How many doors must I go through
These constant dreams that I pursue
I can see possibilities in you
Yea here we go again
Is this too good to be true?

I’ve been thinking about this post for awhile, and was in the spa reading Oprah’s 10th Anniversary Special, and came across O’s 10 Women On The Rise.  It highlighted some distinguished women who are really going places.  And, I started to think of the women that I blog and tweet with, and how each of us really are distinguished in our own homes, businesses and lives.  Maybe none of us is famous, but…we make an impact every day.


  • Miss Joy: Running Down A Dream~She is the primary caregiver for her Mom…and a great person and runner.
  • Shannon: The Way I See It~This is a woman who will hide dead bodies, clear hard drives, and delete emails for me if I go in a coma.  Everyone should have someone like that.
  • Ali: Confessions of a (Not so) Fat Runner~ This girl has had to fall down, get up and walk through things for her disabled son that none of us can imagine.  And, she does it everyday.
  • Cyndi: Rookie Runner: Reflections from the Back of the Pack~ Another girl running through tough life decisions, and yet…she keeps on plugging along…
  • TK:  Pigtails Flying~ Smoking fast runner, who just did London in 3:58, yeah…that’s a 3.  Plus, she has kickass music taste!
  • S: Runnrgrrl’s Blog~ She qualified for Boston on her first Marathon attempt.  But, more than that, she also walked through fire to get to where she is today.

These six women inspire me every day…So, I’m asking these questions, and tagging them to answer too:

  • Distinction: I’ve been teaching since 1981, School Counselor, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, 2 marriages, 2 beautiful boys, 2 crazy dogs…But the biggest distinction I want the world to know about me?  That I’m an amazing friend.  Because…I am.
  • What do you hope to accomplish over the next ten years? Definitely, I want to be able to send my boys to the college of their dreams…and to raise them right.  Personally, however, I’d like to Boston Qualify by the time I’m 60.
  • Do you have a Mantra? I have many.  My favorite Bible Verse, from 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27~

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Also?  Run Fierce!

  • Any Regrets? Not a one.  That would mean I have to go live in the past.  I’ve made lots of mistakes, but each of them has brought me to this exact moment, so how could I regret them?
  • People would be surprised to learn that:  I once tried out for a play…as an adult.  I really wanted to try it…once.  I did, and I was exhausted!
  • If your House were on Fire, what one thing would you grab? My hard drive.  Sounds clinical, but it stores most of my pictures, which could not be replaced.
  • Fill in the Blank:  I wish I could:  PR on my next marathon.

Okay girls.  Your turn.

9 thoughts on “Women On the Rise

  1. wow.i’m so incredibly to be grateful to be on such a beautiful and inspiring list. my first reaction is always, i think you must mean some other runnergirl… but ya, me. thank you so much. let’s get to the juicy stuff.
    1. biggest distinction i want the world to know about me:
    i’m not a victim. ya i’ve been through all kinds of shit but so what. we all deal. we all make choices. we can overcome. i do.

    2.what i hope to accomplish over the next 10 years:
    i can answer in 3 realms: be healthy enough to run the world’s 5 major marathons: Boston (again), Chicago, NYC, London and Berlin…and maybe do a half iron. i used to say compete at kona but things have changed. i’ve fallen for running more than i thought i could. now, i’d like to use my running support system to also support a charity so that i can make a contribution to something greater than with my solo accomplishments that my husband and i can raise our children to believe in their full potential i’d like our children to grow up with a sense of family and caring for others and use their talents graciously with respect for the opportunities they have that so many can only dream of. i love what i do and i hope to continue this love affair and push its boundaries as far as i can.

    My Mantra
    run because i can. never give in. FTW-i can do this. when i run, i think of all the ppl that cannot run and i run feeling blessed with every step.

    none.i’ve done stupid, crazy, irrational things and i dont regret any of them because they’ve all helped me learn about myself. i’m much richer for the big mistakes i’ve made and i’ve learnt alot about my ability to overcome from the very very bottom.

    People would be surprised to learn that
    i used to be a self-destructive, angry person that hated herself and pretty much everyone else – you get told you’re worthless enough times, you start to believe it. (i turned it around with alot of love from 2 very special ppl)

    If my house was on fire, i’d grab my
    family. no question….if they were safe. nothing else matters. i have all i need.

    I wish i could
    have a bigger achievement with my next marathon by running for charity. its time for me to give back and share the love i get so often, so constantly from so many people that i’ll never be able to thank enough…

    there you have it… thank you for asking. some things here i hadn’t really asked myself yet.

    again, its an honour to be mentioned in this list of running rockstars.
    hugs, ms. v. i cannot wait to meet you.

  2. The Avett Brothers (look ’em up) have a song with a line that goes “all my mistakes led straight here to you,” which is how I look at regrets. And from the looks of it, you think that way too. Cheers!

