My name is Rebecca Paull, and I am so proud to be a Stroller Strong Mom and to be on the race committee board of Light Up Columbus 1k/5k/10k! I first began attending Stroller Strong Moms in November of 2011 as a member. I loved the program so much I became a certified group fitness instructor in May of 2012 so I could begin instructing our ever-growing group. There are so many special aspects of SSM I could go on about forever. I’ll just say that being in an exercise environment with goal-driven, amazing, and dedicated mothers is a powerful thing. We challenge each other, we inspire each other, we set goals together, we meet our goals, and then we set new ones. If you’re reading this and you don’t know how to start a fitness regiment, I would strongly suggest you find a group or start a group. Having someone to keep you accountable is key, or at least it has been for me.
Six years ago, I was never a runner. My husband, Joe, however, is an avid runner and always has been very active. Countless days he shoved me out the door and dragged me along on his runs. I would be 20 feet behind him of course, frustrated and breathless. About a year into these shenanigans, I came to the realization that if I didn’t start to enjoy running, I would have a bad attitude towards fitness forever and our marriage would not be functional. I had to change my outlook all together or else I wouldn’t be able to share his favorite past time with him. I started taking mental notes from him about how to make time for a daily run. My excuse list starting getting shorter and shorter as I watched him lace up in the rain, in the middle of a busy workday, with kids in tow etc. and I started doing the same. You can make excuses or you can just run. So fast forward to now, 6 years into running, I feel like I’m still a new runner, yet I feel achieved. I have run A LOT of 5ks, a few 10ks, two half-marathons, I ran across Georgia in a relay team for Run Across Georgia/ Run For The Heroes which benefitted a local organization House of Heroes. I am currently training for my first marathon, The Soldier Marathon on November 9th. I’m beginning to realize I like longer distances, much to my mother’s discomfort. (Sorry, mom.) It’s very exciting to know there are so many lessons I still have to learn as a runner, so many more opportunities I will have as a runner, and it’s something I can possibly do forever. If I had to make a list of why I love running it would be rather long, so I will just list a few off the top of my head.
TOP 10 REASONS REBECCA RUNS or the reasons she can think of at the moment …
10. Running is cheap.
9. Running gets you from point A to point B.
8. My kids are taking notes on my lifestyle.
7. Running is good for you (as long as you’re doing it right.)
6. Running allows me donate to a charity and burn calories at the same time.
5. Running has opened doors for me, career wise.
4. I get to be a part of an awesome running community in Columbus, Georgia.
3. Running helps put my life into focus and clears my head.
2. Running allows me to see my surroundings up-close and personal.
1.5. I like to rub it in my husband’s face that I have run further than he has.
1. My marriage is stronger because of running.
So now I would like for you to know why I am excited about being on the race committee for Light Up Columbus 1k/5k/10k. I’ll mention a quick story from my run across Georgia experience, if you don’t mind. I promise I have a point. I had already run 7.57, 6.84, 7.0 as my duty for the relay. Now it was time for the quicky 3.96. It was midnight and we were at a transition point St. Mark Catholic Church. The road was Orphan Cemetery Road. No kidding. As a Catholic, I felt comforted, but still scared to run at night and kept imagining baby ghosts. (How could you not?) My last runs- there were always runners from other teams in front or behind me, which was totally relieving since it confirmed I was in the right place and going the correct way. So I started off on my run, pepper-spray in hand (they told us to be cautious of dogs, ha.) The entire run I felt sluggish and heavy legged. I was in the dark and there was not a fellow runner in sight. I kept looking ahead and behind me at the rolling hills praying to see a light from a headlamp. No lights. I was alone. This is where I’m going to make the connection, get ready. This is how I would imagine some parents feel when they find out their child has Autism. Every story I’ve heard, a pediatrician hands you generic pamphlet and sends you out to make the calls for your child. Not in all cases, but in Ava’s case (see Ava’s story on our blog) that was the story. I want to help shed light on these parents and children. There can be insurance reforms, there can be awareness events, there will be a Light Up Columbus race in April 2014 that I get to be a part of. Although I don’t know much about Autism, I do know that with proper rehabilitation and special schools it can be treated and possibly eliminated. Children in Georgia are being denied top of line treatment and that can be fixed with insurance reform. Georgia currently doesn’t have insurance for these children so by ‘lighting up Columbus,’ we can play a role in changing that.