"I am thrilled to be a part of the SPAAR Marathon team, even though I am unable to run! In 2009, a friend asked me to do a sprint triathlon! I knew I could bike and swim, but I couldn't run! As a kid I told my tennis coach if I wanted to run I would have joined track and then sat out the running drills and early morning runs through the park with the team! Needless to say, I hated running since childhood.
Upon this idea to do the Sprint Tri, though, I started to train myself to run! Soon the 5k I was training for was too easy. I blew past the 10k and set my goal for my first half marathon. I ran on Team in Training's charity team to honor my pap who died of Lymphoma and also my tennis coach who had died of cancer. I have since run on Team Fox (for my dad with Parkinson's), the Western PA Humane Society's team twice and Going Home Greyhounds.
Over the next 5 years, running became my life and my husband's! I got faster, more confident and finished about 15 marathons and 2 full marathons. Running completely changed my life. I went from 160 pounds to 120. I became a personal trainer, group instructor, and corporate holistic health coach, all because of what running did to me physically and mentally!
Unfortunately, somehow while training for my last full while also training to compete in bodybuilding shows, I got injured. For a bit I had no idea what it was but learned I have herniated disks. My entire life has now changed over the past 2 1/2 years to accommodate this painful injury that affects more aspects of my life than I could ever imagine.
Due to my injury, my distance running days are behind me. BUT my senior chihuahua Ricki will be running in the dog marathon, and I am fundraising on his behalf! I fostered Ricki in May 2016 and fell in LOVE and adopted him. Ricki will be turning 11 in a few weeks. I also have a senior cat and adopted two other senior cats who have since passed.
My theory on senior pets is the same as my theory on senior humans: the young ones are poorly behaved, annoying, messy, don't follow rules, and have too much energy for my liking. But the seniors, they are chill, laid back, fun, wise, calm, and appreciative! Ricki is the first dog I have ever had ("Crazy Cat Lady" here), and I will never adopt any other dog but a senior.
If you have ever attended a dog event in the past year, chances are you saw or met Ricki (probably in one of his many costumes), as I make sure Ricki can live out his golden years experiencing all life has to offer. I believe all senior pets should be given the chance to live a happy and healthy life, and I owe it to them to not only fundraise on their behalf but spread the word on fostering and adopting seniors.
Go Team Ricki!!!"