Diane is not only fabulous but she amazing! Diane finished the 50 states with a busy family life...Here's her story: Such an honor and privilege to share my story. Being a wife and mother to 3 children I found my life taking on a direction of its own with me simply being chauffeur to destinations not determined solely by me. Being married to a major league baseball player meant being single parent during baseball season. The active lifestyle of my children required the treasured moments of commitment, joy, punctuality and support. All I took such pleasure in. As they grew older they drove themselves to activities. My time was suddenly filled without plans. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol following my fathers heart attack. Deciding to take up running was purely therapeutic, recreational and for fellowship. I met some amazing individuals. Their goals inspired me and there was no turning back.
One challenging goal captured my desire to achieve. Knowing it was not going to be easy I voiced my desire over dinner to my family. "I want to run a marathon in all 50 states!" Amazed, amused, astonished they encouraged me to pursue this desire with one request. "We want to go when you run Hawaii!" With their enthusiasm I began to set the plan into motion. I will do this before I reach the age of 50 (I was 47 at the time) with only 6 marathons completed.
In order to limit time away from home I began running states easiest to be gone for only 1 night. Weekends when I wasn't running I was still at home alone as everyone had plans. I wasn't to be missed much nor miss many of their activities. I would get this done quickly not taking more time away. During the weekdays I was home being wife and mom. I promised to never be gone on their birthdays. Planning of logistics was more difficult than running 26.2 in each state. The kids began to identify me with "Where's Waldo?" They grasped geography better while identifying each state and checking it off as I completed a marathon.
As states were being checked off I was exhausted physically as well as emotionally. I wrestled with struggles of selfishness taking time to accomplish this. I tried to turn a deaf ear to the negative comments. I was determined to focus on positives. This was beneficial to my family as our lifestyles became healthier. By exhibiting a proactive lifestyle,setting a goal, exhibiting strength, independence, courage, dedication and perseverance I led by example character traits that I see in my children.
I've not only accomplished my goal of a marathon in all 50 states (With my family joining me in Hawaii this past June!) but lowered my cholesterol without medication. Now I am determined to giveback to the running community volunteering more and currently coaching runners for Team Rio in Nashville, TN who are raising money for Big Brothers/Big Sisters charity running the country Music Marathon. My journey has not ended and I couldn't be happier for all the valuable moments, lessons and friendships made along the way. I feel truly blessed.