Running to Rise Above
As long as I can remember, running has been an enormous challenge for me. In school, I always struggled to finish the dreaded four loops around the track. I felt like I was a 500-pound person even though I was a competitive cheerleader and pretty athletic. Even though I’ve been an avid Crossfitter for the past 2.5 years, I still cringe when a workout includes a 400m, 800m or, god forbid, a 1-mile run.
Being a physical abuse survivor, I have found tremendous healing through fitness and exercise. Challenging myself has helped me to realize how to be present in my body, discover my true strength and, most importantly, take care of myself. Through my personal development journey, I have come to understand that the incredibly heavy energetic armor I built up over the years to protect myself and my family is no longer needed; it’s only holding me back and keeping me small. I finally recognize that the fact that someone made the choice to beat me, doesn’t mean there was something wrong with me, or that I wasn't worthy of having a beautiful life. I wish I understood this before my thirties, but I'm thankful that I finally have.
Running has become my way of breaking free from my past and shredding the armor that I no longer need. I'm blessed to be a survivor, and it is my hope that others will be inspired to finally shed what they no longer need, break free from what is keeping them small, and rise above.
Each stride of my run peels back another layer of my thick, protective, no-longer-needed armor. I’m running toward my freedom and my future. There are lots of emotions and plenty of tears, but I see it all as a true beautiful testament to the power of self-discovery and a miracle that I'm so grateful for.
I am running the MORE fitness SHAPE Women's Half Marathon on Sunday, April 19th, 2015 with the support of THINK, a women's fitness apparel line designed to promote positive thinking, empowerment and a healthy lifestyle. We have partnered to raise money for Women of the Mountain, which is a feature-length documentary narrated from the perspective of six women: three who run the world's longest, most mountainous, ultra-marathons, and three who live in those rugged terrains. From the Himalayas to the Alps, to the Sierra Nevada, the film tells stories of resilient women from around the world whose powerful narratives show how they rise above the challenges of age, culture, gender and any parameters set by their society.
The film's creator, Rebecca Byerly, was led to this project through her own experience growing up in a family where domestic abuse was prevalent, a love of running and the belief that when women are empowered the world is transformed.
I'm deeply honored to run with such a meaningful purpose. I know that throughout my run, I will keep this thought with me: no matter what you've been through, your story matters, and you too can rise above!
You can contribute by making a monetary donation and/or purchasing a limited edition tank top. Mariel, THINK's CEO, and I have designed the tank in an exclusive red which features TODA's signature saying "peace love strength" on the front and "TEAM TODA" on the back. Please show your support by wearing one on race day to cheer me on as I run the two loops around New York City's Central Park.
This exclusive tank is only being produced in very limited quantities. Please make your purchase now to show your support for this very meaningful cause.
View more details about the tank, including more photos here.
*TANKS ARE ONLY AVAILABLE IN ONE SIZE AT THIS TIME* Model is shown wearing a small here, which is the size that is available. The cut is very forgiving and a looser fit. For more questions about sizing please feel free to email email@example.com
MORE DETAILS ON WOMEN OF THE MOUNTAIN:
Production up to this point has been funded by private donors (over $60K), a Kickstarter campaign ($50K), and Rebecca's personal out-of-pocket contribution of ($50K). To finish the next phase of filming and complete the documentary, she needs to raise $600K. The immediate need is to raise $268K in order to resume production.
The film is scheduled for a Spring 2016 release. In addition to being seen in film festivals globally, it will be distributed to schools, universities, NGOs, and companies around the world.
MORE DETAILS ON THINK:
THINK wants women to feel good about themselves while working out. They promote health, personal empowerment and knowing you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Whether at the gym, feeling adventurous outdoors or lounging at home, THINK is the perfect attire for any environment in which you want to shine!
Each month, THINK donates 10 percent of proceeds to a variety of charities and nonprofit organizations that align themselves with their cause. So you can feel good about wearing THINK attire and spreading our positive message to all around you.
Learn more about THINK here.
MORE DETAILS ON THE RACE:
The MORE/FITNESS/SHAPE Women's Half-Marathon brings together thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds for a day of fun, fitness and camaraderie in NYC. The race has teamed up with Athletes for a Fit Planet to enhance our efforts to produce an environmentally responsible event by taking their Pledge of Sustainability.
Sunday, April 19th, 2015 - Central Park, NYC
Please come in your TEAM TODA tank!
As always, thank you so much for your continued support and love of my brand and my dreams.
- Lindsey Rae
Help us spread to word and trend on social media (copy & paste the following hashtags to your posts):
#teamtoda #thinkallways #runningtoriseabove #womenruntheworld #peacelovestrength #todatough #empowerment