Welcome to my fundraising page! I will be running in my first marathon on May 5, 2013. Since walking onto campus at Carnegie Mellon freshmen year, I set running a marathon as a personal goal of mine before graduation in 2013. And...this is the year.
To me, being a SoleMate is about triumph. Not just triumph over a grueling long-distance run, but triumph over personal obstacles and triumph over your biggest enemy: yourself. I have been a runner for seven years now. It started in high school as a sport for me and as a reason for me to compete with my naturally talented and speedier sisters. It slowly lost its meaning, and as I finished my first year of college, running had officially transformed from a sport to a weight-loss mechanism. The summer following my freshman year of college, I was not particularly happy with myself, with who I had become or with my undetermined path. On one afternoon that summer, I took off down a familiar path along a river in my hometown, most likely to negate the meal I had just consumed. That run turned my life completely around. Around mile 2, I was a victim of sexual assault. I was helpless. I had my voice, and in that moment, suppressing my scream, he took that away.
In the months that followed, I realized that I had been defeated. I had let a stranger take something so precious away from me: my gift of running. Though it was hard, I knew my first run back had to happen, and when it did, for the first time in my life, it was right. I was no longer running for competition or to burn those extra 500 calories. I was finally running because I could, and I was running for one person: myself.
My biggest inspiration is knowing that I can wake up every morning with the ability of walking, running, skipping, laughing and loving. No one can take that away. I became a SoleMate because I believe that young girls know better than anyone else the value of personal expression. I want girls of ages 0-110 to hold on tightly to their personal expression. I believe that no one does a better job advocating for this than Girls on the Run. I will forever believe that you can triumph all of life’s obstacles when you stay true to yourself.
I hold Girls on the Run close to my heart, and even the smallest donation will help a girl or multiple girls participate in the 12-week program for 3rd-8th grade girls that combines training for a 5K event along with lessons on making healthy choices. I ran as a running buddy in 2011 with the Anne Arundel Girls on the Run group, and seeing the girls' smiles as they turned a corner to head to the finish line is forever in my mind. It is this happiness and confidence that inspires me to continue running and to make an impact where I can.
I ran in the 2012 Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and now I have the full marathon in sight. As I reach my training goals, help me reach my fundraising goal by spreading the word and by making a small contribution. You can make a difference :)