My guest today is a participant in the Run the Year Challenge, which means running 2,020 miles in 2020.
This challenge means a lot to her because it wasn’t that long ago that she couldn’t run at all!
I am looking forward to going some easy miles today with Amy Spegele.
From a young age, Amy Spegele was aware that she was built differently than other kids.
Unbeknownst to Amy, she was born with a bladder that lacked the normal reflexes.
Amy suffered many side effects from her condition that affected all areas of her life including but not limited to her health.
Urinary tract and kidney infections were a regular occurrence for Amy while growing up.
Amy was unable to run, jump, or skip without urine leaking from her bladder, so she chose to not participate in sports.
An added challenge to her health issues was the bullying she dealt with due to her condition.
It took years before doctors were able to diagnose what was going on with Amy.
At the time of diagnosis, she was extremely sick and about 2 weeks away from needing permanent dialysis.
At the age of 12, Amy underwent her first surgery to fix the issues and another surgery as an adult.
Prior to the surgery, Amy avoided sports at all costs.
Once Amy didn’t have to worry about a leaky bladder, she began making up for the lost time.
When a friend asked her to train for a half marathon with her, Amy didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Since that first race, Amy has since completed numerous half marathons, 2 full marathons, and 1 ultra.
Though her surgeries allowed her to run, Amy encountered other health issues that threatened to halt her running.
Amy learned during training that she had underlying medical issues.
One such issue was the higher her heartrate went while running, the lower her blood pressure dropped.
She also had to deal with vocal chord dysfunction which affected her breathing as she ran.
Full Steam Ahead
Amy was used to encountering obstacles to her running and didn’t let any of it deter her.
Rather she came up with more and bigger goals to focus on while managing her symptoms.
One such goal was to run 12 half marathons over the course of the year which she was able to complete.
Another goal she is currently working towards is to run 2,020 miles in 2020 as part of the Run The Year Challenge.
Amy’s advice for approaching big goals is to break them down into goals that are manageable.
Amy has found that a little fear when coming up with the next big accomplishment is often a good motivator.
Finding a supportive group has been one of the keys to Amy’s success.
Her First Love
Before there was running, Amy was involved in martial arts.
Martial arts provided her an activity that she could do with her son at a young age.
She and her son began training together when he was 5 and they continued progressing through the years.
He is now a senior in high school and they both still occasionally train and/or teach together.
Amy is the type that when she loves something she goes all in and martial arts was no exception.
Amy opened her own martial arts school that she now runs as a non-profit.
She is passionate that everyone that wants to try the sport should be able to regardless of finances.
With the help of many generous donations, she has been able to extend her reach in the community and beyond.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Amy Spegele by checking out Charlevoix Martial Arts.
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