About The Sexy Mother Runners

About Bekah:

I am a stay-at-home-mom to three pretty awesome kids, a wife to a really great guy, a vegetarian, and a lover of life. My hope is to reach out and encourage people to make healthier choices for their lives by exercising and eating healthy food.

For the first 33 years of my life I thought running was something someone should do only if they were being chased by, oh, say, a homicidal maniac or maybe a really creepy spider. I could not understand any other reason to choose running as your exercise preference. But then something happened. I watched one of my friends start running. Okay, it was Danyelle.

Up to that point, my husband and one of my good friends had tried to talk me into running. They had always ran on and off so it seemed to me to be easy for them. My thought was, if you didn't run in school or while growing up then you really couldn't just start as an adult. Clearly, I was wrong.

As more and more people I knew started jumping on the running bandwagon, I decided to give it a whirl. I made a very concsious decision to really give it a chance and try to like it. The power of positive thinking is a huge part of my life. My husband was very patient and supportive of me. My teenage daughter ran passed me and made jokes about how slow I was. I hated every step but I kept going. Two weeks in, I ran a full mile without stopping or walking and it felt great. I still hated running though. I kept asking my running friends, “When am I going to stop hating it?” I started to think that the 'runner's high' was a myth and all my running friends were masochists.

Finally, after truly giving it a good chance for over a year, I joined a running group called Building Steam. The group met once a week for ten weeks in preparation for a four mile race, the Steamboat Classic. I started looking forward to the group runs. The people involved brought such a great energy that I started to see how someone could really love running. The race took place the day after my 35th birthday. It was a huge turning point for me. The week after my first 4 mile race, I joined another running group. An all women group called Sole Sisters. We met every Wednesday night and sometimes more thoughout the week. I met women in this group who didn't start running until they were in their 40's and 50's and now they run marathons. These women motivate and inspire me on a daily basis. I'm currently in a few different running groups. Since finding a passion for trail running, I joined a local trail running group. I'm looking forward to growing in this area and doing a lot of trail races in the future.

Since beginning my fitness journey I, along with my husband and two smallest children, have become vegetarian. We have made some really big changes in our eating habits. We have also cut out almost all dairy from our diets. I still haven't been able to give up my half & half in my coffee and my kiddos still get cheese a couple times a week. It's amazing how much better we all feel.

Now, I can honestly say that I love running. It has changed me in so many ways. I'm a better wife, a better mother, a better person. I feel strong, both mentally and physically. I have more confidence in myself than I've ever had before. No matter what the scale says or whether or not I ever get back down to my goal size, I'm doing great things and feeling good about myself. Most of all, I feel, think, and know that I am a Sexy Mother Runner. I want everyone to find the Sexy Mother Runner inside themselves.


FAVORITE RUNNING SONG:  Fighter by Christina Aguilera and Lose Yourself by Eminem

FAVORITE SHOES:  I'm still on the hunt for the perfect pair but I really like my Brooks Glycerine a lot. 

PROUDEST RUN MOMENT: Update: Finishing my first half marathon!!! The Bayshore Half Marathon 5/26/2012 in Traverse City, MI

FAVORITE RACE YOU HAVE COMPLETED: The Midwest Super Spartan, no question!!! It's a really tough obstacle race. I trained for months before this race. It requires a lot of upper body strength, of which I had zero prior to training. It felt amazing to finish the race, seeing and feeling my hard work pay off. Also, I stuck my spear throw, awesome moment for me. :)

FAVORITE PLACES TO RUN: Grandview Drive in Peoria and across the Bob Michel bridge from the Peoria Riverfront to East Peoria Riverfront. Also, the trails at McNaughton Park.

BEST ADVICE:  Choose happiness. It really is that simple. I've found, in my life, there are always at least two ways to handle things. You can give up, give in and let the setbacks drag you into a miserable existence. Or, you can make the decision to be happy and do what you need to do for yourself. Whatever negativity is in your life, get rid of it.  Don't let anyone or anything decide your life for you. My grandmother used to say, "Make each day a little happier than the one before." It took me a long time to really understand just how possible that is. 
My favorite quote, aside from my Grandmother's, is: "Stop living the life you want to lead and start leading the life you want to live." 

About Danyelle:

I feel like I want to belt out Alanis Morrissette in answer to this. I am a mother, a wife, a college instructor, a social worker, a proud non-judgemental liberal christian, a runner, biker,  marathoner, triathloner, and Sweat Pink Ambassador.

I started teaching college Health Classes after my daughter was born in 2006. I am so blessed for this position. It secretly feeds my personal goals while impacting others. What more could I want? I love inspiring people to achieve their goals. It gives me a real high! At this same time I started working with children birth-three years old who have developmental delays at the Early Intervention Program. EI is one of the best state and federal funded programs out there. We really do make a difference in little people's lives.   

You can do anything if you want it bad enough! All you have to do is want it. I started running 3 months after having my son. I looked in the mirror and knew this baby weight had to go so I started running. I was scared! Mostly that I might fly off the end of the treadmill...but I didn't. Ever since then I have been running. As my husband says, "Like Forrest Gump". He says this joking as I am the only person in the world that does not like the movie Forrest Gump. 

There is nothing quite like the feeling I get from running. I love all kinds of exercise, but to me nothing is a greater metaphor to life than running. It is the hardest exercise I do and it gives me the biggest feeling of accomplishment. There are days when I do not want to run, but if I do I always feel better mentally and physically. It helps me run the "crap" out of my head. 

I blog, because I want to leave a small positive footprint in this life.  I love meeting new people and I want to give everyone the courage to try. Life is happening now. Make a difference and have no regrets! Run today!


Tidbits About Me:

FAVORITE RUNNING SONG:  Anything with a fast tempo! I can belt out a Metallica tune and in the next moment a Pitbull one!
FAVORITE SHOES: Brookes Adrenalines
PROUDEST RUN MOMENT: Having my kids and husband surprise me at the finish line at my first 1/2 marathon! (Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon)
FAVORITE RACE COMPLETED: The Chicago Marathon, followed by the Tremont Tri and the Midwest Spartan Sprint!
FAVORITE PLACE TO RUN: Locally, Grandview Drive in Peoria Heights, over the Bob Michael Bridge, or Rock Island Trail. It is beautiful! However, I like to run everywhere on vacation. It is hard to compete with a beach or mountain view. One of our SMR, (Sexy Mother Runner) goals is to run in all fifty states. Our second passion is traveling!
BEST ADVICE:  Run happy. Don't worry about your finish time, unless that is your personal goal! Run for you. Thank God every day for your ability to run and for the life you have been given. If you are able to read this blog you are already better off than 92% of the world. Want to be happy? Do something for someone else that makes them happy. You are sure to walk away with a smile and a happiness in your heart 100% of the time.