I’m excited for you all to learn more about Jill. Just like Rachael, I don’t know her in person, but man, when I read her email and watched the short YouTube video her husband made about her, I…just…wow. She’s amazing and I know her journey will empower so many others. You are amazing, Jill!

this is jill

And this is her story:

My name is Jill, I am 37 years old and mother of five great kids. I started running about three years ago, at the time I had a new baby, had recently moved to a new state and weighed more that 230 lbs. (I don’t actually know how much I weighed because I didn’t want to know.) I met a fantastic lady who was also struggling with weight issues. She asked if I wanted to start running with her, because in her words “you never see fat runners.” I really didn’t want to run, but wanted to hang out with her so we started running. And let me tell ya, for the next year you could see a fat runner in my neighborhood. 😉

We ran three days a week with a program she found online called couch potato to 5k in three months. I couldn’t run very long and not very far. Because of the weight my knees had problems, my back hurt, I couldn’t breath, and my hip would pop in and out of joint when it got tired. Despite all that we did run a 5k I finished in just a shade under an hour, but I actually ran the full distance. Unfortunately my friend fractured her foot during that race, and we never ran together again. We both hoped that we would run together again so I kept running on my own. Truth be told I HATED running, I just didn’t want to be the one to quit. I started running every morning and was invited by other friends to run a 10k. I did and met some amazing ladies. The next day at church a respected gentleman in my congregation was talking to my husband and didn’t believe my husband when he said that I had run a 10k. (I don’t blame him I was huge, and he didn’t mean to be rude.) I am extremely stubborn so I decided to run a half marathon just to show him that I could to it. And I did, again I didn’t finish with a very fast time, but my goal has always been to finish, and finish running.

As I said before it has been three years, have run over 14 marathons, two ultra marathons, hundreds of other races, including two triathlons, and a 60 mile bike race. I have also lost over 70 lbs and become stronger both physically and mentally than I thought possible. It took me eight months to lose any weight at all and more than two years to even like running. I love it now though and can’t go for longer than one day without running.

I was asked to give a little presentation to a group of ladies at my church about my running experience. I asked my wonderful husband to find me some before and after pictures that I could display. My husband made this movie for me about my journey.  I didn’t want to write a full novel so I hope this isn’t too long winded. Thanks for inspiring others with your blog.

{Mel’s Note: if the video doesn’t show up below, you can view it on YouTube HERE – and trust me, it’s well worth 3 minutes and 36 seconds of your day.}

23 Responses to Jill’s Story

  1. Carrie B says:

    jill is a dear friend of mine and I met her in Boston during her “stressful, not home” time. She is lovable, inspiring talented, giving and selfless. I’m so glad she has this amazing story. Go Jill!!

  2. Beth says:

    Eeeek! When I saw what that you were asking for running stories, I immediately FBd Jill! She and I started running at around the same time. I was at that first 5k of hers! She is the most amazing person! She has so many talents and can do pretty much anything. I love this lady and I am so happy to see her happy!!

  3. Janika says:

    I think the “respected gentleman” in her ward is now eating his words! Way to go Jill!

  4. Jamie says:

    Holy Cow! This literally brought tears to my eyes. Almost everything about this is me. I’m significantly overweight, her same age, same amount of kids, and started the couch potato to 5k in January. Also, at this moment, I hate running and am very slow. However, I have a goal to run a 5k in June and then be able to hike to the top of Mount Timpanogas on my birthday in August. (I tried it before, only made it about 1/8 of the way up, and about died. It was kind of humiliating.) This has totally inspired me today. It is my first day to run for 20 minutes straight in the program, and I’ve been really nervous that I won’t be able to do it. Thank you Jill for inspiring me. I’ve been praying for strength to be able to do this, and I do believe that you have just given me the strength to make the full 20 minutes today. Incredible! I’m going to bookmark your story to watch at my weakest moments. Wow, just wow!!!

