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Moon Joggers Spotlight: Meet Teresa

Runner

SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK: MEET TERESA GONZALES!

How long have you been a Moon Jogger? January 2018

What or Who inspires you to get out and run,walk, jog etc? I walk for my health, I walk for my emotional health. My kids inspire me to be the best me I can be.

What is your favorite distance to run, walk, jog? Medically it is very hard to complete long distances; instead I like to try to complete 1 mile several time a day. Although some days, I can only do 1/2 mile mini walks, several times a day.

What is your favorite pre-workout snack and/or meal? Hydrate, hydrate hydrate. In the South with the heat and humidity hydrating is the key. I also like peanut butter and crackers before and/or after a walk.

What is the best fitness advice you’ve ever received? Listen to your body. If you don’t like what you see, change it.

Who would you like to inspire through your running/walking? Anyone who has lost self-esteem because they no longer feel like the person they once were. Because of a medical condition I thought I was destined to be depressed and sedentary. Then I found virtual racing. I want others to know there is still hope.

What is something funny and/or embarrassing that has happened to you during training or events?

When the temperature is cooler, I take my dogs with me when I walk. I have a little shi-tzu and a large boxer-rottweiler mix. Normally they do very well on walks of 1 mile or less. One time about half-way through my walk the little shi-tzu decided her was done. The was NO way I would be able to carry the dog back home. I had to call my husband to bring the car to pick up the dogs just to finish the walk.

Do you have any rituals or traditions you do before events?

Panic, stretch, hydrate, pray.

What is the furthest you’ve ever run or walked in one day? Walking several times throughout the day I have walked a a little over 9 miles. However, the largest at one time walk was 3.5 miles.

Tell us more about yourself. Where your’e from, what you do for a living, what are your hobbies and anything else you’d like fellow Moon Joggers to know. I was born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas, NV, and returned to Texas to raise my children after re-inventing myself after a divorce. I returned to college graduated top of my class with an undergraduate and a Masters degree in Education and Administration. I LOVED teaching; I even won teacher of the year for Middle School. After three vocal cord surgeries (resulting in being the recipient of the first prosthetic vocal cord) two thyroid surgeries and a para-thyroid surgery my world came crashing down when I was told I could no longer teach. I still live with several tumors that are changing my brain chemistry. If they remove the tumors I will no longer be able to speak at all, I will be mute. During one of my pre-surgery exams I was also told I have extreme scoliosis in my lower back. All of this together means my life drastically changed. I can longer do any exercise other than walking or very low impact workouts like yoga. I spiraled into a deep depression and put on over 50 pounds. I have learned how to manage the depression, but the weight and inability to work out like I was used to was hard. My doctor told me to “get used to the knew you”. Then I found Moon Joggers and virtual racing. I join as many virtual races as I can physically handle. With every step my self-esteem grows, my confidence increases and I am learning to love THIS new me! As I continue to grow, I hope my story will help inspire someone else who is facing a complete life change.

Describe your favorite place to run (work out). Why is it your favorite? I live in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. We have lots of green, wildlife and rivers. I love walking in my neighborhood; it has beautiful scenery, hills the challenge me and enough flat areas I don’t die.

What have been your biggest obstacles when it comes to running, training, exercising, etc? My health is definitely my biggest obstacle. I struggle with each step I take making the slogan ‘every step matters’ very literal for me.

What has been your most favorite running experience or event? I actually need to walk, not run so I was reticent about signing up for a live race. However, I decided to test myself and completed my first live race in February of this year. I was extremely gratifying.

We love you Teresa! Thanks for being part of our Moon Jogger family!

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