Married to her high school sweetheart for the past 11 years, Kathy is a mother to two wildly active little boys, a 6-year-old named Travis and a 4-year-old named Emmett. An avid distance runner for over 10 years, Kathy has recently taken her distance running to the next level by competing in ultra-marathon races. Kathy holds running close to her heart because it has given her hope even in her darkest moments, when she thought her son may not live to see another day.
Lesa Newby is a wife, mother of two happy children, a three-year old girl and a six-year old boy (who happens to be autistic), a runner, a successful business owner and a lover of what results from motivation. Lesa has a true passion for other people’s stories, what makes them move, what makes them happy and how she can help them.
She rules because she has never stopped running. At six months pregnant she was still hitting the pavement, bringing her baby bump along for the journey. Lesa was first introduced to Fellow Flowers at the Chicago Marathon Expo while she was six and a half months pregnant with her daughter. When a booth adorned with flowers caught her eye, her friend, Dave Mari said, “You have to meet these awesome flower girls!”. As soon as she met Mel and Tori, she felt an instant bond, a connection beyond just running. There was finally a symbol to display why she was running a full marathon pregnant, why she trained so hard and her “WHY” was found in a flower. And so began the journey she traveled the next three and a half years called…running.
Rosea ran with Theresa everyday. She was loyal and devoted to Theresa, always by her side, always waiting for her to get home. She came into Theresa’s life when she was two years old – before that she had been trained as a golden retriever leader dog. This training made it stressful for her to be without Theresa so she never left her side. In many ways Rosea was Theresa’s leader and therapy. On Theresa’s wedding day, she didn’t wear a veil but instead Rosea wore it for her and stood by her side as she always did.
One day after a run Rosea came home and threw up blood. Theresa immediately took her to the vet only to discover she had lymphoma and was told she had 3 weeks to live. But mothers don’t take no for an answer. Even in the darkest times, a mother does everything in her power to save her children. So that’s what Theresa did. She drove her to and from a holistic treatment center an hour or more away every week, she adhered to a strict and daily supplement and treatment regimen but Rosea was happy. The treatment was working and it was all worth it. In the midst of caring for Rosea, Theresa gave up running. She couldn’t possibly look at Rosea’s face as she left for a run, knowing her partner in crime wanted so badly to be there but couldn’t. So just like Rosea did, Theresa continued to remain right by her side, even if that meant giving up running.
Wondering what the SHE Rocks Virtual Run is all about? Never participated in a virtual run before? Don’t worry it’s actually pretty simple – a virtual run is just a race that can be ran at any location you choose! You run WHEN you want and WHERE you want. You can walk, use the treadmill, skip, run outside or participate in another race. For the SHE Rocks Virtual Run you have the option to complete a 5k, 10k or 15k on Mother’s Day (5/10/15). It’s up to you to run the distance you choose and complete your race sometime that weekend either by yourself or alongside friends or family!
The beauty of a virtual run is that it’s completely flexible and you can run your race at your pace wherever you like, remember at Fellow Flowers we believe – forward is a pace! All SHE Rocks Virtual Run participants will be emailed a race bib, optional supporter bibs and a kiddos certificate of completion (and a special Fellow Flowers Momosa cocktail recipe so you can cheers to you and your finish!) and will be mailed a finisher’s medal and limited edition race tank.
She RULES because:
As a fitness instructor, mom, runner and founder of the non-profit Shine Fertility (a charity partner of the SHE Rocks Virtual Run), Katie O’Connor is a woman who wears many “flowers” all woven with passion, purpose and perseverance.
She rules because she never gives up in running or in life. After struggling with infertility, she underwent treatments to hopefully fulfill her dream of becoming a mother, knowingly giving up the one thing that kept her grounded, her love of running. Instead she turned to walking and focused her energy on bringing a new life into the world, knowing one day she could return to running.
In the process she discovered training for a marathon and preparing her body for IVF were ironically similar challenges. Both require dedication to the process, time and careful preparation to ensure you are mentally and physically ready for the big day (the race for the marathon vs. the retrieval and transfer surgery for IVF). Each process and challenge takes you months to prepare for.
What better way to honor and celebrate the amazing women in our lives who inspire us, motivate us and are us than with some miles on the pavement. That’s why we’re excited to host our first ever virtual run, the SHE Rocks 5/10/15K Virtual Run taking place on Mother’s Day (5/10/15), because it’s all about the SHE…who inspires, loves, leads, gives, and ROCKS.