I was born on October 12, 1974 in Titusville, Florida right after midnight, at just under 9 pounds. I am the third child in my family and the only girl. My dad was introduced to me by the doctor running down the hallway, with the blanket open and my naked newborn body there for all the world to see.
I am terrified. Writing this blog, will anyone read it? Does that even matter? Will my story or what I have to say make an impact on someone else? These are just a few of the unanswered questions for me as I put myself out there in a new way. I have always been a very open person and willing to share my experiences and feelings. But this journey will be a new one for me. I have been thinking and talking about writing this for a long time. I am excited about putting my ideas into action and seeing where it leads me.I heard a movie line recently that said, “I want to live my life, not survive it.” This struck me deeply and gave me additional inspiration to share my journey, both past and present. Running has grown to be a bigger part of my life over the last few years, with my activity level changing due to other life circumstances. I will share more about my health challenges as I write more, but over the past 16 years with my amazing husband, parents, family, and close friends by my side, I have battled a serious case of Crohn’s Disease, endometriosis, infertility, and most recently, operable renal cancer. These health issues led to over 25 surgeries and more hospital stays and complications than I can count. Although this blog is not focused on all of those experiences, it is part of my story and a big driver in my wanting to challenge my body in healthy ways. I am blessed to be in good health at the moment and will hold on to that blessing.
So, here is my plan over the next 365 days. I am running at least three days a week right now with my longest run so far at 6 miles, which I completed for the second time this morning. I am also trying to hit the gym two days a week with my almost three-year old daughter in tow. My first goal is the Hot Chocolate 15K (9.3 miles) in Atlanta on January 26, 2014. My next goal will be the Publix Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in Atlanta on March 23. I will then continue my training until I reach my final goal of running the 2014 Chicago Marathon (26.2 miles) on October 12, my 40th birthday!
This blog is a journey and about a journey. I have faced my hardest days right alongside my greatest days. I have learned a lot about life and myself in my first 39 years that I believe has value in being shared with others, with you. I know so many people that have faced greater challenges and different challenges and I have learned from each of them and gained so much hope and inspiration. I have found myself getting lost along the way and always asking myself “What’s next?” It always seemed to be something and I was going day to day and month to month on survival mode. Well, no matter what might lie ahead for me, I am ready to change the tune of my life and ask the same question in a new way. As I run forward with excitement, dread, motivation, terror, and inspiration, I now ask the question, “What’s next!”