You never know where your run will take you… or who will notice

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-05-2015-05-2008

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Being named one of 15 of the most inspirational women who have run the Boston Marathon in Self Magazine

Back in 2012 my friend Karen Fortier and I had the chance to run with Joan Benoit Samuelson around Back Cove in Portland, ME. During the run, Joan told us a story about how people would notice first her running around the neighbourhood, which then others told her inspired them to run. When they started running, she in turn noticed. And so it goes. I first met Karen when I saw her running around our neighbourhood and I couldn’t help but think, when seeing her, how strong, confident, and fast she was. I wanted to train to run the NYC marathon post Lyme Disease. I had no idea how to run a marathon, but somehow thought Karen would know; she looked the type and looked like she had runner’s knowledge. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her if she would run with me, and surprisingly to me, she said yes! And so started a running relationship that has lasted over the years and still endures; all based off what I noticed in my neighbourhood and what inspired me.

BostonStrong1MY Heroes – the women who bravely paved the way for me and made the world take notice

All along my journey to recover from Lyme Disease, a disease that left me a near invalid for 2 years,  there were heroes I looked up to along the way. There were runners such as Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon in 1967, or Bobbi Gibb who ran the whole route, sin number, in 1966. Along with “Saint Joan” (okay, that’s just my name for Joan Benoit Samuelson), these were people I looked up to, not just for being female runners, but for being runners who laid the way for me to do what I so enjoy and what brought me back to health.

Honoured alongside my heroes

So, here I was in London, England, on Saturday, April 25, 2015, the day before I was set to run the 35th Annual Virgin Money London Marathon as part of my mission to run the “Big 5 for Lyme Disease”, getting ready for bed and just checking my phone for messages, when a Tweet came in from Lynn Crisci telling me I was included in an article titled “#BostonStrong: The Most Inspirational Women Who Have Run the Boston Marathonhttp://www.self.com/fitness/fitness-news/2015/04/boston-marathon-runners-female-inspiration/

BostonStrong2To say I was gobsmacked to make this discovery was putting it mildly. I didn’t know this article had come out,  yet the honour of being included with such amazing women was, and still is, nothing short of humbling. My recovery from Lyme was hard, but of course, my desire to recover was aided by a strong belief that I needed to give hope to others who had the disease, my desire to advocate for those still battling,  and by my wonderful family and friends. If I can inspire just one person, help one person, reach out to one person or make one positive change in someone’s life, what greater joy and sense of accomplishment could I gain from life?

As Joan Benoit said, people notice…

All the women featured in the article published by Self Magazine have inspired ME. I don’t really feel worthy of being listed along side them; they all really seem to have done something incredible, something that moved mountains, something that paved the way for others, something that made people stand up and take notice. But, in the fight against Lyme Disease and in the battle to fund research into it, find to find reliable Lyme tests, to find preventive measures and treatment for long-term, chronic Lyme, the Lyme community needs the world to take notice. And in that fight, I’m happy to have Self Magazine notice!

 

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