May 7th, 2019
It was not too many years ago in which my only goal was to start exercising. It’s seemed like the ultimate achievement, if I could just start, I knew one thing... I would feel better, about everything. I was a newly married young mom, whose brain-scape had been infiltrated by the never-ending cycle of chores, and meals, and snacks in between, and then the chore of cleaning up unpredictable messes in between the predictable cycle of daily life. It was maddening.
I knew I had to do something for myself to survive this era in life in which a woman’s unselfishness is yoked for every last ounce of her energy and passion. Some part of my own life for myself, I needed to reclaim. So I began the practice of waking up at 6 AM, putting on my shoes, and before doing anything else for anyone else, I would go out and walk 3 miles, circumventing my neighborhood. Walking was all I had available at that point in my life, but I never judged myself for it, I was moving forward and watching the sunrise, and there was something so powerful in giving myself the first hour of the day, this gift of solitude and thought, movement and sweat. With such dedication to my newfound practice, I got faster. I had an inkling, a thought... maybe I could run?
Sitting at the neighborhood bagel and coffee shop, for the
first time in my adult life I noticed a sign-up to run in a race,
a 5K in which all the proceeds will go to ending local
hunger. Seemed like motivation enough to test out those
tennis shoes at a different pace. I started running/walking
and felt sure that I’d be able to complete the task, I started to
have fantasies of maybe running as fast as I could. But I
didn’t test any of that out before race day. It was a beautiful
day in early summer, the race beginning in a shopping
center parking lot of Upper Arlington. I was far too nervous
compared to the average participant, I’m sure those around
me detected my fear, my unease, my anxious energy. I lined
up too close to the start line, and at the word ‘go’ I took off
like a mom-rocket and never looked back... Until mile two. I
found myself all alone, in some historic neighborhood lined
with old growth trees, and a few people in their yards,
yelling, “keep running, you’re almost there”. I realized in that
moment, I desperately had to pee, and I had made the rookie mistake not to take one last break before the start. I was a total novice. The sensation came upon me quickly, and in retrospect, I had had too much coffee. I was all alone and realized I was out in front, and the only thing to do at that point was to continue running, so I did. The finish line came quickly, and as soon as I crossed over it I began to feel a release of tension, exuberance, dissipating sadness, my lack of purpose replaced by lactic acid, and I proceeded to let something deep and negative go. The thing that was holding me back from caring for myself, I let that go. Of course, I quickly found someplace to pee, part of my bladder releasing too soon, I had let that go too! (Needless to say, I didn’t get the chance to stick around for awards.) Oh, to be human is so humbling!
This was the beginning of a journey out of my depression, and although there were many winding roads followed, forward motion was one of the most instrumental choices I have made along the way. Movement in the great outdoors became a form of ‘church’, filling me with gratitude and delivering a dose of “Nature’s Prozac;” natural endorphins coursing through me just the way nature intended, forward movement, the way our bodies were designed to move.
Since that time I have competed in the largest race walk in America and won, I have qualified for the Boston Marathon twice, my only two Columbus Marathons. I have won The Bur Oak Trail marathon and completed two ultramarathons.
I have learned through the process, how to fuel myself, how to recover, and how to practice self-care on many different levels. Yes, I run. But I also see a counselor. Yes, I run, and I also see a massage therapist. Acupuncture and Yoga are also part of my routine. This year I merged my Plant-Based nutrition coaching business with DRAGONFLY COUNSELING & WELLNESS. Finally, all the best support for the healing journey, in one place. Counseling, Massage, Acupuncture, Plant-Based Nutrition Coaching, Healing Yoga, and Mindfulness Classes, are all here.
If you are reading this, and you are racing a Brokeman’s event this Spring, mention this blog and receive a 20% discount on all WELLNESS services. We also take Flex-Spending cards issued through employers for ALL services. I look forward to racing with you, meeting you in person, and hearing about your healing journey.
Noel I. Bartholdi
Director of Wellness and Outreach
DRAGONFLY COUNSELING & WELLNESS
850 Michigan Ave Suite 100 Columbus, OH 43215
April 18th, 2019
Nevertheless; She Persisted
The story of the why behind the Brokebabes race.
When I got off social media, I told myself I was doing it for the betterment of my mental health. And while this was absolutely true, I quickly learned that social media was not the problem. Facebook was not the enemy. While I was telling myself that my absence from the public eye was for the purpose of bettering me, what I realized is that I was trying to hide from the hard parts of my business. I was trying to block people from having access to me because I didn't want to deal with all the unnecessary drama that comes with owning a business. But I realized 1) that people will find you any way they can to make sure their voice gets heard. And 2) that I was being a hypocrite. I named a race after the female cry of perseverance in the face of patriarchal hostility, and here I was ducking under a rock when met with the same.
My head has been reeling with whether I should sit back and ignore the backlash of creating a womans ONLY race, or if I should stand up for myself and speak out. Should I be sweet or should I shout? Should I be positive and remain well-liked, or should I speak with the annoyance and anger I feel and risk falling further down the rabbit hole?
I think the questions should be less about the ones above and should be focused more on WHO I should be talking to in the first place. Should I seek justice and shout out against the wind in the direction of the haters, knowing that no matter how LOUDLY I shout, my voice will go unheard? Or should I turn around and speak to those that have been listening with eagerness and hope this whole time? To the women behind this race, behind the movement of persistence in the face of disapproval.
So to the men that object me, threaten me, bully me and beat me down. I turn into the wind and I simply shout:
IT'S NO LONGER ABOUT YOU!
And you will ruffle my feathers no more.
And I turn and I speak to the women I created this space for.
Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for showing up, for registering, or supporting and for seeing the why behind the what of an all women's running event. Because this run was created for YOU! To create a safe space for you to be fully and wholly the person that you are. To INCLUSIVELY say to you, come, as you are, fast and slow, young and old, tall and short, skinny and fat. Single or mother or married or widowed. Black or white or brown or gay or straight or completely confused on what any of those above words actually mean.
I want you to come, broken and lost and struggling and crying and beat down and defeated. Imperfect and exactly as you are today. I want you to acknowledge all of your obstacles that we face every day inside every facet of being fully female and know that you can come alongside the fellow women on race morning and know that each and every one of us accepts you exactly as you are today. That we don't judge your hair or your body or the bags under your eyes or the stretch marks on your belly or the dollars in your bank account. That we don't care how clean your house is or how many cookies you ate or how many miles you did or didn't run or the pace you did or didn't hit. That we are just glad you are here.
And I want you to know, that you can stand tall, and confidently, and that you can finish this race stronger then you started. That you can show up on race day and face adversity full on, and fully woman, and accomplish the goal of running this race SOLELY for you.
Because no matter how many times we get beaten down, emotionally, spiritually, or literally...
Nevertheless; we will persist.
February 7th, 2019
Tempted and Tried
A welcome back to Facebook
Last summer I got off of Facebook, because frankly, I couldn't handle the stress it caused. The unnecessary stress. I'm not against stress, I handle it well and am a good problem solver. But my brain is FULL. As a business owner and a mother, my brain is so dang full. Social media was such an added stressor in my life and when it came time to pack up the things that didn't bring me joy, Facebook was the FIRST thing to go. For my personal life, it was the best decision I could have made. For business, it did me in.
I really thought I could figure out business in this modern decade without the use of social media. Turns out it's dang near impossible without a huge advertising budget and some mad marketing skills. Guess which one I don't have. (Hint: the answer is both)
THE SOUL reason I created this business, long before it became a means to provide for my family, was because I truly believe(d) that running has the power to heal mental health in ways that the world today so desperately needs to see healing. Running was that for me. Running introduced me to the mental freedom I needed to discover, to find God.
But I stopped being authentic in social media and found myself constantly struggling to be business-like. To be less of myself and my mission statement, and focused more on how to say and do things that wouldn't isolate anyone or to just be as politically correct as possible and I stopped focusing on my mission. To be completely unauthentic.
Here I was, attempting to create a business to help people with their mental health, and I was destroying mine.
If you watched the super bowl, or just watched the news the next morning, you probably heard about that egg that got famous by... being an egg? and during a commercial that aired after the super bowl, it cracked. The egg said that it cracked because it's mental health couldn't take the pressures of social media. It's a powerful point, made lightly by the delivery, that we fail to miss. The power social media has to really mess with people's minds in an unhealthy way.
BUT! I DO believe that it has the power to make such change, when used in the right way.
During a sermon a few weeks ago our pastor talked about how stressed out he would get that he was the pastor of a big church, and all of the troubles that came along with that. I definitely understood what he meant. Ugh! Why do I have to deal with all the drama?! Why did you put this junk in my life Lord! But then he said that he was reminded of all the times when he was younger that he prayed to be an influencer to people and to change peoples lives through his work.
This obviously hit home and I've been thinking a lot about my business, this company, these past few months, and what it's really meant to be. IF it's meant to be. It's HARD. I'll tell you what. Doing what I do, the way I do it, with the life that I live behind the scenes of it, is really HARD. But you know what else, it is EVERYTHING that I have ever wanted and prayed for to have.
Looong story short... I am bringing back my Facebook page, for the business, not for myself, and I am promising myself to become more authentic in the mission of WHY I created the business in the first place. I want to share my story and I want to Inspire Others to share theirs. I want to work really hard with my mind body and soul, and I want to Inspire Others to do the same. I want to share my story of mental health and hard knocks, and I want others to know they are not alone and they don't have to feel isolated and wrong or that the only option is giving up.
It's hard to think about this idea, because what does any of this have to do with running? Honestly, everything, for me. Because I now fully believe that God gave me this beautiful company as a platform to share what really matters, the WHY behind the company. The STORIES behind the people. And the CHANGE that can come with persisting. On the run, and in life.
Will everyone be on board with this new change? Of course not. I'll probably still get hate (e)mail about not sticking with the plan and for letting my personal life infiltrate my business and comments on how I'm doing everything wrong. But you know what else I'll get? All the wonderful messages from the people whose lives have been CHANGED because of something I've said or done and THAT is how I can use this company for the mission of God, and for the beauty of the world. (Or at least, Ohio.)
So, if you're so inclined, find us again of Facebook - and leave me a comment.
When you fail.
I wanted to talk on my video today about failure, but I didn't want to babble so I thought I'd write out what I was going to say before I did the video. I know I have a tendency to babble when I'm explaining my thoughts, so this is how I thought to fix that.
I am a failure. I have failed so many times it hurts. Not, I messed up, could have tried harder, made a wrong choice that I just needed to right. I have FAILED. I have a very bad habit of setting my sights so high on the biggest dreams that I could imagine, that there is absolutely no way that I would have ever been able to achieve them. Maybe my eyes are bigger then my mouth, so to speak. Maybe I'm so desperate to fix a problem I'm facing that I don't see the impending failure. Maybe I look at someones life on social media so longingly that I become envious and I crave those things for myself, but I don't take into consideration their circumstances like workload or financial situation or how much help they have from grandma. And I tell myself I can train for that next marathon because I WANT it so badly, despite my more then full time job, more then full time kids, or the all of the other things I do. I tell myself I can make it to those 4:30am runs, or that I can squeeze in 10 miles on Saturday before we have to be at family photos with 3 perfectly matching children at 7:45 in the freaking morning and then help a friend move a bit out of town and then be ready and set up at the market by 5pm to work till 11... and the spring game is happening at 1:45? Oh yeah! That'd be a blast, let's fit that in too...
I want it all. Bad.
I want to have it all so much that I wake up every day feeling like an utter failure.
And because of this I want it ALL personality trait I have actually failed so many times it hurts. It's embarrassing, and I know it's caused problems in my business, like big race changes or promises not kept or plans that I was never able to fulfill.
Last year I had major dreams of putting on an all women's marathon. I wanted it to be big and bad and beautiful. I wanted women to feel empowered for running a race because their bad selves trained for a 5k, a 10k, a half or a FULL marathon, just for the sake of being able to accomplish a goal they set out for themselves, and not for the swag and fluff that accompanies most lady's only races.
But registration wasn't as high as I needed it to be, and the finances didn't come through the way that I needed them to, and I had to make a big change to that race just a few months out from race day that would really effect people. I had to change the course and the terrain completely. I was devastated that I had completely failed. And not privately either. That's the thing about owning a people oriented business is that when you mess up it's so public.
I cried when I had to write that email about the change to the people who were already registered for the event and the people who had wanted to. I cringed every time I received and email in response. Planning that event was painstaking and miserable because it involved trying to put a bandaid on my public failure. I knew I couldn't just cancel the race because I couldn't afford to refund the registration fees. I just had to keep moving forward one quicksand step at a time.
