a companion blog to the SHU box, featuring official BlogHer review program posts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

a roundabout journey to 26.2

This is a sponsored post from Disney and BlogHer.


when i was contacted about writing a post about overcoming an obstacle in honor of the new disney film secretariat, several options came to mind.

i could write about the decision to go to medical school, and about the work it took to get where i am today in my career.

i could write about continuing to write about my life daily (at my main site, the SHU box) in the face of mucho time constraints (especially during those residency years!).

but really? neither of those feats would surprise those who have known me since childhood. i'm a nerd at heart (with slightly OCD tendencies) who always loved to write and who never minded sticking her nose into books -- even of the text variety, if it was important for a grade.

however, i am pretty sure that no one expected this girl to become a runner.


no -- i spent my formative years as a cheerleader, and not a very good one at that. this photo was taken during middle school on halloween night -- i figured that my uniform would make for a convenient 'costume', and besides, i was immensely proud of it.

when high school finally came around (and i lost those ridiculous glasses), my cheerleading became more of an athletic pursuit and less of a costume party. we didn't just cheer at the sidelines of games; we competed, and i actually ended up enjoying it a great deal.

still, though -- i had athlete envy. friends that i had who played field hockey or soccer would jeer that cheerleading wasn't a real sport. while i had no desire to grab a stick and compete with them on the field (court? uhh . . . yeah, you can see why i stuck to back handsprings and dance moves), there was one breed of athlete that i often sized up from afar with a wistful admiration . . .

the runners. oh, the runners! not only was my HUGE UPPERCLASSMAN CRUSH on the cross-country team, but the girls clad in their shimmery spandex always looked so healthy, fit, and happy. i thought about joining the track or cross-country team each fall, but always backed out, fearing that i could never run as far or as fast, and rationalizing that it wouldn't mesh well with the cheer schedule, anyway.

so i never did it. sure, i might have hit the treadmill for 20 minutes or so as a teenager, trying to get in shape. and when i went to college, i finally figured out that the trick to improving my endurance was to SL-O-O-O-W down and build up my mileage gradually. but it wasn't until i met josh (medical school classmate who became my boyfriend who became my husband ) that i really started to view myself as a runner.

josh taught me that with a little planning and a lot of perseverance (and sweat), anyone can become a runner -- even tackling distances that i never dreamed of! it turned out that running is a sport that fits my previously mentioned OCD-ish tendencies like a glove: training plans ignite a fire within me, and yet each run is a relaxing trip away from it all. racing is a chance to just break free and do something without having to be perfect -- because i'm only competing against myself!

fast forward a mere 17 years from the cheerleading picture, and you see me, running my 4th marathon.

clad in spandex that are all my own

i never said it became EASY . . .

but it certainly has become one of the most rewarding pursuits in my life.

and no, i'm not just talking about the post-race burrito!

though that was pretty rewarding in its own right as well.

so there you have it: a journey from ragamuffin cheerleader to marathoner. if i can do it (did you SEE those glasses!?), anyone can.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

this post was written as part of the BlogHer reviewers program. check out the BlogHer.com special offers page for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card from the BlogHer company (official rules here).

more information on the film secretariat (in theaters friday, october 8th!) can be found here, and you can check out the associated facebook and twitter pages as well. and you can see even more on youtube.

what is an obstacle that you have overcome that might surprise your middle school classmates? or, equally as important, what would you buy with a $100 gift card?? feel free to share in the comments!

173 comments:

  1. This movie really sounds wonderful.
    An obstacle that I had to overcome when I was younger, was a speech problem that I had. I worked for years to improve the problems and by my early teens, I pretty much overcame my problem. Of course there were many years of being teased by other kids, but I really feel that that made me all the more stronger.
    This movie really sounds like it's going to be very good.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  2. What an amazing story! I didn't have major obstacles, my dad was killed when I was two and mom remarried 3 years later and grew up in an abusive home but thankfully I have a loving husband and three beautiful children

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  3. would buy the food I need for a no iodine diet to fight my cancer
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

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  4. I've overcome major bstacles in my life. Because of that, I have learned to appreciate how fragile life is. Three family members have committed suicide, (My Dad, brother and Grandfather). I fight depression every day.

