My name is Josh and I am originally from Texas, but now live in Arlington, Virginia with my rockstar wife Alison and our three children - Abby, Charlie & Andrew.
Roughly 3 years ago I made a lifestyle change – I wanted to take my health more seriously, lose weight, and prove to myself and my family that each of us (including myself!) can do hard things if we put our minds to it. I found a gym (Orangetheory Fitness - don't sleep on this amazing gym!), learned to believe in myself in a host of new ways, took my health back, and in the process lost 60+ pounds in part by finding an unlikely new passion – running.
My running journey has been anything but linear, and with each high and low the sport has taught me the importance, both in running and in life, of "running the mile you're in..." and how empowering it can be to challenge yourself to go beyond what you perceive yourself to be capable of. There is true power in ditching the pointless act of worrying about the unknown or the countless things out of your control - and just going for it!
In November of 2017, I ran my first marathon – the 2017 New York City Marathon – something I never thought myself capable of, and it changed my life. When I finished, my legs ached, my body was wiped, but my heart soared. In the closing miles of that race, approaching the completion of the most physically taxing thing I had ever done - I was reminded that I am capable of doing so much more than I give myself credit for. I owe that “a-ha” moment to the sport of running and I now run not out of necessity, but because I know just how powerful a tool it can be!
This October, I ran my 2nd marathon - the 2018 Chicago Marathon - and was as nervous as I've been in a long time before the race started! However - I ran hard, felt great, closed strong and enjoyed every bit of the race! Running is hard, but in racing just as in life, hard work and dedication pay off – and Chicago was yet another reminder of that.
Running has given me so much more than I could ever give it – however, I want to use the platform it provides me to help support worthwhile causes and organizations that give back to their communities. One of which is the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA) in Hopkinton, Massachusetts! Created in 2011, HCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community arts center that fosters and celebrates the creative spirit in everyone – serving a broad and diverse population in the greater Boston area, and truly giving back to the people in a unique way.
Each year, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) awards race bibs to charities like the HCA, so that they can use them to in turn partner with runners to raise vital operating funds. This year the HCA is helping fulfill a running dream of mine, by letting me run the 2019 Boston Marathon with one of the race bibs they were awarded! In return, I get the chance to partner with them, help raise awareness of the amazing work they do, and raise the funds necessary to continue serving their community.
Any community would be lucky to have something like the HCA, as they serve an inclusive community of students, performers, and artists diverse in age, ability, experience, ethnicity, and geography. Their innovative programs are vital to the community and include:
· Visual arts instruction for developmentally disabled adults.
· Music instruction for infants and toddlers.
· Linkage with public school students and teachers, who use HCA as an educational resource in the arts and in leadership training.
HCA offers over 200 classes annually to more than 1,000 students, from preschool to seniors, drawn from the diverse population of over 40 neighboring cities and towns.
I run almost daily (mostly for my own health and sanity!) but also to inspire my children and ensure that I’m around to watch them grow into strong young adults! Most importantly, I run because it has literally changed my life. I've continued running and challenging myself because this sport has given me a new appreciation for my own health, and in 2019 I want to use my passion for running to help others. I’m running the 2019 Boston Marathon in partnership with the Hopkinton Center for the Arts because it allows me to pair something I love with the chance to help raise money and awareness for a great community organization and the people they serve!
Thank you for reading my story and being a part of my journey to Boston in 2019 - your support would mean a lot to both me as well as the community that the Hopkinton Center for the Arts serves!