Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Thursday Thanksgiving Edition: Melissa is sharing her thankfulness for her cousin Inessa!

Inessa, Melissa, and Jenn! (left to right)

Hi!  I want to share my story with you.  My name is Melissa, and I am a runner!  I loved to run as a child, always did track in elementary and middle school, but at 18 while pregnant with my first child, I got varicose veins.  Everyone said they would go away when I had my baby, but they didn't....  They looked awful, and hurt a lot.  No insurance company would cover the surgery, because it was considered cosmetic....  I gave up running, and never ever showed my legs.  I gained ALOT of weight, and became quite depressed.  I took medication for depression, but still felt tired and sluggish all the time.  About 5 years ago my cousin Inessa really got into running.  She trained hard, got healthy (looks amazing!) And she ran her first marathon.  I was out of town, but I was amazed!  I never knew anyone who had run a marathon!  Then, everything fell into place....  I found a doctor to do an ultrasound of my legs for free...  Turns out I had grown a second set of the main vein that runs through your legs, but it did not fully develop....  No longer a cosmetic issue!  My insurance covered the surgery!  Before I healed, I announced to most everyone I knew that I was going to run a marathon.  Being seriously overweight (obese according to my doctor), addicted to Starbucks, depressed, and seriously lazy, I was not met with an overabundant amount of support.  I got a lot of snickers and a few flat out "you can't just decide to run a marathon".  The ONLY person who showed any support (besides my husband who figured it was another hair brained idea that would blow over) was my cousin Inessa.  She answered every question I had from "how far is 5k?" To "How do you keep your underwear from going up your butt when you run?"  She helped me find racing sites.  When I ran a whole mile without stopping (it took me over 18 minutes) she called me to tell me how proud of me she was.  I decided to sign up for my first race, and I decided to go big....  I signed up for the Eugene Women's Half.  I did not train properly, and she was gone the weekend of the race.  I HATED it.  I decided around mile 5 that people who love running were crazy, and liars....  But, I didn't know how to get back to my car, so I kept going.  The time limit was 3 and a half hours, I finished in 3 hours 29 minutes.  I cried for the next 45 minutes.  The first person I called was Inessa.  She explained that the crying was normal and told me how proud she was.  3 months later, I went to Portland where she lives, and ran my second race (another half marathon) with no training....  ugh.  Again with the hatred for all things running, but she ran it too, and met me at the finish line....  6 minutes faster!  Okay, I CAN do this.....  I now have an entire wall in my house covered in racing bibs and medals, and April 29, 2012 she came to Eugene as I completed 26.2 she ran the half, met me at miles 16, 20, and 25....  I am down 40 pounds and completely off all medication.  I rise in the morning ready to run, and dream about it as I sleep.  I have never met someone so inspiring and willing to help a fat girl with little motivation.  I am joining her again December 16th for the Holiday Half in Portland.  Ready to set a new PR.  <3. 

We are so happy for you Melissa and thankful for you Inessa! 
It is amazing what can be accomplished when you have a positive, 
supportive person(s) in your life!

We wish all of our followers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

~Danyelle & Bekah

Has someone inspired you and you are thankful for them?
If so, share your story with us!
Email it to with the title
"Thankful Thursday" and make someone smile today!

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