She's my inspiration~A success story

I've been waiting for months now to share this story with you all!!!

This girl has gotten slight mention on the blog over the past few years, but it's time for her formal introduction.

This is my life long friend Alison.

We met when were were five and we've been best friends since.  That's over 25 years if you don't want to do the math.We go way back and she's always been a constant in my life.

She's that "one" if you know what I mean, or as they say on Grey's Anatomy "she's my person."

She was there at the worst time in my life and didn't leave my side for 72 straight hours.  A month later when I lost it at a disciple now retreat, she stood by me and held me while I cried at my "other dad" Steve's graveside.  She was one of the first (and few) people I admitted to in the months following Olivia's birth that I wasn't happy and it was all such a constant struggle.  She has listened to me whine and cry over the past few years when I have literally said to her "Damn it! I just want another baby!!!!" and how it all felt unfair.  I told her a mere ten minutes after I told my husband that I was pregnant again. And I'll be honest, I only lasted about a week after I found out in January before I told her it was a girl. 

She's that friend who has never asked for recognition. She's always the one just standing in the wings.  Over the years I haven't always been the best friend to her, but she's always been in the background saying "I'm still here for you" and she always has been.

The older I get, the more and more I value our friendship and realize what a gift it truly is.  Life long friends are hard to come by and not everyone is blessed to have one.  One of my biggest prayers is that both my girls have an Alison in their lives.  She has literally seen me at my worst in life, but yet, she still loves me.  Over the past few years, the friends we hang out with seem to change on a yearly basis, but when I look ten years down the road, I still see her there.  We've already got big plans for how we're celebrating turning forty, so she better be! ; )

I'm a picky person when it comes to the people who inspire me.  There are very few people who make that list.  There is honestly only two people my age who inspire me and she's one of them.

Yesterday morning she completed her first half marathon in just 2 hours and 34 minutes!!!!

I know you're thinking "why is this such a big deal, you did it last year???"  Well, here's a quick run down of her story....

In Fall of 2011, her doctor told her she was pre-diabetic and something needed to change.  She was only thirty and not someone you would look at and think was that out of shape.  Just a couple of months later, two weeks before Christmas, she had to have surgery on her foot and had to be off her foot for about 12 weeks.  She spent that Christmas break on crutches and the rest of the following January and February on a scooter.  You know, one of those one leg scooters.....yes, I still make fun of her about it over a year later!

(A lady & her scooter.....this was on facebook, so it's fair game!)

The moment she got permission from her doctor, she started walking on her treadmill.  She started slow and worked her way up to walking three miles a few times a week.  In June of 2012, she slowly started running and completed her first 5k of her adult life towards the end of summer.  By the year mark of her foot surgery, she had already completed in a handful of races and was running on a daily basis.  In January of this year, she competed in her first 15k (9 miles).  Less than a year before, she was riding around on a scooter and here she was running nine miles!!!

Oh, and on top of that, she took control over her diet and lost 45lbs in about a year. She didn't follow any crazy diet or take any pills, she did it the good old fashion way with eating more healthier foods, exercising on a daily basis, and with time.

This weekend, a mere 14 months after her foot surgery and only nine months after she started running, she ran 13.1 miles!!!!

It's still crazy to me!

I have yet to mention that she has done all this while raising two small children, working a full time job, going back to school to add some type of specialists to her degree, and having a husband who is a head coach of a local high school baseball team (which means she's basically a single mom from January till June). 

I seriously ask her on a regular basis "How do you fit this all in???"

I honestly most days use her to motivate myself when I don't want to get up off the couch...."If she has time to do it, so do I."  Seriously, if any one can use the excuse "I don't have the time" it could be her. 

Alison doesn't make excuses.  If she has to get up at 4:30 am to fit her run in, she does.....and then she gets dressed and goes to work all day.  She's one of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters, but she doesn't cut me slack.  Even at five months pregnant, if I haven't done some form of exercise in a few days, she gets onto me and makes me feel guilty enough to get out the door.

Yes, she is a woman, so she does do it for a little bit of vanity sake, but she made these changes and sticks with for her health.  She didn't want to live her life on pills or insulin.  She wanted to be there for her kids and husband and be healthy.

The best part is....she's not done yet! It took me three months, but I finally convinced her to try to go for full marathon with me.  After this baby comes and life settles down for the Mabreys, her and I will start training for a full marathon in (fingers crossed) fall 2014!

I know I've told you this twenty times already, but I am so proud of you and how far you've come!!! You have so much to be proud of! Thank you for being there the past twenty five years.  I seriously don't deserve your friendship.  You inspire me everyday and I cannot wait to run 26.2 miles next to you! I wouldn't pick anyone else to run next to!!! Love you my Penn-head!!! 
Always your Afro-puff


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