If you would have told Becky Nye at her first Moms on the Run class in 2012 that she would one day run a marathon, she would have called you crazy.
“I was overweight, 42 years old, not the least bit athletic, and had never run more than a 100-yard dash in high school.” But six years later, she did it. Along with four other Woodbury MOTR teammates, she crossed the finish line at the Fargo Marathon on May 18.
“I am living proof that nothing is impossible if you want it, you work hard for it, and you surround yourself with people who believe in you,” testifies Becky.
Becky admits she could not have come this far without her MOTR training partners: Kristina, Lisa, Mindi, Amber, April and Wendy. For 20 weeks, they shared early morning, dark, snowy runs; stories; rounds of encouragement; games to entertain themselves for 3-4 hours. And on the day of the marathon, she was ready —until mile 18, when she felt tired. At mile 19, her calf was unhappy and by 21, it was screaming to stop. In her last five miles, she walked more than she wanted or planned, but after a few positive self pep talks, she finished in 5:12:37.
So how did she get here? Read on for a fun conversation with Becky.
Q: What motivated you to join Moms on the Run?
A: In March of 2012 I was at my heaviest of 236 pounds. After I returned home from a Spring Break vacation to Arizona, I joined Weight Watchers — again. After losing some weight, in July that same year, my sister and I participated in a 5k Walk/Run in Andover where she lived. It was their city's summer community fest sort of thing. We walked of course; I was not a runner and never thought I wanted to be. It was there that I first saw Moms on the Run shirts. As soon as I got home, I immediately googled to find out what Moms on the Run was because I was a mom and wondered what I was missing out on. Did I want to be ‘on the Run’ too? I found the web page, read it all, and found that Woodbury had a franchise. I didn't do anything for awhile, other than stalk the webpage trying to convince myself to join, but I was afraid. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I opened the Woodbury Bulletin one Wednesday and there was an article about Woodbury MOTR. A few weeks later, an article [appeared] in the Pioneer Press. It was everywhere, so now I'm the one feeling stalked. I reached out to [Woodbury owner] Kristina through email to get more information, mostly to find out if there was anyone in this group that was like me: 42, overweight, not athletic, and longing for friendships. We bantered back and forth a bit and she assured me that there were all walks of life in this group and surely I would fit right in somewhere; she even had one gal in mind she thought I would hit if off with. So, even though I was still scared about running, I registered for the fall session and showed up. When I first arrived, I didn't even know if I could run for 30 seconds.
Q: Tell me about your Moms on the Run family. What motivates you to get out the door?
A: My MOTR family…they suck you in and hold you tight. They do not allow you to quit, they make you believe you can do things that even you don't believe you can do. They want the best for you, they are proud of you, and they will help you achieve any goal you share with them. They push you, they amaze you, they inspire you, and some drive four hours just to cheer for you. They lift you up during hard times, and share your joy during good, but most of all they just love you, genuinely. I so wish I had found this group when I was in my 30s going crazy with small kids.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is just starting out running with Moms on the Run?
A: To the new gals: You belong. Something or someone prompted you to register. Stay. I know it can be intimidating to join a group where you feel like the only one who doesn't know anyone, you look around and everyone is smiling, chatting, and catching up. Then there's you, the new girl. Stay. We were all that girl once, but look at us now. Now we are friends, mentors, cheerleaders, confidants, and counselors. So stay. There's always room for another tribe member.