Today we're shining a spotlight on Alexandra, a SoleMate who's running in the TCS New York City Marathon while also raising funds for GOTR programming! Alexandra, we are excited to see you at the Marathon and we are grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
The GOTR mission is such a powerful one that I truly believe in from the bottom of my soul. Each practice is so intricate in teaching us life and confidence building skills all the while working towards accomplishing something great.
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate for the NYC Marathon and fundraise for Girls on the Run?
GOTR is an organization that I believe so much in for the lessons and life skills it teaches our girls. I love that nearly 80% off the funds go to the program so I know that the money will be spent on the girls and on the actual program. Many charities have low percentage rates that actually go to the cause & program and GOTR is really up there.
Tell us a little bit about your running history! Why do you run?
I didn't truly discovered running until I was 20. I had been on the high school track team for one season and only because my friends had joined. I was always in the last wave, the one that never counted for anything. When I moved to the city I felt alone on top of heavier. I began running on the treadmill at the gym just for weight & exercise purposes but as I progressed I realized it was a way for me to cope with issues that we're going on in my life. When I felt like I was overwhelmed, I ran. When I needed to clear my head, I ran. When I felt so upset that I couldn't even breathe, I ran. Or when I felt so excited and happy that I was bouncing off the walls with energy, I ran. Running helped me cope with my emotions, great or bad. It helped me to come back to the present & organized if I was upset, and it helped to amp up my positive feelings if I was excited.
Favorite place to run? Or Favorite pump-up running song?
I truly love running central park. It feels like home. I am so fortunate to live right next to it. Not only do I love the familiarity like knowing the exact distances of each loop to the T from my house and back, but it allows me to run safely without having to cross any streets or worrying about cars. I can go at my own speed and focus on the movement instead of the dangers of traffic. I also love how there's trails and dirt paths, it’s much easier on the knees then asphalt.
Is this your first marathon? If no, how many have you run?
The TCS NYC Marathon 2018 is going to be my first marathon! I know I could have signed up for any marathon in the country or the world but I wanted NYC to be my first. It’s my home and I've heard time and time again that there is no better feeling then running NYC.
If people could give you energy awards while you were running the marathon which would you want for an energy boost?
The energy awards that I would love for friends and family to give me a boost would be to keep pushing and not slow down (especially towards the last few miles.) I also love the feeling of making people proud so hearing a cheer of "I'm so proud of you!" would really give me a boost.
What do you do besides running to keep yourself healthy, confident, and joyful?
Spending time with positive people you love truly helps to enrich your life. People who encourage you, support you, listen to you and who love you only add positivity and encouragement to your life.
Who do you look up to?
My parents. Not only are they both business owners who grew up poor in the Bronx and made it on their own solely from hard work and determination but they are my biggest cheerleaders. I really value their advice and they're both the first ones I call to talk about my life ideas and get their input. When I make the decision that feels right to me they support me 100% and are there to check in on me and lead me along the way.
Who has impacted your life the most and encouraged you to be your beautiful, healthy, and courageous self?
Same response as the one above but as far as being healthy I was my own biggest advocate. No one else in my family runs and I adopted it as my own. I may not be the healthiest eater but I take care of my body in other ways such as exercise and work/life balance.
Any fundraising tips for fellow SoleMates?
Keep posting about it! You don't want your followers to forget about the cause, whether they haven't donated yet or they want updates on where there money is going!
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl starting with Girls on the Run?
Don't give up because the reward is worth it.
What advice would you give yourself at 10 years old?
When you grow up none of this drama will matter! There will come a day where you start living for yourself, and not for other people's acceptance. When that day comes you will feel liberated.
Thank you for all your support of Girls on the Run, Alexandra! If you want to donate to Alexandra's fundraising efforts, click here.