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  5. I would put $100 towards an LCD TV. We have a huge, heavy clunker in our family room, and the connection thingees are in the back, so it's usually easier to leave whatever is plugged in plugged in and not try to switch it from the playstation to the DVD player or back. And it makes a cracking sound from time to time that ALWAYS makes me jump. My husband sits on his computer all night long, so he doesn't really see what's wrong with the TV we have - sigh

    bsw529 at gmail dot com

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  6. my obstacles is right now- I am restarting life- and not very easy- but kids and I are safe from abuse

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  7. I have overcome an attack when I was in Middle School. If it had not been for my brother hearing me scream when the man grabbed me I would have been raped as well, but he came out and saved me from that. It took me a long time to overcome that night and learn to trust anyone ever again. I still to this day have that small panic attack if I am walking alone and someone comes up behind me, but at least I can walk alone again, it took me a long time to get to this point.

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  8. I married the love of my life and had 2 children. He was killed while the girls were young. I raised them, educated myself, saw the both of them graduate college, marry and give me 7 grandchilren.

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  9. tweet http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/25731316088

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  10. Me, the shy quiet one back in the day is now in sales!

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  11. I would buy my son a 19th birthday gift.

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  12. I think my middle school classmates would be surprised that I am a happy stay at home mom to three small boys, one of which is extremely disabled. I would buy this necklace that I have been eying for a long time, it is pearls with a miraculous medal on it.

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  13. What a great story. I was trapped in an abusive marriage and finally overcame and life if good.

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  14. I have overcome my fear of heights.

    hellrzr(at)juno(dot)com

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  15. I had 3 miscarriages before conceiving my first child, and I went on to have 2 more children after that.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  16. The biggest obstacles I have had to overcome were/are medical challenges of my children. Thankfully what they have is not life threatening, still, having to see your child go to multiple specialist and go through uncomfortable medical proceedures, including surgeries is very stressful. I am thankful for my husband and close friends who have supported me through it all.

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  17. I would take my family out for a nice dinner.

    teenytig@sbcglobal.net

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  18. I would honestly spend the gift card at the Grocery. These days, having some money to really enjoy spending on food is a luxury!

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  19. What a great story, I've overcome obstacles of losing a child during pregnancy. I would use this gift card for my Christmas shopping

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  20. Hard to believe these days, but my obstacles used to be how skinny I was: where or where did those times go????

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  21. I would use this gift card for fall clothes.

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  22. I'm thinking about Christmas. A gift card would be wonderful to have right about now!

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  23. I've overcome breaking my back in the middle of college to still finish strong and keep up good grades!
    scg00387 at yahoo dot com

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  24. Moving my family to a more populated location to gain employment in the hard economy. And, I'd spend it on shoes for my kiddos! FunMom at CreativeFamilyMoments dot com

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  25. i have overcome major episodes of depression

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  26. I would put the $100 towards a new transmission for my car. Mine is going out and I just can't afford a new car at this time.
    eswright18 at gmail.com

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  27. I'd like to use the gift card for incoming holiday shopping!

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  28. I would buy groceries. msmith572@yahoo.com

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  29. The obstacle I have overcome has been the passing of both of my parents within 2 yrs of each other. It has been a rough journey but I am getting through day by day.
    sweokgrl@gmail.com

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  30. I would buy catfood and pay for neutering for (at least some of) the cat family that I've just adopted. They are wild and in my yard, and survivors. I just want to help them survive, and let the do it without creating a kitty population explosion.

    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  31. Years before I reached age 30, I suffered an injury which caused tremendous pain and eventual disability to the point where I could not leave my house. This was made many times worse because we used to travel almost every weekend and see our friends, none of whom lived nearby. It was 10 years before I was able to find medical treatment which actually helped some, but now I am able to leave the house once a month or so and even can go visit friends a few times a year.
    chainmail(at) iwon(dot)com

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  32. I suffered from social anxiey since middle school and then panic attacks later on but I have never let it stop me from achieving my academic and professional goals.