  3. Distinction: I am the first person on my mom’s side of the family to earn anything higher than a high school diploma. Education, family, friends and health are the core pieces of who I am, and I am proud that I overcame generational poverty and dispondency to become the woman I am.

    What do you hope to accomplish over the next ten years? I want to run at least one marathon per year for the rest of my life. In the next ten years, I want to get faster, stronger. 🙂

    Do you have a Mantra? All of the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle. – St. Fracis of Asisi. I think as long as you believe and have faith, nothing the world throws at you can bring you down.

    Any Regrets? Only one (regarding my son’s injury)… but I am learning to not dwell on it and define my life by it. Life happens… how we react is ultimately how the world will define us.

    If your House were on Fire, what one thing would you grab? The photo album with pictures of AJ ‘before’.

    Fill in the Blank: I wish I could: Teleport. Ahhh, the places I could go in a day!

  4. This blog post is just beautifully written and full of inspiring reflections and ideas. I was feeling a bit “flat” today.. but was routed to you by @runnrgrl (who is also inspiring) and well.. I am now puffed up for the rest of the day. Just a lovely post.. thank you for sharing! I am promptly going to let the lights in my life know how important they are! 🙂

  5. Ms. V, if you’d been my teacher I’d have followed you everywhere. Instead, I will just blush instead as you tag me on your blog in such a flattering way; and do my best to live up to how fabulous you think I am. Awe shucks & wow thanks! Have I mentioned that I admire you as well? You’re a fighter and a survivor and you lift up the people around you, I can tell all the way from the East Coast.

    DISTINCTION: I will go to great lengths to cheer my friends up, including sharing my stories of personal humilation, wickedly mocking the enemy, and getting mouthy with strangers.

    ACCOMPLISH: Boston Qualify by the time I’m 40, sure. I am 37 right now. But I’d also like to find my freedom, which would bring with it lightness of heart, clearness of conscience, and balance of budget. Oh, and: I’d like to live in the countryside outside of Bologna, Italy for a year, reading, cooking and running.

    MANTRA: Strong Beautiful. Strong Beautiful. Over and over until I PR or collapse trying.

    REGRETS: Too many to list. My passionate, impulsive nature often leads me clumsily into regret. Usually, I have a bit of fun getting there, but…

    SURPRISING: I hate football, but I love the NFL draft, because of the bling on display and the suspense, in that order. I can whip up a mean batch of Nutella ice cream. More men have rejected me than have loved me (okay, maybe I’m the only one who finds that surprising).

    FIRE GRAB: Well, Husband would grab the dog. I’d probably grab my purse. LAME but true! As I look around, I really hope my home doesn’t burn down.

    I WISH I COULD: Get over myself.

  6. This is such an honor Linda! I am humbled by your tag….truly. Somedays we may not feel like we are *rising* to anything, so thank you for showing us a way to re-think that concept!

    First and foremost, I am a MOM to the three most amazing human beings on the planet. I want them to grow up to live happy and authentic lives- no matter what they choose to do in this world to make their mark, I want them to feel joy doing it! Second, I am an athlete. It took me 40 years to be able to say this with conviction, and I have days where I hesitate to say it. Ups and downs aside, I AM an athlete.

    What do you hope to accomplish over the next ten years?
    First, I will be sending my children out into the world over the next 7 years or so, one by one. And they will be READY. (and so will I!) I will run my first marathon this year, and many more after that..I hope. Someday I’d like to try an Ultra…just because I think it’s in me, somewhere. Amidst it all, I will continue to discover my authentic self, and learn how to experience love fully – love of myself, love for others. The next ten years is for ME – and living in The Moment as joyfully, passionately and as authentically as I can. Then, I will find a way to share all this good *luv* with others. Help, teach, coach, inspire. If I am given the gift of a joyful life, I want to pay it forward.

    Do you have a Mantra?
    “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” – John Lennon

    “Don’t Deny Your Awesomeness” (DDYA)

    Progress, Not Perfection.

    Any Regrets?

    I used to think I had regrets, but really I’ve learned to acknowledge my mistakes, learn what I can from them, and move on as quickly as possible. Mistakes do not define us, and regret weighs us down llike rocks in the pockets and that makes it hard to move forward. So I may glance at my past, but I won’t stare!

    People would be surprised to learn that: I am a *retired* classical pianist. And I could really jam out some VanHalen and Journey on keyboards, back in The Day.

    If your House were on Fire, what one thing would you grab?
    Besides my children of course….I would grab the big box of photos, my purse (with my Blackberry!) and my Cobalt Blue Nike LunarGlides. For reals.

    Fill in the Blank: I wish I could: Serious wish? Find a cure for epilepsy or at the very least, take away my son’s seizures. Silly wish? I wish I could run 9 minute miles….easily.

