I have an exercise for you.


  1. Grab a sheet of paper and pen.
  2. Write numbers 1-26 down the left side of the paper.
  3. Jot down people that have inspired you.
  4. Once your list is complete, write notes to everyone on your list. If they are no longer with us, find a family member and send them a note.

#3 may take you 15 minutes or a couple of months. That's okay. I can't tell you how powerful it was for me to make my list. I know the process affected me and those of you that are kind enough to follow me on my mile by mile journey. It helped me get through a difficult time and may help you get through something in your life.

I asked you to go through the exercise so you'd understand that the task is more difficult than first perceived. There are hundreds of people that I love, that challenge and motivate me in various ways and the list wasn't intended to slight anyone. I wish I could share the formula I used to narrow it down to 26, but most of it was based on feeling. Feeling strong enough about someone's situation that it would motivate me mile by mile.

I must be honest…I cheated on mile 17. I didn't choose one person for this mile, but three people, one family. Their story is intertwined and there is no way I could choose only one. I knew that for this mile, I needed to keep them together. I needed to pray for them as a family and draw from the strength they pull from each other.

Mile #17 was dedicated to a high school friend and fellow track/cross country runner Pam. In high school, I strove to be a runner like Pam. She worked hard and each time she stepped onto the track it seemed so effortless. She left nothing to chance and when she crossed the finished line it was evident she had given it her all.

Pam's children Brookelyn and Derek have Dysautonomia, a medical condition that causes a malfunction of the Autonomic Nervous System. Here's a little physiology lesson, the automatic functions of the body are the ones we consciously don't have to think about, such as heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, kidney function and body temperature control.

They have also been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease which is a group of disorders caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, the organelles that are the powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondria are found in every cell of the human body except red blood cells, and convert the energy of food molecules into the ATP that powers most cell functions. Symptoms include poor growth, loss of muscle coordination, muscle weakness, visual problems, hearing problems, learning disabilities, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, neurological problems, autonomic dysfunction and dementia (wikipedia).Can you imagine being a child and having deal with such a diseases?

Pam shares the struggles of this disease honestly and openly with her friends and family on facebook. But I have taken note, as others have, of common themes in Pam's journey.

  1. Thankfulness. She is often thankful for friends, family and coworkers. Never losing sight of what is important or taking these people or things for granted.
  2. Fighters. I love that she shows us pictures of her children in the hospital smiling and snuggling together. She refers to them often as fighters. I love that term. A fighter never gives up. A fighter pushes through tough times. And fighters, as she notes, don't complain.
  3. Faith. Pam often draws on her Christian faith to get her through the day. She shares her faith openly and provides encouragement to all that read her posts.
  4. Heroes. Her heroes are not in capes, tight pants and in a comic book. Her heroes are her children and she is theirs. Heroes are admired for their bravery, courage and noble qualities. Several weeks she posted one of my favorite quotes which I think perfectly aligns to the topic of heroes.

I must admit, mile 17 was a difficult mile for me. I wanted to walk soooo bad. I pulled out all the stops to keep me running. I have always had a passion for music and songs have been with me almost every moment, good or bad, throughout my life. And songs propelled me forward through every step of the Chicago Marathon. I knew what I needed to keep me going. I flipped through my iPod to find Jason Aldean’s She's Country and Hicktown so I could hear Adam Shoenfeld jamming on the guitar. I found myself running, playing air guitar and smiling. I'm sure I looked CRAZY...but I didn't care. Anything to get me through another mile.



If you missed my first 16 miles of the Chicago Marathon, you can check out my stories here:

Miles #1- #4

Miles #5- #8

Miles #9- #13

Miles #14- #15

Mile #16

P.S. To make sure you never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!marathon3

I'll get right to the point on this one. As I was preparing my marathon mile list, I knew my inspiration for completing Mile #16 would be my husband, Mike.

For 18 years Mike has served in various capacities with the Indiana State Police. From the moment I said I do, I have been his #1 supporter. I’ve been a proud police wife, and he's always had my respect. But his career never "inspired" me; not until he transferred to a task force. On this task force, he has spent countless of hours hunting down child predators.

In my opinion, child predators are the sickest of the sick. The media is starting to shine a light on how dark and disgusting the world of children pornography and sexual exploitation is and the strategies pedophiles use to prey on children.

My husband, even though I pray this isn't how he spends the rest of his career, works countless hours, day and night thinking through each case to ensure no stone is unturned. Unlike most jobs, he can’t leave his work at the office. It’s in his head and will not depart until the day he dies.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I want you to understand the gravity of what our police officer deal with and observe on a daily basis. What they see changes them. Mike’s drive to put predators behind bars for a very long time and his work ethic inspires me. During marathon mile #16, I prayed for his safety and child pornography and abuse victims. The world of child exploitation is a dark, sad world and it takes dedicated women and men, like my husband, to keep children safe.

