Sunday, April 28, 2013


I am sure you can already figure out what this post will be about but it is necessary and long overdue, so please stick with me here...

Ted, Alex, Evan, and Me
First and foremost, thank you to my family, Ted, Alexander and Evangeline (aka "Evan"). They remained true when I wanted to run away, when I went nuts, when I was tired and cranky, and when I was over the top insane. They supported me at my races and spent many Sunday mornings without me. There were days when Ted would massage my feet and calves and my kids would walk on my back when I was in pain. After every run, they would ask, "How was your run?" They were usually excited for the next long distance and would congratulate me when I reached every goal I set for myself. Marathon training is hard, but patiently waiting for someone's time and attention is more difficult, and they did it week after week. Your continuous love and support have gone unnoticed and mean so much to me. I love you. To my extended put up with a lot of um, witchiness. I know I was absent from a lot of family gatherings and some of you didn't like that. I am sorry, but we're family. You'll get over it. But really, thank you for understanding and being supportive.

This journey came about because I continued to step out of my comfort zone and had a lot of help and support. Last year I attended my first AMTA National Conference. From that, I met so many people within the association and supporters of the massage industry. I had no idea how much my life would change because of it.

Scott, Me, Drew, David
Thank you to my Raleigh running crew: David Otto (NV), Scott Lesieur (WA), and Drew Pickens (AK). 05:00 A.M. runs in an unknown city is so much more fun with company than without. They said they were applying for the Boston Marathon bibs....What happened?! You boys are in trouble. Can't wait to run with you guys again in Fort Worth! Thank you David for forcing me to run my fastest 1 mile ever. See, on our first run, I only had 45 minutes of sleep the night before (thanks to a delayed flight out of Newark) and David INSISTED we still run at 5 A.M. But not just that, he took off and expected me to keep up with him. Okay, okay....truth be told, he told me I should just sleep but you've figured out by now that I am stubborn. I was up so I ran. But David showed me what I am capable of if I push hard enough, or chase after someone.
David, Molly Barker, Me

Thank you Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run. She was the keynote speaker at the convention. I had not paid much attention when I registered and was pleasantly surprised to see her there. One of the best 5k races I had run up until that point was a Girls on the Run event. It was inspiring to see so many young girls support one another in a race. You words touched my sole and helped me to dream of bigger things in running. Your passion to help young girls made me want to inspire others to reach their full potential as well. I am so grateful that David and I got to meet you. And I started thinking that the universe puts people in front of your face for a reason and it's our job to figure out why.

Thank you Paul Slomski of the Massage Therapy Foundation. I met him at the convention and he insisted I take an application and fill it out. I said okay but really never thought I would be selected. Anytime he checked in on me, I blamed him for every ache and pain that I endured during my training. Thank you for willingly taking the blame, your encouraging words, and constant support. One day soon, I am going to try this Cross Fit thing you keep talking about. If I can run a marathon, I can do anything! Along with Paul, I want to thank the Massage Therapy Foundation and the selection committee. I am so happy you were able to get the charity bibs (Mary White and Cliff Korn). Not only is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the little people like myself, but the exposure it brings to the MTF and massage community is HUGE! On behalf of massage therapists everywhere...THANK YOU. I wish I knew the people on the selection committee that put me here. I want to hug you all. You have no idea how much life has changed for me because of this experience. All of it has been a blessing. I just started on an upward spiral before that phone call and now I feel like a "bad@ss" because you challenged me.

