By Elaine Gonzalez-Johnson
Founder of Latinas in Motion
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…
The Broad Street Run lottery registration is upon us! This year, I couldn’t be more excited. My heart could literally burst from the joy that I feel. You have to understand my journey… In 2012, I ran my first Broad Street Run… alone. Although I could light up an entire village with the pride that I felt when I crossed the finish line, I felt lonely. There wasn’t anyone encouraging me or “high-fiving” me along the course. Just to think, this year, in 2016, we already have over 100 Latinas in Motion members registered for the lottery just blows my mind!
Where it all began…
I have never been an athletic type of girl. I was always the chubby girl too embarrassed to try out for any sport or even play during recess. In my adult life, I have participated in various “yo-yo” diets, gaining a couple pounds here, losing a couple pounds there, but I lacked major consistency. My life changed in 2009 when I became pregnant with my beautiful baby girl… I gained a whopping 56 pounds! A baby, a couple stretch marks and one low self-esteem later, I decided to do something about it… RUN! I ran myself down 50 pounds and counting. To challenge myself even more, I decided to participate in the 2012 Philadelphia Broad Street Run, a 10 miler! While picking up my registration material, I felt disheartened by the lack of Latina representation. This is how Latinas in Motion was born. I wanted to organize a movement where Latinas can come together to encourage, inspire and empower each other to be healthy and get “in motion”.
Why I run…
So you want to know why I run? I am running for all those chubby little girls afraid to play during recess because they don’t want to get teased… I am running for all the working moms who don’t use their children as an excuse to stop living but as a reason to live better… I am running because as a Latina athlete, I am considered a “minority”… I am running because I can… I am running because I’m free!
I hope my story inspires you to get up from your seat and take the first step towards the healthier version of yourself. You are already blessed and beautiful.
Peace, Love, and Run,