Growing up as a chubby pre-teen, I struggled with self-esteem. As I entered my high school years, I slimmed down; however, I continued to compare myself to my peers and worried what others thought of me. Years later, as a mom of three and a determination to lose the final “baby pounds,” I resorted to Slim Fast until one day my young daughter asked, “Mom, why are you drinking your lunch?” Indeed, this was not the example I wanted to set for my children or the lifestyle I wanted.
Clarity: I realized that I needed to have a healthier relationship with food and exercise for the sake of preventive health (to combat hereditary issues) and not just for the way I wanted to look. I needed to be a good role model for my family in making healthy decisions, and I wanted to live my best life.
Competence: I had never particularly enjoyed sports in my childhood. I always felt clumsy and never felt like I was good at any sport. After my youngest child turned two, I began running and even entered local 5Ks and 10Ks. I gradually increased my distance and became a marathoner. I learned patience, discipline and gained strength. I am interested in helping others be their best, and I decided to train with the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). I learned tons on helping myself – writing intentions, goals, soul-searching and living my best life. I seek to inspire other women who may have spent many years caring for others with busy schedules and jobs, to see the importance of putting themselves first.
Confidence: Running also became a spiritual outlet and increased my confidence in other areas of my life. My glory moment of running happened as I was lined up at the start of my first Boston Marathon. As the huge line of runners slowly moved towards the start line, I was able to jump up and touch the actual Boston Marathon banner. Wow, I was finally there! I have now done over 30 marathons, a few ultra-marathons and qualified many times for Boston. I believe that our mind, soul and body work together, and I strive to help others find enjoyable ways to bring health to their everyday life.
Courage: I decided at the beginning of 2013 to focus on moving forward in clarity, competence, confidence and courage. I realized I had used courage in even becoming a runner and training when it was not easy. I was able to step out into a new path for my life as I signed on for the rigors of becoming a certified life coach and summon the courage to often step out of my comfort zone and to now help others step out in courage.
In January, 2013, another “C” was presented. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. I found myself deep in research, doctor appointments and consults out of town. I was surprised at how mentally exhausting it was. Since then I have had surgery, chemotherapy, a recurrence, more surgery and chemo and I recently finished radiation treatment. Due to a strong faith, great support and wonderful medical care I have had incredible peace throughout this process.
My training and coaching with iPEC, have helped me move forward and remain positive and real with myself. I am able to be responsible for my choices of care. I have learned to be reasonable in my expectations as I face the unknown, and I know I can use my experience to help others on similar journeys. I now have the courage to step out as a wellness coach and to help others live their best life!