I’ve been very large my entire life, weighing 320-360 lbs. In 2008, I met a great group of walkers that changed my life. In 2009 while my husband was deployed to Iraq, I started training for the Half Marathon.
I met Jennifer Wagner in Team 13 training. I followed her every single mile, basically following her feet the first year. She never doubted that I could do it, but I cried when I crossed the finish line. For that first Half Marathon, Jennifer’s belief in me changed my life more than I can fathom. It’s amazing what just one person believing in me did to my spirit. She even continued training with me for my first full marathon. Even though, that first Full Marathon got cancelled at the last minute, Jennifer went ahead and routed our own 26.2 mile run. The slow-but-fun marathon was born.
Training for that first Half Marathon was also where I met Kari. Later on, we trained for a full marathon together and became really good friends. We just connected, but that’s a whole other story.
I’ve met all kinds of wonderful people and at 41, I’m still making new friends because of the Team 13 program.
Once my husband did return from Iraq, I encouraged him to run with Shari Kirkpatrick’s group. The great thing about her group is that it’s co-ed and they run year round. I can say that it’s truly helped my husband to be a part of that group. He has been in the military for a long time and finding that type of camaraderie is hard to find.
Never in a million years had I dreamed that I would get the chances that I’ve been given, completing six marathons and many, many half marathons.
It’s all because one person believed in me and helped me find the Team 13 program.
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26
This Is Y.
– Stephanie Taber
Team 13 Runner