261Fearless Ambassador!


A few weeks ago, I was browsing Twitter during a study break. I came across a post from Girls on the Run about Kathrine Switzer’s Ambassador program for her organization, 261Fearless.  I certainly know who Kathrine Switzer is, and you might, too.  She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, when she ran under “K.V. Switzer” in 1967.  The race director was outraged, and attempted to remove her from the course and the race.  She went on to finish, and then has spent the last four decades paving the way for women runners.  The organization got it’s name from her number in the 1967 Boston: 261.  As running has made a positive impact on my life, I jumped at the chance and filled out the application.  I received word recently that I was picked as one of the ambassadors! I’m now part of a global community of women who run, walk, move forward, and encourage others to do the same.  You’ll certainly hear more from me on this organization over the next year, but I wanted to be sure and share what 261Fearless is all about:

Mission: is to bring active women together through a global supportive community – allowing fearless women to pass strength gained from running and walking onto women who are facing challenges and hence sparking a revolution of empowerment. 261 is the symbol that unites us as empowered runners and walkers.

Who is a 261Fearless ambassador? A 261 Fearless Ambassador is a woman who finds solace, strength and freedom in running or walking. She is also a role model, a communicator, a supporter and a friend. She has the ability to stand strong for herself and has the aspiration to bring the love of movement to others. She understands that women can benefit enormously from running to overcome personal limitation and adversity, and so she encourages those around her to run and walk. She understands the need for women to connect through running and the importance of a community of empowered women. Through her personal interactions and social media, she has the ability and desire to welcome women into this 261 Fearless community and a determination to spread 261 Fearless mission.

Read more about 261Fearless: http://www.261fearless.org

Read more about Kathrine Switzer: http://kathrineswitzer.com

Grateful for Girls on the Run!

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I love these shots I got of some of the girls on my team yesterday! I sat on the ground and angled my phone up as they ran towards me. It looks a bit like they’re flying, doesn’t it?

I’m now on my 5th (!!) season of coaching with Girls on the Run! This fall semester, I’m with 4 other coaches and 10 girls to make one fun team. In fact, this might be my favorite yet. They’re energetic with a flair for the dramatic, but none are catty or discouraging. As an added bonus, they’re pretty entertaining because you never know what they’ll say next!

One of this weeks lessons was on gratitude.  After the girls took turns sharing a person or place they are grateful for, it was my turn. The weather was gorgeous, so I shared that I was grateful for the weather. All at once, I heard shouts of “Aren’t you grateful for GOTR?” “What about us!?” Laughing, I reassured them I was and am grateful for them.  They proceeded to run for 40 minutes, their longest so far. Before the run, they each set a lap goal for themselves, and many of them met or beat their goals!  At the end of the day, the confidence and pride radiated off their flushed faces. Seeing that is one of my favorite parts of the program.

I’ve been asked why I chose to help with GOTR while in med school.  The answer is easy: I enjoy every minute of it! I learn as much about confidence in myself and making healthy choices as the girls, and get to see them grow over the 12-week program. When it all boils down, this is healthcare, too.  Empowering confident young girls today creates healthy, joyful women in the future. They learn now about conflict resolution, smart food choices, and encouraging others. We’re investing now in girls who will positively impact the world around them, which is preventative health care at it’s finest.

Read more about Girls on the Run here and consider getting involved!

Moving My Soles Along


Hello, friends! I’ve been away from blogging for a while, but have decided to make an effort to document more of life, even if it’s just short little tidbits.  Lately, I’ve been God calling me to create a simple life.  While I’m not sure exactly what all that entails yet, I got started with my physical stuff after reading this article.  After my microbiology final, I spent a feverish three hours going through my clothes, shoes, books, and art supplies.  Everything went through the same set of questions – Do I use this? Do I like this? Will I use it in the future? Things like holey socks and dried paints went into the trash, and everything else was sorted into “keep” or “move along.”  For the “move along” piles, I had specific places for them each to go:

  • Old magazines: to my friend who teaches 2nd grade
  • Books, clothes, decor/accessories: Rolling Hills thrift store
  • Running shoes: Nike’s recycling program.

