To say that it's an honor to be able to be apart of the Footlocker Five Borough Challenge during this year's TCS NYC Marathon is an understatement. Running is a source of empowerment and for me and running has helped me cope, transition, and find a way to put one foot in front of the other when I felt like I was drowning.
My story is long, complicated and messy but it boils down to this; we're stronger and more capable than we think. Our limits are self imposed and it's up to us to find out just how strong we really are.
When I first started running, I never imagined that it would change how I saw myself and the world around me. I like to joke that I was just desperate enough when I first started running but the truth of the matter is that when I started running, I felt like I had nothing to live for. The grief I was living with after my younger brother Scott's passing was paralyzing. Despite having lost over 75 pounds and working tirelessly on positive self talk, I felt ashamed and embarrassed by my body. I struggled to believe that I was worthy of anyone's love because I didn't love myself. Running helped me realize that the boxes I put myself in weren't serving me and that it's never too late to make impossible, possible.
Running helped me realize that there are some pains that are worth enduring because they mean that you're getting stronger.
I never thought I'd be empowered by my body. Look around, when do you see women without a stereotypical athletic figure talking about their strong bodies? I'm a US size 8-10 and my weight fluctuates between 155-168 pounds. My fastest and strongest marathon time is 3 hours and 41 minutes and I'm done feeling ashamed by my stomach, my stretch marks, and my quads. Joining the #SportsBraSquad and shedding my own insecurities helped me feel proud and empowered by own strength.
Shame and embarrassment don't serve us. Strength doesn't look a certain way it feels a certain way. We work way too hard not to feel strong, confident and empowered by our bodies. Enough with the bull sh*t expectations. It's time to look in the mirror and believe that what we see isn't just beautiful, it's perfect.
Most runners are fighters. We've been to hell and back and we don't just run, we run with purpose. And that is why I am so honored to represent Brooklyn during this weekend's TCS NYC Marathon. I promise that my sports bra and I will make you all proud.
If you're with me, it would mean the world to me if you could support my fundraising efforts for the life changing charity Save the Children by CLICKING HERE. No child should ever have to suffer and together we can make that dream a reality.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.