Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sexy Mother Runner Featured Runner Friday: Meet Debbie

Every runner has a story. At Sexy Mother Runner, we believe that sharing those stories is a great way to share the gift of running 
while helping to motivate others.

Today's Featured Runner is my friend, Debbie. I met Debbie in college at WIU. We had a great time like all college students do! Debbie's story brought tears to my eyes. Debbie has always been a wonderful person, but running 
literally changed her life around in every aspect!
 You won't want to miss reading her story!

Meet Debbie:

Since today is opening day for the Cubs, I thought this would be a great time to celebrate and of course, tell my story. My story is not like any others on here. Actually, it was emotionally hard to type it up. I am honored I was even asked to be a featured runner because I have never really run a marathon except little 3K’s or 5K’s but, I have run many hurdles. My story goes something like this:

Seven years ago, life was not looking so good. My spirits were broken, physically, mentally, and literally. So many curve balls were thrown at me and each one of them hit me. I felt that I had no place to turn and no one really understood what I was seeking. Even my faith was being tested. I asked Him one day in church why my life sucked so badly and why couldn’t He just do something minor in my life to show me that there is some good in the world? I seemed to get no response from Him.

One day at work this woman came in with her daughter. After doing my ‘paid’ small talk she asked me if I wanted to do a run with her and her family for a good cause. I thought the running would surely ruin my alcohol intake and smoking habit so of course I declined. Seriously, do people just confront strangers and ask them to run? I guess so.  I never gave it a thought again…until she returned. Every week she and her daughter came into my job and she would insistently ask. I would insistently decline. Every Sunday I would ask God to show me the good in the world and asked that this woman stop asking me to run. Weeks had gone by and I finally broke down and agreed with the thought she would leave me alone.  That did not happen.  Once I realized she was expecting me to keep my word, I ran my first block. After that first block, I had to toss my cigarette. I had realized running and smoking don’t mix. I also realized I had only about 6 weeks to prepare for this charity run while I had no idea what to expect, I did it with resentment. I slowly quit sipping the wine, also (if you haven’t figured it out, my habits were more than habits). 

During my running, I ran into someone I had known for a long time just never got to really know. Luckily today, he is my fiance. We became immediate friends. I told him of this run I was expected to do and he encouraged me to keep running. Finally, someone was encouraging me to do something productive instead of putting me down. This woman also asked me to join her prayer group, too. I figured it couldn’t hurt and after the run she would leave me alone. I grew to love this group and the running. When the day of the run came, I was excited, nervous and completely broken inside still. I truly felt obligated to get this run over. I even asked a few friends to join me in my misery.  I ran a total of 21 miles, intermittently. The run I speak of is the St. Jude Macomb to Peoria Run. I raised quite a bit of money for St. Jude and felt good about what I was doing. I thought this was a nice way to distract myself from the bad things that were going on. People were telling me how awesome this was, but I had no idea. When we got into Bartonville, IL I began realizing this was no small charity run. This was serious. There were so many good people running to help save kid's lives. People were honking at us, throwing money at us and cheering us on. It started to hit me that there is some good in the world still. There were so many nice people. I had never in my life, felt so amazing. When we got into Peoria, we were shuffled around to shower and get dressed and line up, etc. I remember standing outside thinking I was going to die from the heat and exhaustion. I looked up to watch other runners come in and at that point I realized that there were so many more heartaches and heart broken families standing next to me, in front of me, all over….it was such an eye opener for me.  My problems became minor, almost obsolete. They made us run in silence and then we got to chant about how awesome we did and what good we did. While coming into the Civic Center and seeing all the families and signs of thanks, I realized God had put this crazy lady, Vickie Cox, into my life to show me the good that is out there.  As soon as I could find her, I told her she was sent from God to me. Thank God she made me run this. 

Today, I still run for St. Jude every year and every year it reminds me of just how lucky I am. It reminds me of just what God intended for me to do. Yes, I run a lot still. I run for charity, I run for me, and I run to keep my spirit up while I keep faith. I swore I would only run for charity events, because that is what God needed me to see. He needed me to see that what he handed me was just a curve ball and not an out. This year, I have agreed to my first marathon.  And yes, that friend of mine, my fiance, he showed up to support me when so many didn’t. In just six weeks, I gained my faith, I gained a friend, I found my Lobster (that’s what I call him), I found my St. Jude family and found my passion for running.  I
also quite smoking, quit drinking heavily, and started hitting those curve balls right back to center field.

Luckily, my kids have seen the amazing things this run can do and now my son runs…This is me, my son, and my best friend right after a segment we had run.

Below Left to Right:Cari, Danielle, Kristen, me and Amber. What an amazing day we had!

Of course, my Lobster, brought me a sweet tea after my run. 

What did you think of Debbie's inspiring story?

We wish all the St. Jude runners good luck 
this year and always!

Want to be a Featured Friday Runner for Sexy Mother Runner?
If so, email Bekah & Danyelle @
Inspire someone today!


  1. Wow. That was a truly amazing story. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. Good luck on your run!

  3. Wow Debbie, what an awesome story!! It is so amazing how God puts people in our lives when we need them the most!

  4. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I think its amazing how running can change a life. Even though I'm lucky to have had a great family life and a great set of friends and amazing bf life still throws curve balls and running is largely how I deal! It also helps me throw out problem Ive had with disordered eating (cause you cant run if you're not fueled), body image (because it makes me realize my body is strong) and get over my last big failed relationship (the reason I started running).

    I'm so impressed at Debbie for letting running change hers and to her friend for being the intervention.

  6. An inspiring story!! Way to go:) proud of u!!

  7. As a fellow Macomb to Peoria runner (this year will be year 3 for me), I want to tell you that you rock! This just goes to show that every one of us has a story to tell. Proud to say I have run with you and I look forward to doing it again in a couple of months! Thanks for sharing Debbie!!!

  8. LOVED your story! I've been throw many curve balls like you so I can totally relate to your story, Debbie. Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Debbie, thank you for letting us share your story! God truly has a plan for all of us even if we can't see it. I love what God and running have done for you. You are a great inspiration!

    Peace, love, happiness!

  10. Loved your story! I always enjoy hearing about lives that have been turned around for the better. I hope you always keep the faith and know that runners are a big, happy family who love to support each other.

  11. Day 19-30 min walk with the hubby!