    • Mel says:

      You got this, Jamie! I know you can do it! I, like you, will be watching Jill’s video often during the next few months. I’m proud of you for sticking with it!

  5. Jill says:

    Oh my goodness ladies, thanks you so much for all you’re kind words! I was nervous to share my story because I’m not a world class runner, I’ve never won a race, I’m trying to qualify for Boston, (but let’s be honest, I probably never will) and i’m super slow. I think the worst thing for me was seeing how fat I was. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t that big. I was more than a little embarrassed. So thank you for your support!!
    And Jamie, you got this!!!! Never give up, even when its cold, your feet hurt, you’re tired, or you just don’t think you can. Because you can do amazing things!!! Look me up on FB if you ever need someone to commiserate with, cuz I’ve been there lady!!! Good luck with you’re race. My new motto is “It doesnt matter when i finish, just that i finish!” Oh anf nothing beats the veiw from the top of Timp! Send us pic from the top!
    And a specail thanks to both Mel, and Beth. Mel for sharing my story, and Beth for giving me the courage to submit it.

  6. Tanya says:

    Wow that is SERIOUSLY AMAZING!! How awesome Jil!! I’m sure you’ve inspired many people along your journey!! You’ve inspired me for sure!! Thank you for sharing Jill and for making this venue available, Mel!

  7. Tiffany says:

    That is awesome!! We are all capable of amazing things if we just give ourselves a chance!

  8. Rachel says:

    So amazing, Jill! I love hearing stories like yours because I often think of runners as practically a different species. I figure it must just be totally easy for them, and they never have a hard time getting their run completed. It’s awesome to see success stories from someone like you who feels like running didn’t necessarily come naturally–it was a struggle and a fight but you rocked it and learned to love it. Thanks for sharing your success!

  9. Heather bell says:

    What a tribute! So sweet that her husband made this. He must be so proud of all her hard work. Way to go jill! I know the stress of ” not Home”.

  10. Camille says:

    Fabulous story! Thank you!!!

  11. Tara says:

    You are amazing, Jill! You always have been! The thing is you aren’t just an awesome runner- you are awesome at whatever you set your mind to! Love you lady!

  12. Patty says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for your story Jill and thanks for posting Mel. Maybe just maybe I’ll try to find my running shoes.

  13. Megan says:

    What an incredible story and journey! Am I reading it correctly that she has run over 14 marathons, two ultra-marathons, and hundreds of other races in THREE years?!?! How is this even possible?!?!

  14. Megan says:

    I continue to be perplexed by the amount of races that Jill has run in three years. I do not think it is advisable to run 14 marathons plus hundreds of other races in that short of a time. In trying to motivate and inspire people to run, I think it is also important to share realistic goals.

  15. s says:

    Just read this and am so inspired, although I can’t even e n do the couch to 5k – mostly walking. I am going to keep this story front and center because I need to get healthy. I need to follow Jill’s example…thank you for sharing your story Jill.

  16. Jill says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful and kind things said. Just to give an update, a few weeks ago I gave a presentation and was able to talk to a large group of women about running, or at least that’s what my presentation started about. I ended up telling those ladies that truly they were capable of anything! It was a wonderful experience.
    Just as a side note I did recount how many races I’ve done, I have finished 14 marathons, two ultras, but I guess I did over exaggerate the list of 5k’s, 10k’s triathlons, 10 milers, 20 miles, and so forth. I’ve only run 98 other races.

  17. Jill says:

    Thanks for all the thoughtful and kind things said. Just to give an update, a few weeks ago I gave a presentation and was able to talk to a large group of women about running, or at least that’s what my presentation started about. I ended up telling those ladies that truly they were capable of anything! It was a wonderful experience.
    Just as a side note I did recount how many races I’ve done, I have finished 14 marathons, two ultras, but I guess I did over exaggerate the list of 5k’s, 10k’s triathlons, 10 milers, 20 miles, and so forth. I’ve only run 98 other races.

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