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In light of all the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Moms on the Run want to share uplifting stories about what our members are doing to stay active, to continue to crush goals, and to remain in community as a team. If you or your team are doing something fun or unique or cool, please email us here. We'd love to share it with our members.
For most people, COVID-19 has meant cancelled events, groups and memberships. But for two former members, the pandemic has created an opportunity to join something they've been missing on their calendars: Moms on the Run.
The pivot to virtual training by Moms on the Run this spring gave both DeNae vanWestrienen of Evergreen, CO, and Lynnae Widen, of San Jose, CA, the opportunity to jump back in and re-join their former MOTR families, Blaine and Fridley. Read on to hear more of their stories.
"I am a nomad at heart, always ready to travel and move. Jim is not. Once he settles, he settles. I was always itching for an adventure, but it never felt right to him, so we happily stayed in Blaine (MN) and loved our time there. We traveled to CO to visit my mom in 2012, and we loved the mountains. Jim, my husband, casually mentioned that it would be fun to move there, so I called the realtor. That's kind of an exaggeration, but not much. We put the house on the market, but then I had the surprise of a lifetime when we found out I was pregnant with baby #4, so we put a pause on the whole thing. The stars aligned in fall 2014, and we moved to CO. In retrospect, it was one of the most foolish, least thought out ideas we've ever had, and we did it with four kids. But, it worked and we wouldn't change it for anything.
It has been very hard to find a running group here. Life in the mountains is very different from life in the suburbs. I don't have close neighbors. I can't run before the kids wake up or after they go to sleep because some of my neighbors are bears and elk and mountain lions. So for five years I've homeschooled our four kids, worked for our church and homeschool community, loved and said goodbye to three amazing foster kids, and ran without much consistency.
I rejoined MOTR for the community and accountability. I coached in Blaine (MN) for years, and it is a time I look back on with such tender love and fierce pride. Encouraging women is important, world-changing work, and I am honored to have been a part of so many women's running journeys, but also their life and strength journeys. When a woman becomes a runner and says yes to herself and the strength within her, lives change. This spring, I joined at a time when I needed to hear that encouragement myself. With classes online and so much flexibility of when to participate, I knew I could make it work with our family life. It has been a gift to me, and I am thankful for this unexpected positive during this unexpected pandemic."
"I was involved in the Fridley group before we left MN in 2016. We headed out west to California, where my husband took his dream job in Silicon Valley. I am currently a stay-at-home mom to my two daughters, ages 3 and 7 months, while also doing freelance graphic design work and running an Etsy shop on the side. I decided to join Moms on the Run this year because now that it is offered virtually, it’s a great way to reconnect with my former running buddies. It also holds me accountable to getting my runs in and staying active while I am training for my second half-marathon. Running has always been a huge stress-reliever for me and I think now, more than ever, it is important to find that outlet and to connect with others as we get through this crazy time together."