterfly version of myself that I am hoping will emerge. I hope you follow my journey through my Facebook and Instagram accounts!
Thank you to each and everyone of you who donates & supports me in my journey of #thisis40 and to the finish line. I hope to see many of you along the route on April 20th!
WHAT IS 261 Fearless Inc?
261 Fearless, Inc. is a global non-profit organization founded by running pioneer Kathrine Switzer. 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.
WHAT IS THE SYMBOL of 261?
261 was Kathrine Switzers bib number in the the famous 1967 Boston Marathon, the number that the angry race director tried to tear off of her when he was infuriated to see a woman running in “his” race. The number has come to mean fearless of a challenger, or adversity. It has changed history, as we all are changing history.
But it’s more than that now. 261 also has become a global movement, a means of women communicating with each other, a simple understanding of knowing what kind of empowerment and fearlessness we have from running – alone or together – and how we can convey this empowerment to other women who have nothing at all. Think about it – sometimes you just need to know are not alone out there.
WHY 261 Fearless Inc.?
· To empower women through running
· To inspire, motivate and educate women globally, helping them find the joy of running through our non-competitive, judgment-free 261-running program
· To help provide running opportunities for women, independent of social, religious or geographical background
· To bring women around the world together through a supportive network and share strength with each other
Through these actions, 261 Fearless breaks down the barriers of geography and creates a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to each other, encouraging healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness.