By Jocelyne Norris

In 2004, I went for a routine checkup and was told by my mean doctor that “I was overweight, out of shape, had high blood pressure and high cholesterol”. Wake up call! I refused to believe that I had gotten so far removed from health and fitness and taking care of myself that my body was in such a bad state. I needed a life intervention, ASAP! I had heard from friends about a lady named Marcela, who was described as a “health and fitness guru”. I immediately went to go find this Marcela, thinking if anyone could help me, she could. I explained to Marcela my predicament, asking Marcela “What is the quickest way to lose weight and get in shape?” She responded, without hesitation, “If you want to get in shape, Exercise is the way to go! but If you want to have fun and accomplish something big while at it “Run a Marathon!” Well, I have to tell you that my response wasn’t the friendliest. I remember saying things like “that is the stupidest thing I ever heard! I never ran in my life, never even worked out at a gym and now you think I should run a Marathon?”

With Marcela’s encouragement and love, I joined Friends in Training. To my pleasant surprise, I met many people like me! People that had never run before… people that wanted to get in shape too….people committed to a healthy lifestyle. Before I knew it, I ran three miles, then five, then ten and then twenty! OMG! I was even having fun! As the miles got longer, the friendships got stronger, and my body started to change.

Well, Marcela, you were right. I got in shape. I lost weight. I feel great. And yes, I did run that Marathon. Except now, it’s 5 Marathons, 13 Half Marathons, 25 5Ks and 4 Duathlons.

I would not have been able to accomplish all that I have today without the friendship and support of all of my Friends in Training and my coaches Marcela, Vero, Jonny D and Greg.

Sometimes, all it takes is a mean doctor– and a ninety pound guardian angel with a dazzling smile and curly hair to give you a little bit of a push. If I can do it, you can do it too!