Official Training Has Started!
July 07, 2017
When the opportunity presented itself to run the NYC Marathon with Let Me Run, I knew instantly I had to do this. I am honored and privileged to be a part of the first Let Me Run NYC fundraising team. I have been an avid runner for my entire adult life, completing two full marathons and several half marathons along the way.
I have two children: Ben (11) and Charley (7). Ben is athletic, kind, funny, caring, and empathetic. He first started the Let Me Run Program last spring. We were thrilled to find a program that encouraged emotional expression, while incorporating running into it. We know first- hand how important it is for boys to 1) get exercise and 2) learn how to express their emotions. The inability to do so can lead to stress, sickness, disease, addiction, and violence. Those who know my husband Ned and I, know that we try to lead by example with healthy habits, exercise, and emotional wellness coaching at home. However, I feel that it can be even more influential when it comes from people other than parents. Coaches can have a monumental impact on young boys. We've seen it first hand.
Like many, I have a family history of mental illness, including anxiety and depression. I lost a young cousin, an uncle, and most recently, my father - all as a result of mental illness. Now, more than ever, I see the importance of teaching emotional wellness to children at a young age. It is critical that we equip them with the tools needed to cope with the challenges of life. Whether it be a broken relationship, a trauma, a job loss, or the loss of a loved one - boys need the ability to express their emotion in a positive and constructive way. I've experienced how running, distance running in particular, can help transform ones life. The countless emotional, physical, and spiritual health benefits of running have lead me down a path of greater emotional health and happiness.
In 2015 I had an opportunity of a life time. I ran the NYC Marathon with Laura, “My best friend in the world” (and yes, at 37, I still call her that). We met in 2nd grade and developed a 30 year long friendship. Laura was an avid runner (4 time Boston Marathoner), devoted wife and mother, adoring daughter and sister, and the absolute best friend anyone could ask for. (Just ask all her best friends!) There was no one like Laura. She radiated love, life, nonstop laughter, and just overall positive energy. She gave me 30 years full of priceless memories. She helped teach me to step out of my comfort zone and knew when to give me that extra push I needed. This past November, one year after we crossed the NYC marathon finish line together, she suffered from cardiac arrest while running a half marathon in her home town of Boston and passed away. When Laura had asked me to run NYC with her in 2015, I never would’ve guessed it would be the last time I would see her.
She taught me the value of friendship, goal setting, perseverance, laughter, and sharing our hearts with each other.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to run for Let Me Run, a program with such a meaningful purpose. I want boys to get past the stigma of being "tough". I want them to share their feelings, make sense of them, and live a full, happy, and healthy life. I want them to live like Laura did.
Thank you for your generousity.
See you in New York City. - Abby
“Be the change you wish to see in the World” - Ghandi