I was born with a head of beautiful red hair, but then by age two it began to all fall out. First it was in small chunks but then within a few weeks I was completely bald. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Alopecia, causing total body hair loss. It was tough growing up without any hair and always using a wig to ‘hide’ my baldhead. I was so ashamed of having no hair. I never felt like I was pretty or worthy of love, happiness, or joy. I would look at all of the beautiful women I was surrounded by every day at school, on television and in magazines with their beautiful heads of hair and think “if only I could have hair.”
I'll be honest running my first 50 miler was really tough. I went from rolling along faster than I expected in the first 17 Miles to then trying to manage leg cramps from 20 on. Then at 26 I was coming down a really technical downhill section and rolled my ankle pretty bad. I honestly thought that was my end right of the race. Someone came along and offered my aspirin —never took anything during a race before. But it was that or DNF. I told myself going in that as long as I was able to move forward at a pace that the race allowed, I was doing this. I don’t purport to be the best mountain runner by a million years, but I did believe in myself to just keep digging.