Why did you chose to participate in SHE RUNS Grand Rapids?
chose SheRuns (formerly Gazelle Girls) because it was an all female race. A race in which more people who looked like me was involved. A race that showed our strength and tenacity as a woman was both empowering and uplifting.
What is your impact story?
I have only joined the running community in the last now 6 years. I was not a runner beforehand. I did a few sports growing up like volleyball and cheerleader (yes cheerleadering is a sport…lol). I was severely obese in which I could barely walk up the stairs without getting winded. One day I was at the amusement park with my daughter and tried to get on this roller-coaster. Because I was severely overweight I could not fit on the ride and was asked to leave. The disappointment and shame in my daughter’s eyes was a wake up call for me to get my life together. As a single mother, I didn’t want to die and leave my daughter here because of something I could control. I began connecting with local groups, eating better, and started moving. I joined a few amazing and supportive groups, such as S.T.A.R.S. which stands for Sisters Taking Action Reversing Statistics, Soulful Motion, trained with Felicia, and a few more that have helped me stay focused. These groups of women truly loved, supported, and have been my backbone for getting and staying healthy. I’ve participated in the last 5 SheRuns races with both 5k’s and 10k’s but majority 10k’s. Overall, I’ve completed over 40 races (5k’s, 5 miles, 10k’s, and even my first and only half marathon) in the last 6 years, but I’m not done. The love and support from these groups and the SheRuns community keeps me motivated to continue and bring other women with me. I’ve been sick a few times and currently have a lifelong health condition, but I don’t let that stop me. I also now have running tutu’s to show that I love having fun while running. Looking forward to the 2023 training and crossing that line again with so many other women. No matter if I walk or run, I will keep moving.