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.
With a flower in her hair (her favorite is the black Rock Star flower), Lesa has ran over 30 half marathons and two full marathons. She is currently training to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon!
She rocks because she motivates others to run for a purpose. Lesa’s love for running inspired her to start her own company, Sole2Soul, also known as S2S. S2S challenges others to run 100 miles each month to help benefit a charity. More than 400 members have donated over $10,000 to various charities nationwide! S2S ran for a local five year old who was born with just half a heart. They were overjoyed and honored to pay for his much needed uninsured care. With Lesa’s son as the face of their next focus, this April S2S is running for Autism and has formed a team of 17 runners from seven states (their largest group to date) who will run the Chicago Marathon for AutismSpeaks. Just by running, S2S is raising $17,000 to benefit families coping with Autism!
SHE runs because:
Lesa started running to raise money for the American Cancer Society when her Grandfather, her best friend, passed away of pancreatic cancer. When she signed up for the Chicago Marathon, she was unaware that she’d be welcoming a baby girl four months after crossing the finish line but none the less she remained focused and still accomplished her goal! From that day forward she has never stopped running for others. She has made friends along the way, learned invaluable lessons, traveled, met some amazing people, gotten some crazy press, but most of all, she’s made memories with the people she loves- with flowers shining in their hair!
Lesa runs because it makes her a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, sister and friend. She was given two legs to move for others. Life with a young, autistic child isn’t always easy but Lesa feels more capable and enthusiastic in her ability to help him because of running.
“There is something about putting one foot in front of the other that nothing else can do for you. Running gives you strength, lets you cry through your feet, picks you up when you need it most, heals the deepest wounds and bonds the greatest of hearts. Running has helped me become the woman I am today.”
As Lesa prepares to run in the SHE Rocks Virtual Run, she has decided to dedicate and run this race in honor of her own mother who has always supported her in life and in running and has never left her side, her running girls who keep her going every day, her son who will one day see what perseverance and determination can do and to all the S2S runners whom without, she wouldn’t be able to give so much to those in need. And lastly, Lesa is running for herself – proudly, with a Fellow Flower in her hair, reflecting on how hard it was to get to where she is, but proud because she did it – she truly is a Rock Star!