Today’s blog post is in honor of my friend, Melissa, who like me became a runner in her 30s. Today is Go Red for Women day. On this day you can wear red to show support for women with heart disease. I’m wearing red in honor of Melissa who 2 years ago today found out that she had heart disease at the age of 36.
Melissa started running after her initial diagnosis. I met Melissa in college and back then she was not a runner. In her own words, she was “allergic” to running. Now Melissa is running regularly and runs races as far as a 10K several times a year. (Her cardiologist isn’t letting her run longer races, at least not yet.) Going from not running at all to running 6.2 miles is a pretty big commitment. It takes a lot of motivation and determination to get and keep your fitness at a level where you can run 6.2 miles at the drop of a hat. I know she also visits the gym and does a whole host of exercises, most of which I probably can’t even pronounce, much less execute with any grace. She is also eating a healthy diet and I know she is grateful for her life. Her story of how she changed inspires me each time I step outside for a run. I know I am lucky to be blessed with great health and running is going to help keep it that way.
Melissa was one of my first TeamFox sponsors for my 2010 marathon run. She was also an amazing supporter in a different way. She was always there with supportive comments for my newsletters and for my posts on Facebook. She shared her stories of running with me and knowing that there was someone else out there who started from nothing and worked up to a distance she never would have thought possible really helped me know that I was not crazy.
So here’s to you Melissa! You’re amazing and your story I am sure is inspiring others to run a 5K or maybe even a 10K. This RED’s for you!