I had let an embarrassing 5 old pairs of tennis shoes pile up. After the purge, I ended up with my current and previous pair of running shoes, plus a pair of gym/weight shoes. This meant that I finally parted ways with my marathon shoes. While I stopped to take the above picture, I was surprised that I didn’t feel sadness or nostalgia when I dropped the shoes into the recycling bin.  Tossing my very worn and smelly shoes doesn’t change the fact that I ran a marathon. Plus, now I have less clutter and the shoes will be turned into a new place to play. Win-win? I think yes!

A Monday in the Life of an MS1

MS1 (noun): a student in the first year of medical school, usually equipped with a Macbook, purple scrubs, and a distinct formaldehyde smell.  See also: confused, tired, doe-eyed.


Something I was always curious about before starting med school was what day-to-day life looked like.  While every day is different, this sampling gives an idea of an average Monday.  Tuesday looked different, because we had anatomy lab, and today (Wednesday) I might just go to the public library and podcast all day.

Without further ado, here is Monday, September 15:

6:00am – alarm goes off
6:23 –
 actually get out of bed. Business casual day requires a little more time and effort than other days. Get dressed, breakfast, pack my backpack.
7:13 – leave my house and hope I’ve caught the window between school traffic and work traffic.
7:40 – park in the M (student) lot and catch the shuttle to school. Head up to the 8th floor to put away my backpack and take just my computer down to the testing center on the 3rd floor.
8:00 – Foundation of Clinical Medicine exam
8:20 – finish exam
9:00 – patient presentation on hemachromatosis. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either. But this will be the disease we discuss in detail in our Thursday morning small groups.
10-12 – Lectures 
12: lunch, outside because I miss the sunshine.
1-2: lecture
2: decide where we want to study
2:30 – study at Barnes and Noble until time to head to flag football.
4:10 – social media break (just being real here!)
4:45 – bathroom break
5:35-  change clothes and head to LSUS
6:00 – flag football game against the PA students (We won in a spectacular comeback.)
7:00 – drive home, dinner, and shower
8:20 – back at my desk for studying
10:20 – decide I’m done for the night. By this point I’ve covered the day’s lectures at least once, but I’m usually done a little earlier in the day.
1045 – bedtime, so I can do it all again the next day.

The only mandatory events were the exam and the patient presentation.  For me, if I have to come to school, I stay for everything. This day was a little longer and a littler busier than average, but I think it gives a good look at what my “every day” looks like, and now I have this to look back on in a few years. And you know what else? I LOVE it here.  More than I ever expected.


A Love Letter to My Body

We’ve had a good 22 years together thus far, but I haven’t always been kind to you.

Too tall.

Too pale.

Too soft.

Always too something.

But not anymore.


I no longer look in the mirror with hatred in my heart.  This alone is evidence of how God has changed my heart over the last few years.

Now I just see God-given beauty.

A head of red hair, always a point of conversation and jokes.

Blue eyes that connect me to my mom, dad, and sister.

A nose and cheeks dotted with freckles that speak of time spent in the sunshine.

A mouth to give kisses, speak words of love, and eat lots of ice cream.

Two ears to hear laughter and singing.

Broad shoulders like my grandmother.  Covered in freckles and great in a tank top.

Strong arms that can hold babies or wrap loved ones in hugs.

Hands that often catch the brunt of anxiety, but allow me to write and paint and create.

A soft middle, because I’ve been blessed to have had enough to eat.

Hips to dance and hula-hoop.

Strong legs that can run a marathon and walk the streets of Barcelona.

Feet, flat like my grandfather, criss-crossed with tan lines, calluses, and scars, that speak of adventures had and miles covered.

You are strong, and healthy, and more than I ever deserved.  A blessing from God. I’m sorry for the years I wasn’t kind, but those years are behind us. Now I’m ready to give you the respect you deserve.

Dearest body,
I love you.