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  33. http://twitter.com/fostertam/status/25821549801

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  34. Wonderful Story and thank you for the opportunity to win a gift card. Right now, I would use is for buying food. Things are a little bit rough right now.
    gmissycat@yahoo.com

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  35. Tweeted your giveaway here!
    http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/25834256469
    gmissycat@yahoo.com

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  36. I survived an abusive, alcoholic grandmother. I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

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  37. My nickname in jr high was "Short, Fat, and Ugly". I hope to take a fashion magazine to my 20th high school reunion. Why? Because I'm in it!

    jenndiggy at gmail dot com

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  38. I overcame a serious illness and now still have to watch what I eat...I would purchase some good, healthy food and supplements!

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  39. I am in the process of overcoming an unhealthy lifestyle -- eating better, exercising (swimming and walking) and drinking more water and less soda. It's not easy, but it will be worth it!
    Elenna {AT] sbcglobal [DOT] net

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  40. I would use it to buy clothes for my underemployed son.

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  41. thanks for sharing your story! i would use the $100 to buy some yard work tools to overcome my messy yard it is so overgrown with 100 specious of different plants..
    songyueyu at gmail

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  42. I think most of my obstacles have come long after I was in middle school or else I just don't remember back that far:) I would use the gift card to start Christmas shopping.

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  43. How to raise quadruplets & a singleton and give everyone the attention & love they deserve as individuals.

    charityd AT centurytel DOT net

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  44. When I was in high school, I really wanted to make the varsity soccer team. I hadn't played for as long as some of the other girls, but I practiced hard, tried my best and made it! That's as close as I get to beating the odds. ;)

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  45. My deaf dog is constantly a challenge. She can be such a handful but other times is just a dog. I am happy that she grabbed my heartstrings - if the Humane Society knew she was deaf before we adopted her, she probably would have be euthanized.
    shutterboo at gmail dot com

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  46. My obstacle to overcome was my health. I have had chronic tmj for a span of 6 months for the past four years...I am only 35! I wasn't able to eat or talk. It was a true trial.

    leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

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  47. No one who knows me now would believe I was a shy, quiet kid just a few years ago. Thank goodness I've overcome that and work to help other kids realize we're all butterflies some of us just stay in our cocoons a little longer.

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  48. I think that I homeschool our 3 children would be a big shock.
    thank you
    tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

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  49. Just a few years ago, I was NOT athletic at all. Not the least!
    And, I decided I wanted to run a 5k. I trained. And I trained.

    I did it. And then another. And another.

    And, this Fall, I will run my 3rd marathon!!!

    Training, persistance, hard work...and the help of the Lord! Praise God!

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  50. I think my middle school classmate would be surprised that I am no longer a shy person and actually a strong assertive woman. I feel good about myself and love myself.

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  51. I WOULD ACTUALLY USE THE CARD FOR FOOD AND GAS- EVERYTHING SEEMS SOOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE NOWADAYS! kytah00@yahoo.com

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  52. I NOTICED IN THE OFFICIAL RULES YOU MAY TWEET FOR A SECOND ENTRY SO HERE IT IS! http://twitter.com/kytah00/status/26046159059 kytah00@yahoo.com

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  53. I never thought I would be able to get a college degree after failing out of college the first time. Now I have an associates and am working on a bachelors in mental health!

    Awesome contest! Thanks for entering me!
    Janna Johnson
    jannajanna@hotmail.com
    Janna@Feedyourpigblog.com
    www.feedyourpigblog.com

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  54. I completed my first marathon this past March, & it was such an exhilarating experience! I ran with Team World Vision, so it added another level, to know that the money I'd raised would be helping provide clean water in Africa. Three cheers for running!
    Lindsey @ I Run in Heels

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  55. my biggest obstacle in life was getting over the dealth of my mom...it is still a work in progress, but i able to talk about her which was something i was unable to do

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  56. I don’t know that I’ve completely overcome it, but I have lupus! I try to make the best of it even though I have alot of pain and fatigue with it! Thanks for a chance to win!
    kmassman gmail

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  57. Honestly, I would use the card to buy myself a new pair of shoes. I haven't had a new pair for about 4 years now, and I really need some!