This year, the race is going to much better and it's accomplishing everything that I wanted it to be last year but I debated for a long time weather or not I should even attempt to put this event on again. Who's going to believe me? Who's going to trust that I'm going to be able to follow through with that I am promising this time around? Who on earth am I to be attempting to own a running business? I'm a kind of average runner and a high school drop out. I don't have any connections or sponsors and no body's following my elite running journey up and down the grand canyon and in and out of the forests of Tennessee. What am I even doing here?
I love the quote "Necessity is the mother of invention". It was the reason I created the business, and it's the reason I haven't given into my, seemingly frequent, failures yet. I saw necessity for change in the running industry, and I saw necessity in my own life.
I feel inclined to end this video here, because now that I've told you Im a big fat failure, who am I to give anyone advice on how to overcome failure, when I fail constantly. I should just point you to my favorite over coming it all songs like "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten, or "Rise Up" by Andra Day. But I know the story has to end a little bit better then that.
Just know this. Every single minute of your life is a chance to change.
I get annoyed when I hear people say things like, they can't wait until this day or week or YEAR is over, because they are ready for a refresh. You've probably heard the saying, where you live is just geography. Your problems will follow you there. I feel the same way about time. You won't be any different just because the calendar says Monday or the ball dropped at Midnight. Time is just a position of the sun within the calendar year. Make the change NOW, not in the morning. Start the process of rebuilding NOW, not on Monday.
If you want to get over failure, you need to admit the failure, accept your fault, figure out why you failed (this part is very important) and then let the process of rebuilding begin.
There are two people who said it way better then I ever could, and probably more then that. Thomas Jefferson, and the pastor of my old church, Rich Nathan. I'll quote Thomas Jefferson and paraphrase pastor Nathan.
Thomas Jefferson said
"When we see ourselves in a situation which must be endured and gone through, it is best to make up our minds to it, meet it with firmness, and accommodate everything to it in the best way practicable. This lessens the evil; while fretting and fuming only serves to increase your own torments."
Man. That's so good.
Rich explained it this way, I believe he was talking about addiction in this particular sermon. But basically the only way to overcome something, is to let yourself go through the pain of its withdrawl. That you have to let yourself hit rock bottom and feel the pain. In this situation, you have to accept and own that you failed and everything that comes with it. Only when you do this, you can start to come out on the other side. Stronger, wiser, and with the remembrance of the pain you don't want to experience again.
And don't forget. When nothing else seems to make sense in this world, walk outside, let the sun shine on your face, and go for a run.
April 1st, 2018
"I want to know what it's like to connect with people that I couldn't ever understand or relate to in any way at all, ever."
DONALD TRUMP TO BECOME THE TITLE SPONSOR OF THE BROKEMAN'S RUNNING COMPANY.
President Trump said in a statement to the owner of Brokeman's Running on Saturday. "I'm not broke. I've never been broke, and I never will be broke. I am in fact, very very rich. But I want to do more good things for the broke people in this world, because there are just so many of them. But not me. I'm very rich."
Trump went on to say that he was trying to reach out to a world of people he will never be, and never understand. Including people that exercise, and people that are broke. Which he stated several more times that he was not.
Brokeman's Running is honored to welcome President Trump as the new title sponsor for the company as a whole, and are excited to initiate some of the changes that he required of Brokeman's Running in exchange for the sponsorship.
The first change we are going to make as a company:
Everything in the company will now follow with Sponsored by the very rich Donald Trump.
For example. The company will now longer be called Brokeman's Running Company. It will be titled Brokeman's Running Company sponsored by the the very rich Donald Trump. Our Winter Solstice run will now be called Run Your Pants Off sponsored by the very rich Donald Trump. And so on. This is pretty standard of a perk you receive as a title sponsor.
The second change we are going to make:
Is that everything the company gives away will be gold plated.
"I like gold. It's my favorite." Trump stated.
"Ok, we can just start using gold as our signature instead of our traditional black/grey/white colors." Katie Cordova, the owner of Brokeman's Running started jotting down in her notes at their meeting.
"No no no. Gold metal. Everything will have to now be wrapped in gold metal."
"But we like using wood for our finishers medals. We call them woodals!" Katie smiled as she went on. "People seem to really like..."
