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A True Inspiration

Lindsey is one of the kindest, most humble woman I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with.  I don’t really remember how we met, but that point is irrelevant.

Lindsey is a finalist for the Women’s Running Cover Contest. 

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What does this mean?

She could be the next cover girl of Women’s Running. 

How do you go from being a finalist to a winner? 

You promote yourself and have people vote for you DAILY.  Every day is another vote from now until July 2nd.  You spread awareness about why you are awesome and why you should win.   Please keep in mind Lindsey did not ask me to write this post.  In fact, she actually has no idea I wrote this post (until now…so surprise…).

What makes Lindsey so awesome?(what doesn’t is the real question)

Her marathon PR is pretty rad (3:13)

Last October Lindsey got genetic testing done for the BRCA 2 mutation.  (This mutation essentially determines if you will one day have breast cancer.).  The test confirmed what she was afraid of.  She had an 86% chance to later in life develop breast cancer.

At the time she was training for her first half ironman.  Should she continue training?  (Keep in mind she does not at this point have breast cancer but will most likely develop it) or should she have a prophylatic double mastectomy?

Her prerace nerves consisted of waiting for the results of an MRI (to see if she currently had breast cancer).  Think about the biggest race in your life and the day before you are waiting to hear if you have breast cancer.

With positive results she did not, she completed her first half ironman.  She then scheduled her prophylatic double matectomy for October.

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She stayed positive throughout the entire experience and has since run the Boston Marathon as well as many other races (13 marathons).  Lindsey is a beautiful woman both inside and out and I am truly lucky to have connected with her.

I could never do her justice by paraphrasing her story.  She has written many heart filled, open and honest summaries of her experiences.

Strong

New Boobs

And then I Cried Some More

BRCA Gene and my Decision 

I strongly encourage you to vote for her daily to become the next Women’s Running Cover Model.  She is such a strong, humble and courageous individual.

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Lake Effect Series Final Wrap Up

I am sad this is the last post regarding the Lake Effect Series.  I have had nothing but a great time fundraising and spreading awareness for Eating Disorders.  The support I received from friends and family as well as strangers has been overwhelming.  I will truly never forget this experience.

Before the race Ophelia’s Place shared that this race contributes 10% of their annual budget.  Every single dollar and donation truly does make a difference.  It is so hard for me to believe that together we raised 2500 dollars. There were over 70 donors.  Wow! 

Left to right: Heather, Laura, me, Brittany

Left to right: Heather, Laura, me, Brittany

 

If you haven’t already please go read some or all of the incredible stories.  These stories are truly amazing and show the incredible courage and bravery of the authors.  They will always remain on my blog under the “reads” section.

After adding everyone into the giveaway (donors, story sharers and those who shared the link to the giveaway or stories) I came up with 3653 entries to the giveaway!  I drew the numbers from random.org and ended up with these.

The race director and I

The race director and I

Without further ado here are the winners and thank you again.

KIND BARS: 2912 The Writer of the post “Binge Eating”(anonymous)

Pocket Fuel and Energy Bits 2355 Package 1: Jacqueline Klayman

Pocket Fuel and Energy Bits 1037 Package 2: Mike Post

Lindsay’s Healthy Bites: 962 Alex at Runwithin

Allie’s Hearty Handful Granola:  1202 Ashley Fincher

**Please email me and I will connect you as appropriate.

———-

Summary:

This whole experience was eye opening for me. It truly made me realize that we do possess the ability to make a change or a difference.  Every dollar donated, whether it was 1 dollar or 100 added up to 2500 dollars.  I can honestly say this was one of my biggest accomplishments in my life. I truly cannot thank the support of family, friends, readers and anonymous donors.  It was a great experience for me and I am truly glad that I ran this race.  To answer your question: I do plan to run the Lake Effect Half Marathon every year I am close enough to Upstate NY.

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No questions today.  I just want to express how truly grateful I am for all the support from every single person. 

I am not a Politician

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was bummed I didn’t win the trip to Napa Valley contest from ZOOMA.  I still dream of running on the West Coast eventually but it was not meant to be this June.  I did enjoy the process of creating memes and it was a fun month long contest.  I definitely don’t regret enterering at all.

