It’s Your Journey

Natalie’s Story

Saturday – September 21, 2019

Natalie’s Story

I’d like to share my fitness story in hopes it might help or inspire someone else. I always considered myself healthy, but I was never athletic nor did I exercise, unless you count chasing our little boys. In 2007, I nearly died from the loss of a partial molar pregnancy – my first girl. Besides losing my baby, the experience left me extremely physically weak and emotionally devastated. I felt I didn’t want to live.
One day my husband took me out for a walk on a local track. For the first time in months I actually felt a little better! It was so therapeutic to be outside in beautiful nature and was liberating to be moving forward. We progressed to jogging.

Due to his sweet resolve to stay with me, I finished a 5k with my son, who ended up winning first place in his division. I started running regularly for my mental as well as my physical health. It was literally like turning on a light, balancing my chemistry and restoring a brighter perspective.
Miraculously we were blessed with a baby girl a few years later. I trained for and ran a half marathon to get back in shape and beat my typical postpartum depression and hypothyroidism. It worked great! But in 2013 I had another painful miscarriage which left me confused and despairing again. After many weeks of grieving, I decided that for my family’s sake I needed to take charge of my health and start running again, making a marathon my new goal. I talked my husband into it, and we trained for several months, painfully pushing back our “wall” each week. We ran at different paces, so it wasn’t always easy to stay together, but it was worth the effort. All that talking time strengthened our relationship!
I was ecstatic at the Pacific Crest Marathon starting line to be reaching our running dream together. Halfway through the race, however, my husband, who was wearing some old shoes, hurt his foot (plantar fasciitis) and couldn’t run another step. Even though most couples were running separately, I didn’t want to leave him alone since I knew he wouldn’t leave me. Encouraged by some friends who’d made a surprise trip to support us, we walked/limped the remaining 13 miles. I was proud we endured and finished, but still felt like we never reached our goal.
Now, I was ready to try sharing my health with a child one last time. The child was born the next spring, and though I was 37, due to all the running and eating right it was by far my easiest pregnancy. For the first time, I had no threat of gestational diabetes. On top of that, one nurse commented I had “runner’s legs”.
This year my fitness goal is to be able to get back in shape enough to run every step of a full marathon! I’ve lost five pounds this month since I started running again. We were very excited to learn about The Pacific Northwest Marathon, especially since it’s on a Saturday (“Chariots of Fire”). Our 16-year-old has been running every day after school since I told him about your marathon. He was born with only one kidney, and was told by doctors, “no contact sports.” But, running is something he can excel at, and he loves how much stronger it makes him look and feel. I just want to attest that running is worth the time and effort you give it. I recommend it to everyone as medicine for so many things!

On May 2nd, 2015, Natalie and her husband achieved their goal by finishing the Pacific Northwest Marathon. What made it even more fulfilling? Because of Natalie’s example of persistence, their 16-year-old son also ran the race, becoming one of the youngest to finish the Pacific Northwest Full Marathon.