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  58. My husband and I overcame infertility - we now have 3 wonderful kids!
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  59. tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/26127251507
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

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  60. that i had cancer at a relatively young age, had surgery and am now cancer free


    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

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  61. You know, I'll be very honest, I know NOTHING about Secretariat and would be curious to find out more :D

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  62. I shared this giveaway on Facebook :D

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000628770520&v=wall&story_fbid=130716056979165

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  63. I just tweeted this giveaway here :D

    http://twitter.com/TimboSquad/status/26139100860

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  64. tweeted http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/26185067491

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  65. blog post http://tnshadylady.blogspot.com/2010/10/secretariat-and-blogher-giveaway.html

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  66. To be able to run effortlessly is a goal of mine! One of the obstacles I battled was being diagnosed with cancer at age 23 as a young mother of 2. After 8 months of chemo, 3 surgeries and a few scares, I've been cancer free for almost 2 decades.
    nrdunningATgmailDOTcom

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  67. I became a teenage mom at 17 and married my son's father. I overcame the statistics and finished high school with my diploma, but it was tough. Classmates were cruel and there were plenty who pointed and laughed at me. Many times I wanted to give up and just take the test and get my GED. In my heart, though, I wanted that diploma and the chance to walk across the stage and be handed what took so hard to get. I kept my focus and graduated...while my son and mother sat in the audience and watched me walk across the stage. While the marriage was a mistake, my son never was. He graduated college with honors 2 years ago and I couldn't be prouder of him. What I learned and always taught him was that your education is something no one can ever take away from you.


    shel704 at aol dot com

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  68. Tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/26213950775

    shel704 at aol dot com

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  69. Your readers really have overcome some huge obstacles. I am inspired! Back in middle school I was unpopular and bullied, but those were more rights of passage than true obstacles. Adulthood has held some real challenges. The most recent was when a serial rapist broke into the house where I was staying. I fought him off until the police arrived, but I was badly beaten and my arm fractured. I am now scared to sleep at night, and I make my daughter sleep in bed with me from fear that she'll be stolen away at night. But it has gotten better and will continue to do so...
    quitecontrary1977@hotmail.com

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  70. In middle school, I was very insecure and I hid it by creating my own fantasy world. I made good grades, but few people knew me. I was the chubby outsider most of the time...I'm still chubby, but I learned that if I was happy with me, that was all that mattered! I'm happily married and a mom now. If people like me, great. If not, now I realize it is their loss!
    thanks
    bleatham*at*gmail.com

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  71. At the present time my husband and I are going through some financial difficulty. More so than we have ever dealt with. This $100 would be very much appreciated. Thanks for the giveaway.

    dancejamboree at gmail dot com

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  72. tweet
    http://twitter.com/sleatham1/status/26238661381
    bleatham*at*gmail.com

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  73. Thanks for sharing your great story!

    The biggest challenge I have had to overcome, was raising two brothers after my Mom died(of leukemia at age 44)..it wasn’t always easy but they are successful adults today and I’m SO proud of them!

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

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  74. Tweeted

    http://twitter.com/JoeyfromSC/status/26297831429

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

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  75. Great story. I love how someone said "Some view a rock in the road as an obstacle, others view it as a stepping stone"
    I'd get an electric or gel fireplace.
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  76. tweet!
    http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/26320760958
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  77. Biggest challenge was beating cancer at age 78
    bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

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  78. I quit smoking!
    dolniaks[at]consolidated[dot]net

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  79. My biggest obstacle was having a total of 4 miscarriages before I got my 2 beautiful children. It was hard to keep trying, but I'm soooo happy that I did :)

    Thanks!
    fineinsanity {at} live {dot} com

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  80. I actually got some feedback on what I had to overcome at my last high school reunion (same people as in middle school, which actually didn't exist when I was in school, by which I am really dating myself!) I was exceptionally shy and retiring, and one of my classmates said that I had really changed. Still fairly shy, but dealing with medical professionals in some pretty dicey situations can bring you out of yourself pretty fast! It apparently changed me enough that it was noticeable in just a couple of hours to someone who hadn't seen me in years.

    cgclynsg0 @ gmail dot com

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  81. learning to ergonomically move a 350 lb drum of resin, as a sideline to some business & production scheduling analyst work I did in an adhesives factory . . . I'm pretty small, so it was interesting . . . the $100 gift card? Well, it would probably go toward more work clothes (as I'm working more now that my daughter is in school full time) :-)

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  82. Thought it might not matter to people I went to school with, quitting smoking was a huge obstacle overcome for me.

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  83. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/racergirl1313/status/26383599226

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  84. I was a horrible student in middle school, it didn't help that English wasn't my first language therefore I had a hard time writing.

    I finally got it together in high School, a lot of my middle classmates would be surprised that I love to write and learned to love love English so much. :)

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  85. I would buy Christmas presents, or pay off some credit card debt.
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

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  86. I cant believe Christmas will be here soon. I would get each of my 3 kids one nice gift
    floatingonabiscuit@gmail.com

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  87. I would buy some new flooring for my kitchen. We are getting prepared to put our home on the market and we need a new kitchen floor. $100 would sure help with that problem!

    rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

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  88. I was the victim of constant bullying as a child and I am still struggling to get over it. I'm glad that now people realize bullying is not just childhood fun. I'd buy some boots for fall!

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  89. I will use the GC for a new winter jacket
    bepoia(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  90. I would put the $100 towards groceries and be able to make some very special Sunday meals.

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  91. As a young married with 2 girls, my crash came along with a helicopter that took my husband's life. I was alone no job, no skill, no money, no education. Slowly but surely I got them all. Eventually, I educated my girls, got them married, and have 7 grands, along with a retirement that does not make me wealthy but keeps a roof over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back.

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  92. i have to apologize I entered again today when I have already entered. I am so sorry for this. Please delete today entries.

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  93. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  94. well i got out of an abusive relation ship with my husband. he abused my kids and i and now my kids and i are safe from the abuse. i found someone who treats my kids and i the way we should be treated. whitecarrie69@yahoo.com

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  95. I guess overcoming post partum depression
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  96. tweet
    http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/26509276027
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  97. With a $100 gift card, I'd apply it toward a laptop for my Mom. My obstacles? Too many to contemplate!

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  98. I was bullied and harrassed because I grew up poor and if the people who tortured and teased me could see that I am now a college graduate who has been named Who's Who Among America's Teachers they might have questioned their choices.

    I would use the $100 to buy classroom supplies

    teechbiz at gmail dot com

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  99. My daughter's wedding is in a few months, so the $100 would help with the many expenses.

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  100. If I won I would use the $100 to buy my children winter coats

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

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  101. http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/26593486481

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  102. I would use the $100 to buy Christmas presents for my two boys.
    dgoodridge84@yahoo.com

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  103. I would start my Christmas shopping for my girls. Thank you!!

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  104. The obstacle I overcome is continuing to live for my teenage son, in spite of my grief over losing my 11 year daughter to cancer.

    Thank you.

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  105. I had bone cancer in my upper arm in 1969 at the age of 17. My family was told I wouldn't be alive in 2 years and to enjoy what time I had left. My dominant right arm was amputated completely. 40+ years later, I am still here. I raised 2 great sons, endured an awful divorce, then remarried a wonderful man. As I am getting older and all of the ituses (arthritis, tendinitis, etc) set in, every day is a new challenge. I just keep on going. I'm so grateful for all I've been given in my life.

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  106. Overcoming the loss of my mother at an early age

    trippyjanet at hotmail dot com

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  107. I overcame being born with a cleft lip and palate and not enough money growing up to finish out the surgeries. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

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  108. Our family's obstacle is we have tried for many years to have children, and after a lot of tries and tears, it is finally happening for us. honeypie411 at yahoo dot com

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  109. My biggest obstacle from my childhood was my mom passing away from a car accident we were in. I was only 6 when it happened, and I had 2 younger sisters. I know that I took on a mothering role to the 2 of them. Sometimes I still struggle with not having a mother, but I know I am a stronger woman because of what I went through.

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  110. Awesome blog and thanks for the giveaway!
    Would love, love, LOVE to win this!
    =]

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  111. I would buy a new jacket. Mine is about 10 years old!

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  112. I overcame a difficult childhood and my parent's divorce. It was very hard, but I am a stronger person today because of it.

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  113. I’ve struggled with weight since my teen years. I lost weight to get married. Gain weight with a baby. Lost weight. Gained weight with another baby. Lost weight. Gained weight quitting smoking. And now I’ve taken control. It’s been 3 years since I lost weight and I’ve kept it off. Yay for me!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  114. I've always wanted to be a runner - maybe it's not to late to get training!

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  115. I would use this to buy fabric to make a quilt for a wonderful lady I know who has overcome breast cancer

    gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

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  116. I'd buy shape-ups

    jdmimi at gmail dot com

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  117. I would buy a toddler table for my son :) Thanks silenttributary at yahoo dot com

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  118. I have been working on overcoming my career change. As a single mom, I’ve had to find a job that would bring me home every evening, and though the pay is less than half of what I used to make, my kids and I are so much closer and have really learned to enjoy life! Though this is now, my 7th grader is becoming a much better student as a result which is truly worth the sacrifice!
    pauline15_01 at hotmail dot com

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  119. How to live without my mom when she died when I was 15.
    erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

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  120. I'd use the $100 gift card to get started on my holiday shopping!

    katfam95 at aim dot com

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  121. Raising 4 girls, a good portion of the time on my own would shock anyone I grew up with- especially the fact that I did a pretty good job of it.

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  122. I have overcome the challenge of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I currently work 3 jobs and do well for myself, and I'm pretty happy doing so.

    txhottie_86 at yahoo dot com

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  123. With a $100 gift card I might be able to buy a new tire! With only one person in the household working (me) there is no extra money for things like bad tires.

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  124. I would definitely buy a new hall rug. While not an obstacle, it's definitely been a thorn in my side for awhile. The old one is horrible and just keeps bothering me everytime I see it.

    http://shuboxreviews.blogspot.com/2010/09/roundabout-journey-to-262.html

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  125. I would use the $100 for Christmas gifts.
    tesashel225 (@) aol (.com)

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  126. I have overcome having asthma as a child to become an adult who has controlled my symptoms through proper diet and eliminating toxins in my home by “going green”.

    I would use the $100 to repair a solar panel in our home.

    pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  127. Great story!

    Can hardly wait to see the movie!

    And the obstacle that I've 'overcome' is growing up in an abusive household with both parents who suffered from alcoholism!

    Fortunately, I haven't allowed my abusive upbringing to shape me into a 'bitter human being' or become another 'sad statistic'!

    Thanks for sharing and for the chance to WIN!

    Good Luck to All!

    leandrew_taylor@yahoo.com

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  128. Great story! I loved the photos. I overcame a thyroid disorder that left me with a lot of red dry facial skin.

    missamberlynne at gmail dot com

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  129. I am boring I would put the hundred dollars towards new windows.... I guess it could buy a lot of candy!
    Diane Baum
    Esldiane@gmail.com

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  130. I quit my job when in my late 20's when I realized my career was not fulfilling my spirit. It was hard because I had a good salary and knew I'd have to spend all my savings to go back to get my masters, but I took the leap and got my teaching degree. I was very broke for a very long time, but now, 15 years later I know it was the best decision of my life.

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  131. I always thought I couldn’t sing: my sister and my mother could and my father & I couldn’t.
    A friend took me to a choral concert and I loved the group, said I wanted to join, but I couldn’t sing. I joined as a support member. Got a mailer from a local school that said: do you sing in the shower?. Well, yes. I took the class and the teacher said I had a fine voice I just needed to think of my body as an instrument and learn to tune it. I did, and I’ve been singing with the chorus for 20 years now.

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  132. http://twitter.com/slehan/status/26891521677

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  133. I would buy clothes for my children.
    cynthia_crumpton at yahoo dotcom

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  134. In college, I suffered through social phobia, a fairly debilitating disorder that made me extremely anxious about any situation in which I had to be with strangers, especially large groups. So, as you can imagine, living in the dorms, facing the reality of living in a strange city without any friends, and having to attend large lecture classes and give presentations, we extremely nerve-racking and frustrating.

    But I overcame the disorder and am now happy to say I have a great group of friends. I'd love to use the gift card to take a few of them out for a nice dinner to thank them for their support!

    gkaufmanss@yahoo.com

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  135. After being told I would become nothing when I got older, I am now a PROUD NURSE!! Also dislikeing school when younger, Nursing school was very intrigueing!!

    clemensrhonda@hotmail.com

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  136. I am well on my way towards finishing my doctorate degree. That would surprise my middle school friends, I'm sure, because although I always held high grades, I was kind of a class clown.

    msurosey@yahoo.com

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  137. I would buy snacks for my son's class.


    charisscharity at yahoo dot com

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  138. The difficulty I had to overcome and live with was the disability as a result of an auto accidnet in 1965.

    kg4rmt at arrl dot net

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  139. I would spend that 100.00 on my daughters for christmas.

    I am going back to school for my associate degree in human services and i know my old friends would be shocked. I hated school in middle school.

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  140. I would use the $100 to treat myself to a day at the spa. I never take enough me time.

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  141. I have had to overcome quite a few obstacles along the way, but I consider myself blessed to have had a loving, caring family to help me along the way.

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  142. I had to overcome the doubt that I "could" start over with my three young daughters after a rough divorce. I would use the GC to get a mixer for my middle daughter
    singermagic1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  143. My biggest obstacle to overcome was extreme shyness. When I was in school it was soooo hard for me to talk to anyone or make friends. When I left for college I set out with the goal to change that....and I DID!

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  144. I've over came my fear of speaking in public. I now help my husband run a weekly Bible club. When he's working. I get in front of every body and run the whole thing. The first few nights I thought I would pass out :)

    hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

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  145. When I was in middle school, we were poor (but I didn't really realize it till later) and the girls that were cruel to me would be surprised to find out that I had the dream job as a travel agent and was able to travel all over the world and have a beautiful husband, kids and a nice home.
    susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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  146. I have overcome a childhood of abuse and become a successful, productive member of society with a wonderful family!

    Many thanks!!

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  147. I was bullied to the point of no return but in middle school and senior high I had to learn to overcome and tune it out of course with God's Holy help and I'm still learning to try to heal the scares some 47 yrs later and forgive them all what they did to me. I have forgiven but it's hard to erase it all. It wasnt just verbal and mental abuse but physical too I still remember a boy in 8th grade spitting on me- and way back then not carrying a purse and I had no hanky to wipe it off so I rubbed it into my dress. I can remember that so vividly as if it happened yesterday

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  148. I had to overcome extreme shyness. I had moved from the south to the midwest. My definite "hillbilly" accent was an acute embarrassment for me. I took a public speaking class in high school because I knew I had to do something to overcome my extreme fear of standing in front of a crowd. I hated every minute but I left with the beginning of acceptance for what I am and where I came from.

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  149. I think overcoming is a way of life. We determine to keep on keeping on, because we must and for those whose lives we touch.

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  150. One obstacle that I have overcome is speaking before an audience!

    ardy22 at earthlink dot net

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  151. If I won I would use the $100 to pay bills as I am currently working on overcoming unemployment, a mid-life crisis, a bad relationship and just overall bad life happening :( Geesh! I hope to be able to tell everyone my amazing story someday but I have to make it happen first!

    justine417@comcast.net

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  152. The $100 would go to help out with Christmas.
    My middle school classmates would be shocked to know that I am over my EXTREME shyness. It was so hard for me to talk to anyone in school. But I think most of my shyness in middle school came from being teased and bullied.

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  153. With a $100 gift card, I would go to the nursery center and buy as many flowering plants as I could. Not only will the plants look beautiful while in bloom, but they will help to feed the butterflies, bees and birds.