Thank you to the American Massage Therapy Association, a community of compassionate people striving for similar goals. I received many messages of support from individual members and state chapters. Special thank you to the Massachusetts, Oregon, and New Jersey Chapters for your donations to this cause. AMTA-OR, I can't believe you did a fundraiser. You ROCK! I am going to have to make my way out there one day. AMTA-MA - marathon host state; what a beautiful place. I am so sorry you have this tragedy to deal with, but the people in and around Boston really showed their heart and compassion. Be proud and be strong. To the AMTA-NJ Chapter; you are my family. We are a chapter that has gone
through a lot of challenges in the last several years. We learn and grow stronger everyday. I love the respect and comradery we have for one another. I have an insane amount of energy and am always bouncing around (or dancing) during our meetings, and yet you never stifle it. Thank you for the love, the interest, the support, and the patience you give me. They have shown a LOT of patience, especially in the last few months when my brain shut down and I kept forgetting my duties within the chapter. JERSEY STRONG!

Top: Debby, Lisa
Bottom: Gary, Stella, Me, Holly
Thank you to my business partners at Hillsborough Massage Therapy LLC: Gary, Stella, Debby, Lisa, and Holly.  This also includes my past partners, Penny and Portia. They know crazy Kathy as much as my family because they ARE family. We have been together for nine years now. Penny was always a mentor to me professionally and personally. She once told me, "Everyone has a story to tell if you let them." I talk ALL OF THE TIME, so letting others tell me their stories took a lot of practice. I am so glad I am getting better at it because I am discovering that everyone has a fascinating life and stories to share. And every story has a lesson in there somewhere. But more than the lesson, is the connection we develop from one person to another. Gary, aka "Old Man" has been like a father figure to me. I used to hate that when we were in massage school and when we first went into business together. It drove me NUTS! However, I grew to love it. He's got a lot of valuable knowledge in that brain of his and he cares about all of us ladies. Gary has coached me through training and given me so much valuable advice about running. The team has also been very supportive and EXTREMELY patient while I chased after my unicorn. I have neglected my office duties and they picked up the slack. I'm getting my head back on and PROMISE I will have that office organized again guys.  (Which means you won't be able to find anything.) And thank you for the massages.  You guys know your stuff!

Thank you to each and every one of you who donated to this great cause. This includes family, friends  colleagues, clients, state chapters, and random strangers. Fundraising while training and working and raising a family and volunteering is NOT easy and you came through for me to get me to my goal. Your contribution ultimately improves my profession as it funds scientific research, grants, education, and community service within the massage industry. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to the Somerset Runner's Group, the Endomondo community, the BURN community, my burpee challenge group, Running Resolution Group, Christine Eremita, Victoria Arvizu, Ange Yeaple, and Powerhouse Gym-Hillsborough. These groups and individuals issued me some kind of challenge that forced me to push beyond my limits.  I am stronger because of you. Thank you so much. Thank you to my friends/FB stalkers. I had no idea I had so many followers for the marathon. I went read everyone's messages and posts on my page that day. It's amazing to see how many sleuths there are tracking my progress and calculating pace time to determine where I would have been. I am impressed and thankful that you all care so much.

Thank you to the MTF Running Team, Tom Heidenberger and Les Sweeny. I wish we had more time together, but it was nice to get to know you even a little bit, as well as your family. We shared in quite the adventure together, one that will never be forgotten. In addition, thank you to our honorary member, Ryan Hoyme for being there with us and documenting the experience (the good and frightening). I hate the camera, but you made it easier.

Thank you to the Boston Athletic Association and John Hancock for providing the MTF these three bibs. This is an exciting event and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Thank you to the people of Massachusetts and the spectators for your sportsmanship and compassion.

I am sure I left many people out, and I am so sorry. It is not done intentionally. I have had so much help with this journey and met so many wonderful people. Thank you all for being a part of my life and helping me to reach my goals. I feel so blessed to have these gifts.

Some people have asked if I will continue to blog. I haven't decided yet. Some days I think yes, and others I am not sure. Next up is the Marine Corps Marathon in October with the worlds best REAL superheros. I can't believe I am hooked on marathons. I blame the Massage Therapy Foundation people for this new addiction. LOL. (Yes, I just LOL'd in a blog.) My piece of advice: Do what makes you happy. Find something you are passionate about, and use it to inspire others. The rewards are worth it.

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