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About Me I’m Michelle, a 29-year-old gal who wears quite a few hats these days. It’s now 2013 and I can confidently call myself: an entrepreneur, a cooking enthusiast, a runner, a writer, a feminist, a cloth diaper service owner, a reality TV junkie, a multi-home owner, a DIY-er, a furmama, and a Pittsburgh local. In 2013, I graduated from Slippery Rock University with a master’s degree in Sustainable Systems. I live in Pittsburgh with my girlfriend and our zoo – 2 labs, 1 mini-labradoodle, and 1 cat who escaped from the bowels of Hades.
I’ve been blogging since 2002, but I’ve been here at SOLE For the Soul for the past three odd years. Here, “SOLE” is a double entendre, of which both meanings have become equally important. SOLE is an acronym which stands for sustainable, organic, local, ethical – four tenants which I try to live my life by. As a runner, the other kind of “sole” is a pretty big part of my life, too.
My Fitness Journey My life never really included fitness. When people would suggest exercise, I would literally laugh in their face: You want me to do what? That’s adooooorable.
The first, last, and only team sport I played was in middle school. I basically took up space on the bench during softball games and shoved candy in my face. My college experience was typical of someone with body issues: stress, binge drinking, and eating greasy, unhealthy food. In 2004, I was tipping the scales somewhere between 230-250 lbs. (I will never know because I didn’t weight myself for about 5 years!) Still, I had no motivation to work out or eat healthy. I just learned to embrace being the chubby, but funny girl in my group of friends. I graduated from college in 2006 and moved from the suburbs to the big city (ahem, Pittsburgh). I found a job downtown, which meant lots of walking to and from my bus stops. I was feeling more confident and I joined a gym. Things didn’t work out (with the job or the gym).
But thanks to a friend at work who managed her post-baby weight loss using Weight Watchers, I began re-examining my eating habits for the first time in my life and drop some of the weight. Thinking about my weight and my self-esteem was endlessly frustrating and felt hopeless. For most of my life, I’ve lacked the motivation to actually follow through with goals. In 2009, I started dating my current girlfriend/future wife, who changed the way that I thought about myself and turned my confidence around. She pushed me to enter a Master’s program in 2010. In a few short years, I regained confidence, motivation, and finally felt the gratification that comes with achieving a goal.
In 2012, I set my sights on pushing myself to train as a runner and to participate in races. Sometimes, life can slow down the progression of our goals. My goal to run a half marathon had to be put on the back burner, so that I could wrap up grad school and launch my business. My goals are still the same and I’m looking towards my ultimate goal of running Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
Pittsburgh Half Marathon – May 3, 2015
Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon – September 26, 2015
“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.” – Steve Prefontaine