Good evening everyone!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Molly. I am the mother of three boys, born again runner, Multiple Sclerosis warrior, brain aneurysm survivor, teen mom, college graduate, positivity craver and a forever dreamer.
The title of this blog, Motivating Molly, has two meanings. One, I hope my story and love for many things can motivate at least one person to conquer something they thought they were not capable of and two, to pay homage to the people in my life who have inspired, encouraged and loved me through all the chapters of my life. I will use this blog to talk about the ups and downs of my running journey, the true life of living with Multiple Sclerosis and whatever else happens to inspire me that day.
A little history; I started my running journey in 2013 with the infamous Couch to 5k program. I was determined to finally tackle my fear of running. I hit the gym every day to get my intervals in on the treadmill (because who knew you could run outside). Being the eternal optimist, after running a 5k and my fastest half marathon to date in May 2013, I decided to sign up for a marathon. I had the honor of running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC October 2013. I can’t even begin to describe the emotional experience that is the MCM! After a few life-changing events (divorce and cross country move) I ended up in Arizona. Determined to continue running I did what any other 30 something year old would do, went to Facebook to find my new running family. I was blessed to meet a group called Moms Run This Town (run squad goals).
Fast forward, through MRTT I met the lovely Laurel who quickly became my running wife. She lived a mile away and was up for some early morning, Pokémon Go finding runs. I can remember on those early morning runs commenting on how my feet sometimes felt numb and some other odd physical things. Of course we both chalked it up to nothing. In October 2017, I lost the feeling and most of the use in my left arm. After numerous doctors appointments and an MRI I found out that I had MS. At this point in my life I didn’t even know what that was. After some research I realized my life would forever be changed with this diagnosis. Looking back, Laurel and I definitely laugh over her joking around that I was a hypochondriac during those previous early morning runs. “Look at that. It was something,” says Laurel.
I was determined to live my life and not let this affect my daily activities. Then came MRI #2. This was a routine MRI to follow up on the progress of my MS. The same day I went in for the MRI I received a call from my neurologist informing me that I had an 8MM aneurysm on my right optical nerve and I would need to see a specialist. Once again, not knowing what an aneurysm was I did what any other person with internet would do, went to Google (palm to forehead). After freaking out thoroughly, I met with an amazing doctor at Barrows Hospital who suggested a craniotomy to clip the aneurysm. I confirmed they would not have to shave my head (vain I know) and agreed to the surgery. May 24, 2018 I underwent a 7-hour surgery to take care of the aneurysm. The recovery was brutal, but better than the alternative. During all of this my running obviously fell to the wayside.
After fully recovering I started to run again on and off, but it really felt like a struggle due to the inconsistent days I was putting into it. September 2019 I decided to go full force again. I joined East Valley Runners for some serious coaching. I connected with some women who have really held me accountable and motivate me daily (5 days a week to be specific). I have officially been bullied into running my 2nd full marathon in February 2020 after saying I would never run another full again. I feel strong and determined and want to use this blog to share my experiences with running, health and life. I hope I can motivate others because I sure am grateful for the motivation I have received.
Welcome to my journey.