For 15 years he has been beside me through good times and the bad. He continually pushes me and well, tells it like it is. If you want to hear the truth...ask my husband.

Honestly, he didn't think I would run the marathon. I quit my training not once, but two times, heck maybe three times! I had medical issues arise, which concerned him so much he thought I should quit. He said, "I want you here a while longer."

But at no time did he prevent me from pursuing my dream, and even though he didn’t agree, he continued to support me. He'd give his opinion, but when I was out on a run, and it started lightning, he was in his truck, looking to pick me up. When I needed water, he brought me water. And when I needed to sleep all afternoon after a long run, he let me rest.

My husband is my number one supporter, and he's always on the sideline as my biggest fan. He and the children he fights for every day got me through marathon mile #16.

Your giving challenge for today is to pray.
*Pray for police officers who work child exploitation cases.
*Pray for child victims and survivors.
*Pray for the children that are being abused.
*Pray for children to come forward and tell someone.
*Pray for the people in these child’s life to recognize something is not right.
*Pray for the child that had the courage to come forward.
*And pray for physical and mental healing for their body and mind. that brings them comfort and peace.



If you missed my first 15 miles, you can check out my stories here:

Miles #1- #4

Miles #5- #8

Miles #9- #13

Miles #14- #15

P.S. To make sure you never miss a post, enter your email address on the right and hit SUBSCRIBE. Thank you!

"I'm scared" was the note I posted on my friends Facebook page Saturday night. Several weeks ago she invited me to go with her to Hot Yoga. I've been hearing all the rave, but never tried it. The last time I attended a group yoga class was back in 2002 and since then I have done yoga on and off in the comfort of my own home watching Sarah Beth Yoga videos on YouTube.

I want to stress "comfort of my home" because I struggle with doing an activity that I may embarrass myself in front of others. I'm pretty sure Hot Yoga falls into this category.

Saturday night I was already devising ways to get out of going. Why? Because this was something new. Yoga is hard and Hot Yoga is harder. What if I couldn't do it? What if I made a fool of myself? What if I passed out? All of these thoughts were going through my head and I hadn't even stepped foot into the heated box.

So, since I'm writing this, you must conclude that I didn't chicken out and I didn't. I did it! Here are 5 things I learned from hot yoga.

  1. Be prepared. Saturday night I read several articles on hot yoga. I'm glad I did. I started hydrating and downing water the night before and continued on through the morning before class. In life, anything new we try, we must do our research and be prepare for the challenge that lies ahead. If I had not drunk enough water, ate two hours prior to the workout, wore fitted/limited clothing and not brought two towels, well I'm sure I would have passed out and not completed the class. Many times we fail simply by lack of preparation. Take time to prep!
  2. Take a friend. I'm sure if I relied upon just myself to get up and go to class I wouldn't have. Having to pick up a friend and she being an encouragement to me helped me step foot into the gym. If there is something you want to accomplish in life, tell a friend. Get an accountability partner. Hire a life coach (preferably me...lol)! Bring your friend or coach along on your journey. It's easy to lie to yourself, but it's hard to lie and let down those that are pulling for you and want you to succeed. Every successful person I know has a great team behind them pushing them every day.
  3. Go with the flow. I had no idea what to expect but I followed the instructors lead and tried to do every position she instructed. If I couldn’t do something, mainly due to chronic tight hamstrings, I would try and modify. We aren't going to be perfect at everything, especially on the first try. But it is important to #1 try and #2 go with the flow. Do not get down on yourself if you can't do something. Just because you can't do something today doesn't mean with hard work and effort you won't be able to do something in the future.
  4. Do not worry about others. This is something that is a struggle for me. When three other ladies showed up for the class I was immediately intimidated and wondered how good they were and what they would think of the newbie in the class. What I learned is they were great encouragers and focused on themselves and not me. Even if they wouldn't have been nice or been critical, we must not care what others think. If you want to accomplish your goals, be your biggest cheerleader. Focus on yourself and not what others may or may not think about you and your dream. I've learned that people that judge are typically jealous and the problem is with them NOT you.
  5. You can do anything you set your mind to do. Near the end of the class, the instructor challenged us with wall headstands, scorpions off the wall and handstands. I must admit, my first thought was, "Are you CRAZY?" But then she kept encouraging us to try. And by golly, I was able to do the headstand and scorpion. I thought I was going to stroke out...but I did it! When my friend hollered, "I wish I had my camera,” I was thinking, yeah me too. This may not happen again! I couldn’t quite work up the nerve to do the handstands; I was terrified I would break my neck, but it's something to work towards. I left confident that I had done something I had only seen on television and before today would have never even tried. Remember, you are stronger than you think you are and most of the time fear is only in your mind.

Not matter what you are looking to do in life... DO IT! Try it! You will be amazed at how you will feel for just trying, regardless of success or failure. I have learned not trying in the real failure and trying...well that in my book is a success! As I always say, Be Bold. Dream Big. Bless Others.