    Thanks Linda, you are the biggest RockStar in my book! xoxoxo

  7. Linda, I am so touched that you would consider me for such a list…and am honored to be listed with such special women. The women you’ve tagged in this post…amazing and incredible without a doubt. I, too, love following them, am inspired by them, and am constantly reminded of the true greatness that lies in the everyday woman.

    As far as you…there are just no words. You are such a dear and special friend. You celebrate with me, and you cry with me. There are few friends like you in this world. I hope you will always know how thankful I am for your friendship, and I hope I can always return such friendship to you. Yes, hide bodies, clear your hard drive, delete your emails…I’m there. Through thick and thin, you have stood by me. You’ll never know how much that means. Love you, girlie!

    You know I am a girl of many words, stories, and opinions, and yet, when asked to write…I suddenly get writer’s block! LOL But I’ll give this a whirl….

    Distinction: Gosh…thinking about this one makes me wonder what mark of distinction I can really own…if any! I am just your average working mommy. Naturally, as any mother feels, I feel that being mommy to my 3 kiddies is about the most distinguished thing I’ve ever done. They are my heart…my joy…they are truly the lights of my life. They have forever changed me, and I strive daily to just be the best mommy I can be. Juggling it all is a challenge at times. Outside of them, I would just say my compassion for others…I would do just about anything for anyone…friend, enemy, or otherwise.

    What do you hope to accomplish over the next 10 years? Over the next 10 years, I hope to continue to raise my children with solid morals and values. I want to provide them with every opportunity that I can and teach them to go after the desires of their hearts…to find their true passion. I want to complete a HIM. I want to find speed. I want to run another marathon with a time that I can be proud of (and come out of the finisher’s shoot uninjured 🙂 ). I want to invest myself in goodness…in good people and good causes. I want to pursue my new career path and see where it takes me (because in the big scheme of things, I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up). 🙂 I want to continue to rediscover myself…and to continue to listen to the desires of my own heart.

    Do you have a mantra? I do…and I’m embarrassed to say that I got it from a billboard…for beer! LOL I read this Dos XX slogan two years ago this summer: “You only live once; make sure it’s enough.”

    When I read that, it made me think of some years down the road from now…will I have any regrets? Am I living my life to its fullest potential? I want to know when I lay on my death bed that I lived the life I WANTED…not just the one that was expected.

    One other line I really like when things are tanking for me is from Carrie Underwood’s song “Lessons Learned:” And all the things that break you are all the things that make you strong.

    That line rings true for me in so many ways. My mother taught me to be tough as nails. I wear my feelings on my sleeve, without a doubt. You always pretty much know where you stand with me and how I’m feeling…I can’t hide it. However, those things that break me ARE what make me stronger. I know that I will always come out ok on the other side…sometimes a little worse for the wear, but I get back up, dust myself off, and keep moving forward.

    Any regrets? There are few things that I would change. I am who I am today based on the events of my life. I like who I am. I am comfortable in my own skin. I think the only regret I have is that for a period of time…actually a rather lengthy period of time…I lost all sight of myself. I was so engrossed in caring for others that I forgot to take care of me. I forgot to be true to my soul. I lost myself a bit. Lost my way. Ignored the desires of my own heart. I swam, biked, and ran my way back. Yet, it has came with a price. Pain and tears.

    People would be surprised to learn that: I suffered from depression in 2008-early 2009. It is how I found running and triathlons. They have truly been my saving grace. The silver lining of being depressed? Learning that pleasing everyone else was costing me what I wanted…that I had to reclaim a little time and life for myself. It was very difficult for my family…seeing me sad and broken wasn’t something they were accustomed to. I have always worn the smile. Played the part. Done what was expected…no matter what. But I battled back. I am in such a better place now, and I have learned the importance of taking care of myself…physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    If your house were on fire, what one thing would you grab: Assuming my family was safely out (because apart from them…nothing is important really…stuff is just stuff), I would grab one box out of my closet. When we prepared for a hurricane some several years ago, I had to be selective about what I was taking. It was just after Hurricane Katrina. Everyone was evacuating. We had to take food, water, and then all of us in our car out to my parents’ ranch. People were scared. I created a special box. In this box were all of our special documents: birth certificates, social security cards, passports, insurance information, back ups of all of the pictures of my babies, and home movies of them. With my family and this box, I could start over.

    I wish I could: Wow…how much time ya got? LOL I wish I could sit down and have one more dinner with my grandmother. She died when I was in graduate school. She was the most amazing woman. She loved more than I knew was possible. She was a faithful, God-fearing woman. She could calm your soul with her words, her wisdom, her faith. I miss her everyday. I would want her to meet my children. To tell her about what she’s missed over the last 12 years. To hug her. To tell her what her life meant to me. She was a huge part of my childhood. I adored her. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I’m not sure I could ever be the woman that she was…I have fallen short already in so many ways. But that would be my wish…one more visit, dinner, day with her. A chance to tell her how special she was to me…just one more time.

    Love you, Linda! Thank you for this tag…it is an honor. Truly. xoxo

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