Elaine Lyon, an Au Pair in America Community Counselor from Virginia, has been struck with intense grief and hardship over the past few years. With extreme adversity, though, she finds incredible strength through running – and with each mile, memories of loved ones motivate her to conquer her goals. While preparing to run the NYC Marathon this weekend, Elaine shares her inspirational story below.
I was never a runner or dreamed of running at all.
I am a mom of three girls ages 8, 5, and 3. After my second child was born, I decided to lose weight quickly and keep my mind off the tiredness and craziness that comes with being a working mom. I ran my first 5k after 3 months of training and then started signing up for 10k’s and 10 milers. Then, the following year I accomplished 6 half-marathons – but said I would never do a marathon.
Another year passed, and I had my third girl. I was teaching preschool and my dad just passed away back home in Brazil. At the same time, my mom was battling cancer. My stress level was high, and it was then that I decided to train for a marathon.
I trained for 4 months and ran my first marathon in Washington D.C. I wrote down about every mile I ran and dedicated each one of them to different people and struggles in my life. During that first marathon I laughed – and cried – a lot.
Last year, I decided to run my second marathon. At the end of my training month, my mom passed away. I went back home to say goodbye on her last day and couldn’t find motivation to train or even run. But I went to Chicago and ran for her! I cried a lot but also didn’t want to grieve anymore. I kept running every day after that until February of this year. I worked hard as a Community Counselor and also as a part-time teacher. Then, I decided to sign up for another marathon and the New York City Marathon was always a top one of my list. Au Pair in America helped me to get a spot, and I was excited to receive that final email confirming I was IN!
Though I was excited about it, busy life kept me from training and my mind was not really helping me to get out there and do those long runs over the weekends.
Now, I am less than a week away from the NYC Marathon. I have butterflies in my stomach and I’m scared. But I will work on my list of miles again and will push my body and mind to finish it! I have a lot of things in my life to be thankful for; my family, friends, co-workers, host families, and au pairs are all so amazing. They will be part of my journey next Sunday. I will have that list done – and will carry it with me throughout the race.
To learn more about Au Pair in America – the world’s most experienced, live-in cultural child care program – visit our website today!