Annie Powell wrote -
Being brave can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people but for Annie Powell her brave means bruised toenails, beating the elements of wind, snow and rain and a lot of foam rolling....also known as training for and then completing her first half marathon (13.1 miles).
After struggling for over two years with depression and anxiety, Annie was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder at the age of 32, married and a mom of 3 young children (including TWIN boys!!). The diagnosis was actually a relief as she now had a name for the feelings she was having. After figuring out a good medicine regime, she got into fitness....in a big way as in completing multiple sprint triathlons, road races, getting her NASM Certified Personal Training credentials and even getting a job as a Personal Trainer. A new love for fitness was born and she says its changed her life for the better all after the diagnosis of a mental disorder.
Annie has been greatly encouraged by a non-profit organization called "This Is My Brave." This 501c(3) non-profit encourages those with mental illness to be brave and share their story to help break down the stigma associated with mental illness. Through the training for her first half-marathon, Annie will be creating a diary about her training plan (the highs and the lows) in an effort to show how fitness can be beneficial for everyone but especially those with mental illness. Annie's training diary will be a regular Friday series on the This Is My Brave blog.
Please consider supporting her brave endeavor where all the monies raised will go directly to "This Is My Brave, Inc." and their high school community awareness program. Any funds raised over the $1,300 goal will be designated to a scholarship fund to a local LCPS high school student who is making a difference in the mental health community. Any donation amount will be welcomed with open arms.
UPDATE ON 2/8/2015:
Note from Jenn & Anne Marie: We couldn’t be more proud of Annie and her team for reaching their goal in the first two weeks of the #running4brave fundraiser! We have big dreams for the This Is My Brave High School initiative, visions and goals which will require funding to bring the entire program to fruition. Annie’s #running4brave fundraiser has been an incredible start to establishing a dedicated pool of funds (YOUR generous contributions!) which will allow us to do the following:
-Produce a professional, high-quality video comprised of performances from This Is My Brave productions (by the end of May we’ll have a total of four shows to pull pieces from) which speak to the high school population
-Create marketing materials to promote the program and attract the interest of high schools on a national level
-Travel to the National Association of Secondary School Principals annual conference in February 2016 to promote and sell the video program to schools all over the country
-Work with a professional curriculum writer to develop and write a curriculum based on the This Is My Brave mission which could be used in conjunction with the video package
-Create two $250 scholarships for Loudoun County high school seniors who have an interest in pursuing a health-based field in college
We’d like to set our first “stretch” goal for Annie and her team at $5,000 for the #running4brave fundraiser. If you are inspired by her journey and what we’re aiming to accomplish with our high school initiative, please donate and share to help us reach our new goal! Also, there is an 8k run the same day as Annie’s half marathon, so if you’re new to running and have done some 5ks, why not sign up for the 8k and join our cause? Thanks so much for your support