Nearly two years ago, I started my journey to the new and improved, healthy me. I was mainly working on my eating habits and felt that I should get some exercise too. Being the crazy person that I am, I decided to go out for the local roller derby team! I went to an open tryout and was chosen to be a part of the feeder workout team. I have always been an athlete and never backed down from contact, so for me this was proof that I “still had it.” I bought nice skates on Craigslist and found pads and a helmet on eBay…and then I laced up and got out on the track. Long story short, after a gnarly fall I ended up having a serious concussion and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. I vaguely recall the ER doctor telling me that this is my wake up call to get in to a non-contact sport. I took that very seriously and decided it was time to figure out a plan B.  

A few weeks later, I was looking on my Facebook page at a post made by a friend telling everyone that she had completed her first marathon. That was it!  I was going to do something that even I would NEVER think that I could do. I was going to complete the 26.2-mile trek of a full marathon. It took six months for me to train. I was fortunate enough to have local companies like Bornfit, Runner’s Roost, GUTS, Next Level and Runner’s Edge of the Rockies sponsor my journey. I told them my story and they were inspired to help me fulfill my dream. I worked hard every day knowing that others believed in me and in turn, I began to believe in myself.  

On Nov. 7, 2010, I completed the ING NYC Marathon in 7 hours, 50 minutes and 23 seconds. I raised $2,620 as part of the charity Team for Kids, a national nonprofit whom help low-income children learn about health, fitness and the amazing benefits of running. I didn’t win the race, but I finished. I did something that only two percent of Americans have ever done and I did something that I thought I would never do. 

This fall, I have a new goal – the Chicago Marathon.  On Oct. 7, 2012, I will attempt to complete my second 26.2-mile run. This time I am running with Team Make A Wish.  And I will not be running alone. My friend Tine Sommer of Germany (whom I met while running the NYC marathon) will be crossing the finish line with me!

I started this journey with a child-like innocence and the belief that anything is possible. As mothers, I believe that we need to get back to those Cinderella roots and remember that dreams do come true, and you can do ANYTHING if you just believe in yourself.  

So put on some comfortable shoes and run. Believe in yourself and reach for the moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!