I want to start off by thanking Harlem Run for giving me the opportunity to write this blog and share my story with everyone. Harlem Run has made such an impact on me and to give back to the community in any way I can is very moving. I'm not only honored but definitely feeling the love.
It takes one moment to make a decision; one moment to say 'no and never again' to something that has been getting you down! I did just that.
I started my weight loss and running journey about 3 years ago. I was training hard and running all the time with two goals in mind: 1) to be fit and 2) to run my first marathon! All was going amazing I lost over 70 pounds through changing my diet and exercise and with each race I ran, I felt myself getting closer to completing my first marathon in 2015.
All was going according to plan. Then, life hit and boy, did it hit hard! At the end of 2014, I lost my job of 13 years and I almost lost my dad. Faced with the responsibility of supporting my family, I was not only scared but I fell into somewhat of a depression. Needless to say, my fitness goals fell to the sidelines.
As 2015 rolled in, the trials and tribulations I was going through were extremely challenging, but with the help and support of family and friends, we managed. However, my weight started to creep up again and my running/training started dwindling. My heart wasn't in it anymore. My marathon was creeping up faster than I thought and I wasn't ready at all. Although I found an amazing job, I still felt like something was missing. My weight started creeping back and I hit a plateau that I thought I could never get over.
That Monday before the marathon, I was introduced to the Harlem Run family by my friend Odee. The love I felt that first night made something click in my heart. That passion that I felt for running, fitness, and community came rushing back to me and I knew that I was officially back in the game! After I completed my first marathon in November 2015, I knew I had to make a change, and it was at that very moment that I told myself I will fight off this depression by saying no and never again!
After making this decision to be better, so many amazing things started happening. I started following a different diet plan, which helped me start living a healthier life and lose the weight I had put on. By coming a member of the Harlem Run family and attending the Monday Night Runs week in and week out, I became stronger by the day and gained a support system that's beyond amazing. I feel blessed to have met this amazing group of people that today, I can call family. Harlem Run allowed me to fall in love with running again and I will forever be thankful for that!