While competing for UC Berkeley in college, I was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis (a form of IBD that affects the large intestine). I was ultimately forced to drop out of school and undergo surgery to have the diseased organ removed, resulting in my now having an ostomy bag. During that time, I was worried that running may not ever be a part of my life again, but thankfully I was able to return to the sport that meant so much to me.
After graduating and competing one final season for the Cal Bears, I decided I wanted to help others who’d had serious medical conditions like mine get back to living an active lifestyle. I helped start a company called Hurdle Barriers LLC, and we partnered with Stealth Belt Inc. - the manufacturer of the product I used to help me return to running again.
I now serve as the VP at Stealth Belt, and my passion for running has evolved from being a competitive outlet to a way to help inspire and motivate others who relate to my story.
My personal running goals are now primarily about enjoying the process and appreciating my ability to push my limits. I was hoping to run a personal best at the Boston Marathon this year (today) but will have to wait until we make it through this pandemic.
After going through all of those health challenges, I’ve developed an appreciation for running that serves as its own motivation to get out the door. Any time I fee lethargic or lazy, I recall what it was like to not be able to run at all, and what a privilege it is to have a healthy body, and that usually does the trick! My hope is that anyone who reads this or knows my story will be able to relate it to their own journey.
Everyone has challenges to overcome, and staying motivated can be difficult. The most powerful tools we have are gratitude and perspective. No matter what obstacle your facing, those two things applied properly will help you see it through.