"Whatever. That's fine. Just wrap it in gold. All of it. Everything. Whatever you use, keep it the same. Just wrap it in gold."
And the final change we are going to make:
No more running or exercising of any kind.
"I don't run. I don't exercise." The president said. "I don't like it. I don't understand it. So we are just going to take that away."
"But, what will we do if we don't run or walk at the events?" Asked Katie.
"I don't know, and I don't care. Just not run."
Throughout the next few weeks the company will slowly be transitioning all of it's print and online materials to reflect the changes to the new name of the company and the "race" day changes will be implemented effective of our next event in Cincinnati on April 22nd.
"I feel really positive about this relationship." Stated Katie. "I know that it's going to mean some unconventional changes to our business model, but I think they will be for the best. I know not everyone is going to accept some of these changes; I mean, the name is a little long now, but we can always use BRCSBTVRDT if we need to shorten it up here and there. That might make people a little more comfortable.
But in times like these I like to remember what the great Tina Fey says,
"Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions. Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.""
April Fools !
February 19, 2018
Introducing: Half off race registrations for all military and first responders.
I was working on the website today updating the header. Last week I had added a thin blue line flag in support of the the Westerville officers that died during a routine response to a 911 call. As I was working on the update, I thought maybe it was time to take down the flag. I wondered, what was the appropriate length to leave a symbol up? I thought maybe a week?
And I instantly became a statistic.
As a veteran of the Army, I know all too well the cycle of support and forget. When the person or the event doesn't directly impact our day to day lives, it's easy to let the things we want to support become quickly overshadowed by everything else. We don't even mean to let it happen, it's just does. As soon as I thought about taking down the flag off of my website it saddened me and I wanted to find a way to remember instead of letting those officers memories fade in the busyness of my life.
So starting today, indefinitely, Brokeman's Running is offering 50% off of all race registrations for first responders and military.* This includes all active and retired military and veterans and all active and retired Police, Firefighters, and EMS.
I want to remember you always. All Military always. All Firefighters, Police, and EMS always. Even on the good days where no one looses their life. To remember all of those who choose to selflessly sacrifice and give in ways that most of us can never understand. You are stronger then we will ever be, and we are a stronger nation because of you.
-Katie (owner of Brokeman's)
TO USE THIS COUPON: USE THE CODE "ISTILLREMEMBERU2018" when you check out at any of our races. Forever.
* This discount includes race registration fees only, for the individual ONLY and cannot be extended to immediate family or any other person. Discount does not include race add-ons. Discount will not be applicable on any "opening day" sales.
Why I run
Using My Passion to Serve Others by Emily Korosec
With the recent events in Las Vegas, the question "Why do I run?" seems so petty to ask. In a world of so much pain and
chaos, why does running even matter to me? To anyone? I'm still wrestling with this as I sit here, but I cannot deny that I
still love to run. The desire to lace up my shoes and get lost in the metronome of my feet on the pavement still exists. It's a
love affair I cannot escape.
But Why do I love to run? I’m asked this question pretty much on the daily. It’s an understandable question, because
sometimes I ask myself the same thing, particularly during the 25th mile of a marathon; “Why do I keep torturing myself!?”
And then something funny happens; I cross the finish line and I’m flooded with an overwhelming love for running all over
again. My mom friends and I joke that it’s just like childbirth. You tell yourself (and often times your significant other) that
this will be your only child because you will NEVER voluntarily go through this insane misery again! And then the doctor
places a tiny human in your arms and you can’t even begin to describe the love you feel for someone you just met,
forgetting every ounce of pain you just experienced for hours on end. Running is pretty much just like that.
From a Mom’s Perspective
September 17th, 2017 | Amy San Fillippo
I am a runner. I’ve been a runner since I can remember. I have memories of running
with my dad when I was in first grade. Running is my home base. It’s where I go
when everything else around me is falling apart. It’s my happy place; the place
where I can be ME. 100% ME.
When my husband and I decided to start a family, I never imagined that the runner
in me would suffer. People warned me…your life will never be the same. I figured,
bring it on! That’s what having kids is all about. Right?
#amysrunningtruths : BIG MILES, Baby. Get your head on straight.
September 10th 2017
September 3rd 2017
August 27th 2017