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I’m not miserable that I lost and it didn’t let it ruin my day.  I’m happy for the overall winner as well as the other three bloggers that won too .  It was truly amazing how many people stuck by my side and voted for me daily.  Because my blog is not massive, I didn’t think I really had a chance to place let alone get runner up.  I have to thank everyone one more time.  So thank you and I promise I won’t be promoting myself anymore for a very long time.  (if any).  

I never wanted the contest to cast a shadow on the Lake Effect series which was a much more important cause and campaign.  Speaking of the Lake Effect, I will be creating closure on the race, weekend and the series as a general.  (I’ll announce the giveaway winners on Monday with the final post!)

Anyways this contest taught me a couple of things.

First, I could never be a politician.  I hated asking and harassing people to vote for me.  I hated that the contest consumed a good part of my “internet” life.  I wanted to win because people thought I truly thought I portrayed the ZOOMA moral values of living an active, healthy happy life.  I didn’t want to win because I harassed, begged and sold myself for votes.  Unfortunately that was not the case and I had to tweet up a storm, rally the troops and beg people to vote for me.

Second, I hate self promoting myself.  I don’t really care to sit here and say why I’m the number one best blogger, number one perfect fit or why I deserve to win.  There are plenty of people who deserve to win.  I entered this contest because I wanted to win.  I want to run on the West coast some day and since I cannot afford it for a while I thought this was the perfect way.

I’ll have to wait a while longer though.

I could decide which meme was my favorite so I settled upon these:

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thankyoumeme1

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I honestly cannot thank everyone for voting daily and for their support.  It truly overwhelms me with the amount of love and support I receive.  Whether you are near or far, thank you. Whether you know me personally or we have never talked (always feel free to leave a comment or email).  The amount of emails, messages and comments were just plain awesome.  I hope you still continue to follow my journey now that I’m not spamming your feeds 24-7.  As I said, yes I am sad I won’t be able to go Napa Valley and run but it’s not the end of the world.  Life goes on and I’m overwhelmed with the support I received.  

Questions for you:

Where is one place you would love to race?

Definitely the west coast for me…Seattle, San Francisco or San Diego all sound lovely.  I hope one day to go overseas to race as well.  Maybe I’ll just hide in a plane and parachute out…

Have you ever won a contest? 

Why I Think I Would Represent ZOOMA Well

I sat here for a while contemplating how to write this post.  I should have done it earlier but never in my wildest dreams did I believe the ZOOMA Napa Valley contest would take off as it has.  Never in my wildest dreams would I believe I would be a contender for such a large prize.  It’s not a secret that I have never wanted to win anything more in my life.  My heart is really into this contest and I’ve always wanted to run on the West Coast.   Every day I work my butt off to harass people to vote and while I apologize, I promise after February 24th I’ll be done harassing for a while.  Before I even say anything about myself I wanted to thank every single person who has stood behind me and voted and promoted me daily.  Each of you has helped so much.  Every single vote is amazing.  Each share, retweet, vote and LOL (even it’s a pretend LOL) at my bad jokes and art makes me smile.  

The reason I entered the ZOOMA contest is because I felt like I embodied the true values of ZOOMA. 

The ZOOMA mission is “To inspire women to live healthy, happy, & active lives.”

I personally think I have come to terms with living a healthy, happy and active life.  One of the most important factors to me in life is balance.  It’s important to balance your social life, your friends, your family, personal time as well as training time.  Throughout my three and a half years of blogging I think I have learned that.

I have learned that sometimes it is okay to skip a day of working out to hang out with a loved one.

I have learned that sometimes it is okay to say that you can’t hang out because you need some alone time, some workout time or need to do what’s best for you.

I have learned that while you should never strive to make anyone feel guilty or bad, only you can make yourself truly happy.  You must love and accept yourself before others will do the same.