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  154. Awesome post about the power we have to change our lives! Thanks for sharing.

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  155. Actually being still here after losing my 21 year old daughter. You survive, sort of.

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  156. I am in the process of changing my life. I had decided to go into therapy which was really helping when my husband lost his job. No insurance, no therapy. So I am trying to take one day at a time and use what I learned up to that point. I am not sure my friends would be surprised to know what I have survived but then again, maybe they would.

    I would use the money to help with household expenses.

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  157. Something I am working to overcome is my weight. I gained a lot after I got married, then lost a lot with a low-carb diet, then gained it all back and then some, and now I'm under a doctor's program and am losing again. So, I'll use the $100 to buy new clothes!

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  158. I have overcome many obstacles in my 42 years of life; 1 divorce, struggling with an alcoholic mother, and now dealing with a cancer stricken father in law. It's never easy, but just take each day as it comes.

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  159. I would use the $100 to put towards Christmas gifts. My grandson is 3 and he has never had a real Christmas because his father doesn't believe in it. Now that our daughter and grandson are living with us I want to make it special for him.

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  160. I would use this 100 towards new tires for my car.

    purehrt555(At)Yahoo(Dot)com

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  161. OK, here's my confession: If I win the $100, I'd put it toward a pair of boots I bought a few days ago, which were the most epensive pair of footwear I've EVER purchased. Sigh.

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  162. My major obstacles have been in my job. In the early 90?s our company had rumors of lay-offs for the first time in the company’s history. Our management kept telling us we were unaffected at the same time that one of them was getting his assistant’s title changed so she wouldn’t be laid off. Well, my niece was being baptised, so I travelled for that, and was away when the axe fell. One of my co-workers had emailed me that our department was hard hit- apparently a similar product was being developed in Germany, and it was cheaper to layoff people in the USA. When I got back, I’d worked for half a day, went home for lunch, came back and was told, and yes these are the words he used ‘You are surplus’ . It was April 1st. But that was no April fools.
    Fortunately my skills were top-notch at the time thanks to that company, but still, when there are no jobs available, that doesn’t help if you want to stay in the area.
    I did get a contract job, supposedly a half hour from home, but it turned out to be an hour away. AND the guy who got me the job, he had an ulterior motive – he had an employee coming from India who needed a ride to the same site where I was working. Once that guy got his license and a car, suddenly my contract was over!
    Another ten months though, and I did finally find another job which made the most of my skills.
    That was one of the roughest times in my life.
    We’re going through a similar time now – I’m hoping to win a major lottery jackpot SOON!

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  163. If I were to win the $100 gift card, I'd get an early (for once) start on my Christmas shopping!

    lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

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  164. I have lost all my pigment due to extensive vitiligo that I've had since childhood.

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  165. I'm currently battling my largest obstacle. It's a battle every day for me to lose weight, but due to a recent temporary kidney failure problem because of my diabetes, I decided this past May that I wasn't doing it any more. I've lost 35 lbs since then and am still on my journey. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  166. My biggest challenge has been
    fighting depression all my life.
    It is hard to stay afloat sometimes
    but with the help of my faith and
    family,I sustain and try to smile
    even when it hurts to.I am looking forward to seeing this movie

    CharlieGurl57@aol.com

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  167. If I won this, I would have a little something extra to do something really special for my son's birthday which is coming up. It's been a hard 5 years and we are just getting back on our feet.

    chipdip2010(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  168. I'm not sure what about me would shock my middle school classmates? Maybe all the places I've lived or the wonderful family I have or the happy life I have? I doubt any of them ever think of me.

    So... what would I do with the cash? I would save the card for my son's choir trip to NYC. He is really looking forward to it and I am looking forward to paying for it. Hooray!

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  169. My middle school calssmates would be amazed at where my family is and how they are doing...we had MAJOR problems, very dysfunctional type home, but I have a very loving husband and beautiful kids, and we are all extremely happy, and the rest of my crazy family? ALL doing great, too...we have all turned full circle, I'm proud to say.
    Kelsey
    micahandkelsey1(at)cox(dot)net

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