Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where the Heck Have I Been?

Many have asked if I fell of the face of the earth or just given up on Twitter and the running world completely. No, no, and no. As most of my readers know, I started running because of an amazing organization called Team In Training. Through Team In Training, I discovered so many things about myself. For starters, I unleashed the marathon maniac that I never knew I had within. Me, running 13.1 miles? I never in a million years would have pictured myself a runner! Before marathon life I used to (BRACE YOURSELF FOR THIS ONE) smoke every single day. A cigarette after work and a few on the weekends was quite common. I must admit that I did smoke well into my season with Team In Training but the more and more I started learning about cancer, it not only drove me to quit, but it also helped me discover an even greater passion than running…I wanted to be part of the cure!

I wanted to do everything I could to help put an end to cancer. I threw myself into Team In Training, embarked on a mission to raise money, and finished my season raising more than $2,500! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…this would never have happened without the many people who supported me on this. From my co-workers Alicia and Freddy who told me that I could not give up and the countless people who donated or helped in one of my fundraising efforts. Every little bit brought me closer to my goal and essentially unlocking this passion to help others that always existed but came full circle through Team In Training.

As the months passed, I knew this was my calling in life. And then one day, I came home and my wonderful boyfriend said, “Look what I found.” And there it was--a job opening at Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Orange County. I didn’t apply.

Why? I wasn’t sure I had it in me to be a “manager”…to lead others in believing the cause. I myself believed in it but how could I convince others? To spare the long details, it took me two months to apply and I was the one they called back to offer the job. I was faced with so many decisions…leave an agency that had been so good to me for almost six years or jump to the non-profit side and have the chance to do something I’m passionate about. As hard as it was, with tears in my eyes, I told my boss that I was taking the position. Was I scared? Absolutely! I remember someone told me, “Lead with your heart, and the rest will fall into place.” Those words gave me the courage and the confidence that I needed to start my position as the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Los Angeles Race for the Cure, March 2011
So that’s where I’ve been and that’s why I’ve gone missing for the last two months. The learning curve in addition to working on one of our Affiliate's biggest events of the year, Pink Tie Ball, are what have kept me away. I dove right in working on materials and night-of presentation logistics for the Ball which is an annual fundraiser we host where we identify seven men in the community to help raise awareness about breast cancer in the community.

As the work piled on, I started neglecting my running a bit. And I just moved which only added to the craziness of my life. Ironically though, I moved right near a running track in the city of Cypress and just discovered that the city hosts its own 5 and 10K in July. So I’ve signed up which is just what I needed to kick-start my running again.

Although I’ve been insanely busy with my new job and the move, by no means would I trade the experiences in for anything. We raised thousands of dollars at our Pink Tie Ball and are full swing ahead onto our next event which is our 20th Annual Race for the Cure! It’s all hard work but I am so proud to be a part of this great team. They are all so passionate at what they do and I can honestly say I feel at home in my new role. I am helping save lives each and every day which is what this blog has been about since day one.