Team PictureIn early April I decided to step way outside my comfort zone and do something that I never thought I would do.  I decided to run a race!  I told you about my decision to run this 10K when I first wrote about it.  It turned out to be a harder goal than I thought!  Every Saturday morning, the Moms In Training team met in various parks around the city.

My group met in Madison Square Park with an amazing trainer, Meri of Mommy and Me Fitness, who had an hour-long workout prepared for us.  We walked, jogged, ran circles in the park.  We did squats, lunges, planks, jumping jacks, push-ups and other concoctions that she would throw at us.  We worked hard, and had fun while doing it!

Lindsey, a fellow Mom In Training, described the way I felt very well when she wrote about her experience with Moms In Training, “Somehow I left my comfort zone behind and decided to join. With the help of a wonderful trainer, Meri, and the support of the other moms, I trained for the 10K.  On the day of the 10K, I was joined by another mom who stuck with me through the entire race and definitely kept me running WAY longer than I thought I would or could.”

I met so many wonderful new moms, all of us with a single goal, to complete a 10K race on June 8th, and raise funds and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). I met Lucy, Alex‘s mom, who is the toddler super-hero who motivated us to keep going.  You see, Alex is currently fighting very hard to beat leukemia.  Research funded by LLS has led to huge advances in the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. For example, the survival rate for childhood leukemia has climbed from 4% to over 90% in the past fifty years thanks to the funding of LLS.  So, Alex has a really good chance!

I trained for two months for this race.  I started off not being able to run a block, and after a few weeks found myself going for almost a mile without stopping.  I never thought that would be possible!

Then a few weeks ago, I went out for an evening jog, I got three blocks (about a quarter of a mile) and felt an explosion in my hamstring.  I couldn’t even put pressure on my leg at first.  I decided to “walk it off” and ended up walking 3.5 miles.  I applied ice and tiger balm, but it didn’t completely heal.  Every time I tried to jog on it, it would flare up again.  But I was determined to finish what I had started.

Last Saturday was our race day.  The energy created by 5,595 women was electrifying as we gathered by the starting line waited until the buzzer went off.  I choked up a little as I was thinking about how much was accomplished over the last two months.

Kristen, one of the founding mothers of Moms In Training (and my amazing mentor) put it best, “In one word – inspired … Inspired to do more to find a cure, inspired to run harder, inspired by the parents who face watching their children battle cancer, inspired by team members who all gave it their all … I know our whole team felt inspired that we were truly making a difference and that was the best part of all!”

I speed-walked all the way.  Every time I felt a little confident I tried to jog, only to have my hamstring remind me of why I was speed-walking instead.  So I just continued… I passed some women who went out too fast, and I got passed by most.  And I just kept going on.  I knew as the mileage markers kept passing, that I was that much closer to the finish line.  And when I turned that last bend in the road and saw the finish line – I jogged to the finish!

Maman Aya finishes the raceThe last mile was hard, but seeing the finish line and my family cheering me on gave me that extra bolt of adrenaline to get me to the end.  I finished with a smile and a medal!  And then we found out how much we raised.  As a team, we raised more than a QUARTER OF A MILLION dollars!!  That’s a quarter of a million dollars closer to finding treatments for ALL cancers, and that is something that I can run to the finish for!

Betsy, a fellow mom, summed up the experience well: “The enthusiasm and amazing spirit of the women I met over the last 8 weeks was inspiring and beautiful. There were women coming out who were leaving tiny babies at home to come run for this cause. I loved loved LOVED being part of something bigger than me, something that is a force for good in this bad old world. We raised a quarter of a MILLION dollars! That is so amazing to me! I think it might really make a difference, I hope it will. AND I RAN ALL THE WAY, I didn’t have to walk, I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I indeed ran all the way through to the finish line, and I couldn’t have done it without being part of this wonderful team.”  🙂

Have you ever stepped outside your comfort zone?  What was your motivation?

Great news Moms!  Moms In Training is going national in the USA and Canada (and hopefully international soon after that).  If you are interested in starting a local Moms In Training group to support LLS please feel free to contact Helena at

It’s not too late to add a contribution.  If you would like to make a donation to help this amazing team and LLS (and help me make my financial goal) please click here.

This is an original post for World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York, USA.

Photo credits to the author.

Maman Aya (USA)

Maman Aya is a full-time working mother of 2 beautiful children, a son who is 6 and a daughter who is two. She is raising her children in the high-pressure city of New York within a bilingual and multi-religious home. Aya was born in Canada to a French mother who then swiftly whisked her away to NYC, where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was raised following Jewish traditions and married an Irish Catholic American who doesn’t speak any other language (which did not go over too well with her mother), but who is learning French through his children. Aya enjoys her job but feels “mommy guilt” while at work. She is lucky to have the flexibility to work from home on Thursdays and recently decided to change her schedule to have “mommy Fridays”, but still feels torn about her time away from her babies. Maman Aya is not a writer by any stretch of the imagination, but has been drawn in by the mothers who write for World Moms Blog. She looks forward to joining the team and trying her hand at writing!

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