Honestly despite all of my moves (2013 in a nut shell: NY->VA->Tx->NJ) and the rest of lives curve balls I have come to terms with being more balanced…  I am at a point in my life that I am truly happy.  As I sit here and reflect about that I realize how far I have come since college.  If you were to ask me “Hollie would you be happy living in NJ, eagerly awaiting job callbacks while sitting indoors while it’s 20 degrees?” I would have laughed.

I probably would have thought I would be stressed beyond belief.  I probably would have thought I would have fallen deeper and deeper into my social anxiety hole from early college but I have not.  I have risen and combated my social anxiety.  I have risen and done what makes me happy.  I have taken care of myself by making time for me.  I make time for my workouts, my personal life and other relaxation.

The fact is, I’m not stressed in the slightest and I can truly say my friends and family have been there for me.  I learned that first hand this fall when I was going through so much turmoil during marathon training.  I learned how supportive my friends from Hampton Roads, Potsdam, Oswego, Texas and from honestly all across the world are.  I don’t have to have met you in real life to realize how important each of you is to me.  Without everyone’s constant support, I probably would be stressed out.  I have realized that it is okay to ask for help in order to achieve that balance.  I can truly say that my life is healthy, happy and active.

A big dream of mine has always been to race on the West Coast.  Not just to update a new state to athlinks but because who wouldn’t want to race on the West Coast?  (I’m sure all West Coasters want to get out on the East Coast sometime…just not now it’s cold).  I was born in San Diego and have always dreamed of going back when I was little older.  The races always look so enjoyable.  When I found out ZOOMA was going to send a lucky blogger to race their Napa Valley Race I immediately wanted to win.  The moment I read that announcement was the moment I knew I had never wanted to win anything more. I ran the ZOOMA Annapolis race in 2012 and enjoyed it so I would assume I would enjoy the California one too.  (Plus it’s Califonia). 

I truly appreciate each person’s vote and support.  Do not vote for me because I am constantly harassing you or because I’ve never wanted to win something more in my life, vote for me because you believe I truly represent the ZOOMA mission well.  

If you are interested in reading my full running store…here is the link to that.  I haven’t always been a runner but I’m glad I decided to join this community.

In all honesty I couldn’t type up this post without tearing up and thinking about how special each person is to me.   Thank you all for your support and hopefully I can achieve this dream.  If not I will continue my quest to one day race on the west coast. 

Sometimes You Just Want to Win

When I was in grade school, I desperately wanted to win a bicycle.  The raffles were 25 cents per entry and I begged my mom (dad was deployed) to let me enter.  I had never wanted to win anything more in my life.  Long story short, we left the PTA meeting early that night and received a phone call the next day:

I had won.  I had won a bicycle. 

Since then I haven’t won too much.  Occasionally I’ve won at the casino or on a scratch off but that is about it.   Though I was on homecoming court in high school, I didn’t win that either. It doesn’t bother me since I know I’m one of the most unlucky people in the world.  I was supposed to be born on Friday the 13th but was a little early on Thursday the 12th.  (Then luck decided to have ultimate redemption).

Anyways the ZOOMA race series announced they would be holding a contest for “inspirational bloggers” that live a healthy life and follow the mission of ZOOMA.  I think I have found my balance between living rather healthy (both mentally and physically) as well as enjoying running.  I enjoy working out.  I enjoy rest days.  I enjoy eating healthy and treating myself.  I enjoy my balanced lifestyle both on the internet and in real life too.

I can truly say I’m 100% happy of where my life is right now.

I can also say I have not wanted to win a contest more then I’ve wanted to win this contest.  I try not to actively promote myself to win these types of things but I’ve always wanted to race on the west coast.  I’ve always wanted to race in California this would be the perfect opportunity for me too.

I obviously don’t have a job right now so I cannot afford to fly there on my own terms.  Anyways it would mean a lot if you would take a couple of seconds and vote.  You can vote every single day and I honestly plan to try and remind people to vote for me.  My heart is setting on winning this entry and although I’m nowhere remotely close to winning I’m hoping I can at least try my hardest too.

I apologize if this promoting gets to out of hand but like I said, I really want to win and I don’t deny that.

Please vote and tell all your friends to vote.

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