From Smoking 2 Packs a Day To Running the Boston Marathon

Caren’s story is no different than many others. Caren had joined the YMCA in 2005. She was a new stay-at-home mom to her daughter, Carley. She wanted to get into shape and start taking care of her health and body. She had heard about the YMCA, but it took her weeks to make the commitment to come into the Y. She felt very intimidated, but once she joined the Y, she found that people were friendly, helpful and made her feel at home.

It wasn’t long before she could see the changes inside and outside of her body. She felt more confident and stronger, and fell in love with exercise and becoming healthier.  The first year, Caren just ran a mile at a time. Her sister had been a runner for over 20 years and she encouraged her daily. That fall the duo decided to sign up for their first half marathon together! At that point Caren said, “I will never run a full marathon!”

Over 6 years ago, Caren decided to quit smoking to prove to people that she could. It turned out to be one of the best, life changing decisions she could have made. Her inspiration to push through the pain comes from her father-in-law who constantly encouraged and motivated her before passing away in June.

The hardest, yet rewarding accomplishment Caren has achieved is qualifying for the Boston Marathon. A group of five of her friends went and had the time of their lives! Caren achieved her goal and gained limitless confidence in her abilities to achieve any goal she sets for herself.

Caren takes pride in helping others learn and lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

Caren has encouraged and inspired both of her daughters – Alexis, 20, and Carley, 14. Just this year Carley and her friend ran a mini-marathon. Her daughter Alexis has also begun her fitness journey. Caren couldn’t be more proud of her daughters’ decision to lead a happy, healthy and fit lifestyle and following in her footsteps.

While Caren has faced many challenges, she says, “If I can go from two packs a day to running the Boston Marathon, anyone can and anything is possible. Never give up!”