Me and My Heroes

  The story of me and why I am writing this…

I grew up as an asthmatic.  I can clearly remember the sight of medicine sitting on a spoon in front of my face as my mom nicely & patiently convinced me to swallow it.  I can remember having to take these inhalers where you put this capsule inside & pushed on the inhaler to make the capsule explode as I tried to breathe in this terrible tasting powder.  My mom always had to call ahead before I could go to someone’s house for a playdate or birthday party and ask if there would be any cats, dogs, fireplaces or cigarette smoking as all these things would give me a major asthma attack. But what I remember MOST, clearly and vividly and to this day, is my mom and dad taking care of me.  I remember like it was yesterday, my mom sitting throughout the night, watching me breathe.  I remember my Dad taking my pulse and counting my breaths.  The pillows that my mom would prop me up on in an effort to try to get me to be able to fall asleep in a sitting position because laying down made breathing that much more difficult.  My mom and dad never left my side.  They never seemed to fall asleep. No matter what, they were, and still are, there for me.  My mom and dad are my Heroes.

As I grew up, I saw different Doctors.  Nothing really seemed to help my asthma, and I feel like every time I went to the Doctor, they gave me more medicine. I’m not saying that was a bad thing, I’m just saying I took a lot of medicine.  I puffed on a lot of inhalers.

When I went to college, I had a serious relapse with my asthma.  I just couldn’t breathe.  I was puffing on my inhaler all the time.  I was having trouble walking to class without having to puff on my inhaler.  My mom quickly jumped on a plane and took me to a pulmonologist.  His name was Dr. Love.  He looked at me straight in my eyes and said, your body is too dependent on medicine.  Your lungs are weak.  You have got to start building up your lungs or you will be sitting in a chair for the rest of your life.  He asked me if I would like for him to arrange for the handicap van to take me to and from school?  What?!  No way was that going to happen!! No, I do not want to be driven to and from school when all my friends are walking!  He said, well then, you need to start running.  You need to build up your lungs and running is a great way to do that.  I would learn later in life that Dr. Love was my hero.

After I left his office, I thought, how can I run when I can not even walk?  I had a friend, Jen, who offered to run with me.  I had several other friends who offered to take me to the gym and workout with me.  But it was the running that I needed to focus on.  I needed to build my lungs.  Everyday, inhaler in hand, Jen would meet me to run.  We would run about 25 yards. Yup, 25 yards.  And then I would puff on my inhaler.  The next day would come and we would run 25 yards.  But as the days came and went, I would begin to run further.  I will never forget the day I ran all the way to the bridge…I ran a 1/2 mile!!  I just thought that was such an amazing accomplishment!  But even more exciting was that I began to become less dependent on my inhaler.  I could run to the bridge and not have to puff on my inhaler.  Everyday we ran. And we began to run further.  I would eventually begin to run 2 miles.  Jen stuck by my side and ran with me.  She encouraged me to keep going.  I would learn later in life that Jen was my Hero.

Over the years, I would eventually stop taking all medication. I also began to realize the importance of eating healthy. My mom and dad were runners and we always ate healthy growing up.  But when you go off to college, it is easy to get side tracked by all the food available on campus.  I began to realize that certain foods directly affected how I felt.  Not just the foods that I was allergic too, but food in general. 

I graduated college & life stayed pretty consistent for awhile. Working, running, eating.  I met another Hero of mine, my husband.  Although we continued to workout and eat fairly healthy, it wasn’t until we had children that the importance of food and eating clean would shake my world and cause me to have another eye-opening experience. Our 2 youngest children, but most specifically our middle daughter, became severe asthmatics. Inconsistent allergy testing and several trips to the ER, we landed back at the allergist.  We learned that our middle daughter had severe allergies to a lot of foods, most specifically soy and all nuts.

I began to research food and my findings were SCARY!!  I realized that changes needed to be made, even though we were fairly healthy eaters.  I realized even more the importance of eating clean, whole foods.  I realized the importance of getting to know your farmer.  I realized the importance of organic fruits and vegetables and if you can’t buy organic, get to know the farm and the farmer.  I needed to be my daughters hero and make sure that I fed her the best quality food I could.  Now don’t get me wrong, she is a child and I am not supermom, so there are loopholes in this clean food diet.  BUT, the difference that eating clean can make IS noticeable!!  Knock-on-wood, we have NOT been for any breathing treatments or to the ER since making these changes.  And, she really isn’t taking any medicine.

Running a marathon was always on my think list.  Not my bucket list, but my think list.  My dad ran over a dozen NYC marathons and my mom also ran the NYC marathon.  But I just never thought I could run that far.  Again, even years later, I was still only a 6 mile runner.  But then one spring evening while out with friends, a running friend suggested I run the Chicago Marathon.  She said she would train me.  She said she would write the training plan and tell me everything I needed to know.  She said I could do this.  She was holding herself accountable for training me and holding me accountable to running. I told my husband. I told my parents.  I was now accountable for committing to run the Chicago Marathon.  And if that wasn’t enough accountability, I also committed to running the Chicago Marathon on behalf of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and raising money.

So June 2015 came and training started.  My running friend and I stuck to the plan and never deviated.  Why?  Because we were committed and we were accountable.  My parents, my husband, my running friend, St Jude…I committed and felt accountable to them.  My parents had run marathons, so I did not want to let them down.  My husband thought I was crazy and quite honestly did not think I could do it so therefore I was accountable to him to prove to him that I could run 26.2 miles.  My running friend said she would train me and I therefore I was accountable to her because I didn’t want to let her down!  And I told St Jude I would raise money and therefore I was accountable to them.  From June till October, we trained, logging 700 miles.  I raised $5000.  And we finished the marathon sub 4 hours!! We were accountable for completing the commitment and we were heroes to St Jude for raising money.

So here I am, writing about me and my heroes and how I became a runner, a person who works-out and a person who believes in clean eating. Why? Because I realized the power of being someone’s hero. I realize the power of being there for someone, offering encouragement and accountability. I realize what the power of clean eating and exercise does for your health. I realize that I want to share my love and passion for clean eating with others. I want to share my passion for living a healthy lifestyle, both physically and nutritionally. I want to be there for people just like people are there for me. I want to share work-out tips, recipes and help people take the steps, whether beginner steps or advanced steps, to living a nutritionally and physically balanced life. I want to be your hero, your coach, giving you pure power to be the best that you can be. If you would like more info on how to get started on having the pure power to eat clean, commit to a work-out plan & have accountability, message me. I look forward to being each others hero.

Be Somebody’s Hero,
Heather

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