In The Spotlight: Meet Becky F.

THE FIT LIFT’s In The Spotlight category will interview active, inspiring women from all walks of life who demonstrate strength in many ways. Whether you've made small steps to lead a more healthy lifestyle or train like a best, we want to celebrate YOU. We believe that by sharing our stories, we can help others to both start, and continue on the path of living a healthy lifestyle by leading by example.  If you would like to be featured on our blog, please email us.  

This In The Spotlight interview could not be more perfect to kick off our READY TO RUN series on THE FIT LIFT.  Spring has arrived and along with it comes running and race season.  Whether you're a seasoned marathoner, excited to finish your very first 5k, or run merely for fun and exercise, we hope you find this series educational and motivating.

Meet Becky, an active mom of 2, and accomplished runner.  Though Becky and I live in the same city, we've never met in person, but keep up-to-date on one another on Instagram.  I am attracted and inspired by her motivation and dedication to every bit of her life... her girls, her husband, her friends, her hobbies... all part of leading a healthy, active life.  It is amazing to see someone plow through injury and hardship against odds, find strength to get her goal, and come out on top.  After becoming a surrogate for her best friend, she set the goal of completing her first half marathon without ever attempting such a feat before, and now she's two weeks away from completing her third.  Whether you're a runner or not, I encourage you to read Becky's interview and cheer her across that next finish line!

1. Provide us a brief introduction about who you are. 

Hi, my name is Becky! I am a 35 year old mom of 2 beautiful girls and wife to the greatest, most supportive husband. I enjoy being active in the form of running, hiking, biking and doing bootcamp a few times per week. I love being able to stay home with my girls each day and watch them grow up into beautiful little beings before my very eyes. We, like most, have our bad days but as one friend said to me “The days are long but the years are short”.

2. What does STRENGTH mean to you? 

Strength comes more from a mental attitude then a physical ability. To me strength is forcing yourself to run that last KM or do that last push-up even though your mind is telling you that you are done. Strength is pushing through the pain, the suffering to finish. Strength is deciding that you are going to run a half marathon when running down your drive way was an impossible task.

3. What does BEAUTY mean to you? 

Beauty comes from within. It is radiated to the outside world by your smile, your character, your spirit, your strength, the ability to be yourself. It is how you act and react. 10 years ago I most likely would have answered this question much differently but as they say, I must be older and wiser.

4. What inspires you? What is your driving force? 

My biggest inspiration would be my girls. I want to teach them that being active is about being healthy and fit and not about being skinny. Skinny, fat and diet are words that my husband and I never use in front of them. We make healthy choices. We want them to play soccer or field hockey or swim because it's a good way to be healthy and stay healthy. I want them to know that absolutely nothing in this world is impossible as long as you work hard and try. I think so many people, myself included, have given up because they didn't want to put the work in that was needed. I don't want them to ever think that. My 6 year old right is certain that she is going to be an astronaut and will live in Houston and go to space on Saturday's. We encourage her to believe this and tell her what needs to happen to get there. Nothing is impossible and I want them to truly believe that. I want to be able to play soccer with my girls, go for bike rides and hiking and I want to be able to do this 30 years from now with my grandchildren.

5. What is your proudest accomplishment?  

Successfully completing the 2014 Lululemon SeaWheeze in Vancouver in August is hands down on of my biggest accomplishments. If you follow me on social media of any kind, you probably already know this. I am very proud of all that I have done in terms of running. I was never a runner. NEVER. In junior and high school back home I did things like triple jump and long jump for track to avoid running. I think I did the 100m dash once and finished embarrassingly last. I had “tried to run” before and quit the moment it got tough. I thought that side pain that I felt was the sign that I needed to quit and just focus on bootcamp which I was surprisingly good at it. Aside from running of course.

But then I decided to be a surrogate for my best friend. And that really changes everything. It's not the same as being pregnant with your own kids. You basically sacrifice your body for 13 months if you count all the terrible hormones and drugs and ultrasounds and examinations that you go through before you get pregnant. I discovered that giving yourself so selflessly for your best friend so that she can have the baby she so badly wants makes you want, or maybe need, to do something so completely selfish and all about you and for me, that was running. I saw an ad for the lululemon half marathon and declared to my husband that I was going to run it as soon as I was physically able to and nearly 15 months after giving birth I did. It took a lot of tears, a lot of frustration, and a husband who never ever gave up on me even though there were times that I had given up on myself. I finished another half marathon 2 months later and as I write this, I am 18 days from running my third. And this coming from a girl who was never athletically gifted.

6. What is your biggest challenge? 

My journey to completing my half marathon so many challenges. Both physically and mentally. I started consistently running in November 2013 on my treadmill. My sides hurt, my ankles hurt, every single one of leg muscles ached. I often wondered if it was all worth it. And I'd be lying if I these thoughts didn't cross my mind even today. On January 18th, 2014 I ran my first 5K since Penelope was a year old. And I killed it. I ran my then-fastest 5K ever. I was pumped. And it was icy and conditions weren't great so I was really proud of myself. But if we're being completely honest here, there is no way that I would have finished as fast as I did without Greg. He pushed me right until we got to the finish line and let me cross first. I told him that I didn't think I could do the half marathon. I wasn't strong enough mentally or physically. He disagreed with me and despite is overall dislike of all things Lululemon, he said he would run it with me. How's that for being the best husband ever?? And then the unthinkable happened. I hurt my knee. And it wasn't even doing something cool. It was cleaning out my basement and I twisted it. It sucked and it hurt. I could only run on my treadmill with no incline for 6 weeks. It was a long 6 weeks but it soon I was out running again. I continued along, slowly increasing my distance each week and feeling super confident. I pushed through the pain and got my self mentally strong. Then Greg convinced me to hike up Lac Bourgeau. It would be about 25K round trip and he thought it would help me get distance on my feet for Vancouver so i did it. Little did I know that 24 hours later I would be in so much pain that I couldn't walk. And I am not even exaggerating. It was awful. It was July 11th. A mere 5 weeks from my half. I was devastated. How could I recover from this? A friend referred me to the Running Injury Clinic and Shari understood my need to be in running shape in a short time. A lot of rest, hard work and 8 physio appointments later, I was able to run long distances again. But losing 5 weeks of hard training destroyed my confidence. I wasn't sure that i had enough time to get myself ready for the Seawheeze. So 6 days before the race, I headed to Fish Creek and decided I needed to run a full half marathon even though every single training program said that was the worst thing you could do before a race. But I had to prove to myself that I was mentally and physically able to do it. And I did do it and it took me a lot longer then I had hoped but the main thing was that I did it. And 6 days later I did it again in 2:47. I was so freaking proud of myself. Greg asked me if I was going to be one of those people who cried when they finished. I thought I might be but in the end, I was just too hired and had no juice left to cry. But man did I beam with pride. I still battle with knee problems on that same knee even today. I am back in physio with another knee injury just 18 days away from another race. Again Shari is mostly confident that I will be good to go. But who wants to bet that on Friday March 20th I won't be at Fish Creek running 21.1k?

7. What is your mantra? What are your favourite words to live by?  

I have a couple of mantra's that I keep on my phone. My most favourite is a photo of a mom doing yoga and her child trying to imitate her and the wording is

“You never know who you are inspiring”

As a mom of 2 young girls, this really hits home. And I tell this to myself every time I think about giving up.

 Another one is

“It is in herself she will find the strength she needs”. 

Hands down this is something that I truly believe in. I have it on my phone and on a board in my workout area. In the end, only you can do that last push up, only you that can run that last km. It is only you who can do it. And whoever wrote this is spot on.


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