No excuses - RUN towards a new YOU!

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Last night I received my second acceptance letter for my short film "RUN" to be shown at a film festival in NYC. Chances of getting into these film fests is about 7%.  This film was shot in one day, entirely on an iPhone, edited in another day and had production budget of $10.00 - enough for Director Andre Lawrence and I to have two coffees & one shared Chocolate Mouse from Villa Italia in Schenectady, NY, after shooting outside in the cold on 11/12/17.

I snuck into the Stockadathon race to get footage needed of me crossing a finish line.  I borrowed a race bib from an older woman who had just completed the race when I explained I was filming a movie.  It was both Andre's and I's first times making a movie, my first time acting and our second time ever meeting.  There was no script or storyboard - I just knew I needed to film about running and to depict turning pain into power.  

The end shot of the movie is me on some random stairs in an alley in downtown Schenectady.  I look up into the sky and give myself a pat on the back.  In the end - YOU are the only one you need to prove that you are strong enough to.  I hope that this movie shows women and men going through life's difficult times that you are strong enough.  I had lifelong asthma.  In high school I forged notes to get out of gym class.  I had the nickname of "Helen Keller" when I would try to play sports with the neighborhood kids.  I was anything but your typical athlete.

When I started running (races) in 2014, and did my first 5k race with my daughter, I could barely make it a mile without stopping.  My ribs would seize up and I would gasp for air.  I didn't stop though.  She ran along side me for my first race and helped push me to finish.  

Now three years later, my daughter Shawnee, will be my Red Carpet date for the Blackbird Film Festival next month.  I hope that she sees the determination her mom has and that I am eternally grateful to her for pushing me that first 5k to cross the finish line.  I want her to see that in life, there are finish lines that may be hard to cross but the important lesson is that you just keep running.

After my first 5k I clearly saw I needed more "practice" and I joined a running group called "Got the Runs" and had a gentleman in his fifties, Paul, train me.  We would go for runs throughout the Saratoga State Park (SPAC), where he would purposely find hills for me to work through. He had run the Vermont City Marathon in years prior and was familiar with the hilly terrain in parts of the course.  I used my RUNKEEPER app to track my progress and what used to be only one mile at about a fifteen minute pace turned into an average pace for my 5k's of 8:30.  I also will forever cherish my 26.2 miles on 5/24/15 on the app as my furthest distance logged.

I did not complete the standard twelve week training course prior to the marathon in Vermont.  I had my coach, friends, family and several medical personelle tell me to wait on running - that my body wasn't ready.  The furthest distance I ran in my training was only 9 miles and I was expecting my body to do three times that.  I am stubborn however.  I disregarded their suggestion that I wait one more year and set off to Vermont by myself. 

I ran the marathon.  I didn't have to walk and I didn't have to be taken off the course in a stretcher.  I ironically felt full of air and life as I crossed the finish line rather than "dying" as I thought I would.  I sat down on the grass alone after the race and held my finisher medal.  

This was proof that your mind can carry you through difficult times in life even when your body can fail or begins to fail.  I am sure you have heard of mind over matter.  I was proof of this in May 2015.

Just goes to show you if you want something bad enough, there's ways to make it happen.  WIth both the marathon and the filming of the movie, I had numerous obstacles - however I always find a way.  I am extremely headstrong, sometimes to a fault, but I believe in the power of positive thinking.  I believe in holding yourself accountable.  So for those of you who give excuses- I encourage you to rather RUN towards a new you!

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11/12/17 BTS filming for my short film "RUN"

Receiving my first shipment of books.

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At my book launch party on 8/8/17 signing my 1st book "RUN".

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Me at my first radio interview on an iHeart Media

station with show host, Deborah Hanlon.

Now, the short film is quickly earning it's laurels and up for awards!