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For nearly a year, Woodbury (MN) Moms on the Run member Pam Tuft couldn't run for more than a few minutes without pain resulting from plantar fasciitis, a common running injury that occurs due to inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes. Thanks to accountability from coach Kristina and her teammates April, Becky and Amber, Pam is back in action and says she couldn't have done it without her second family.
"Pam has consistently pushed year after year, setting a goal and achieving it," shares Woodbury franchise owner Kristina Ticknor. "She not only pushes herself to reach her goals, she inspires others to try new things and is a true example that sometimes you just have to get a little out of your comfort zone. In the Fall of 2019 she suffered plantar fasciitis, but she didn't let that stop her toward her fitness goals. She continued to push doing intervals on her bike and keeping up with strength. We really kept up with rehab and gradually got her back to running. The start of 2021, she decided she wanted to do another half marathon despite saying she would NEVER run one again. This girl works hard, always pushes to the end and I can't imagine our team with her."
Read on to learn more of Pam's story and why she's our inspiring member of the month.
Q: How long have you been a member of Moms on the Run? Were you a runner before?
A: I started with MOTR Summer 2012. A friend got me to sign up for MOTR after having my son!
Q: You suffered some foot issues and conquered some challenges last year, despite a pandemic. Tell us a little about that.
A: I suffered from plantar fasciitis, which started in Fall 2019 and continued most of 2020. I wasn't able to really do much at all, forcing me to find other ways to keep up my fitness. I started biking, spin classes and strength workouts and just walking a little here and there. A couple of us from our MOTR group decided to put together an accountability text group when the pandemic hit to keep us all motivated to workout and just be a sounding board for all of life's challenges (work, family, personal, etc). We took on the nickname of the Coop! We would text each other daily and motivate each other to get our workouts in and just talk about what life was throwing our way. It was a bright spot in the day to get random and funny texts from my friends. These ladies have pushed me out of my comfort zone and believe in me even when I don't sometimes. They are amazing!
At the end of August I accomplished one of my goals: I ran the end of the season 5K surrounded by my tribe finishing our end of the season race! Fast forward to the end of November and I ran a Virtual 10k — the Moustache Run — to support Prostrate Cancer Awareness, once again with the support of my MOTR tribe cheering me on virtually. I am thankful to have the ability to run and this virtual race was also in support for all those fighting for a cure for their own cancer. I am thankful that my husband is a one-year prostrate cancer survivor and cancer free!
Q: What advice would you give to those dealing with injury?
A: Do not give up. Find a support system that will help you still maintain your fitness goals. Although those goals will look different there are still things you can do. Just take it day by day and enjoy the little milestones!
Q: Tell us a little about your (family, work, hobbies, etc.). I live in Cottage Grove with my husband and nine-year-old son. I work for the State of MN as a Child Care Licensor. I enjoy cooking, traveling when I can and watching my son play soccer.
Q: Anything else you want to add?
A: Woodbury Moms on the Run is like a second family to me — we are there for each other through all that life's ups and downs. I truly am blessed to have this tribe and the wonderful Woodbury coaches as friends in my life! They are the reason I will be running my fourth Half Marathon this summer. Without them as my pocket cheerleaders and pushing me to believe in myself, I would not be training for this event. My motto this season is no excuses and I can do hard things!