Culture

First-Time Half Marathoner Achieves Fitness Goals with Team ASPCA

When Alexis Earlbaum received Team ASPCA membership as a graduation gift from a friend, she knew she had the perfect inspiration to train for and complete her first ever half marathon.

“The mission of the ASPCA is something that I live and breathe for,” Alexis says. “Every animal deserves to have the same protection and rights that we do. They are living beings and they feel and have a soul and they deserve to be loved.”

Alexis’s dedication to animals began as a child when she watched her grandmother, affectionately known to Alexis as “Grammy,” rescue animals of all kinds—including cats, dogs, turtles and birds. Alexis says she has always had pets, and currently has two cats named Riley and Attica.

Her longstanding love for animals inspired her as she began her Team ASPCA journey. She says her passion for animals was given a “stronger purpose” as she prepared for the race.

“I felt more drive to make sure that I completed my mission,” she says. “I knew that I had the capacity to change lives, and that knowledge is amazing.”

In addition to feeling motivated to assist animals in need, Alexis set her sights on her weight loss goals. Although she had not been a runner before joining Team ASPCA, with the help of Team ASPCA’s resources, such as endurance training, fitness clinics, online videos, access to coaches and more, Alexis accomplished her goals and established a healthier lifestyle.

“Knowing what at-risk animals go through pushed me to work even harder to reach my goals and to push myself to make it,” Alexis says. “I would tell myself, ‘If an animal in need could make it through something horrific, I can surely make it 13.1 miles.’ Race days for me are pure adrenaline, excitement and amazement all wrapped into one. To see all the orange come together is very empowering. We push ourselves to reach each milestone, and when we’re finally about to cross that finish line—that’s a great feeling.”

Reaching her personal health goals and helping animals in the process was a win-win for Alexis.

“Raising money each year was about setting the bar a little bit higher and never giving up. Sending out email blasts, Facebook blasts, selling things on eBay, doing a raffle party and fundraising parties at restaurants—all of it paid off, I achieved my goal and I was able to help make a difference in the lives of animals in need,” she says. “My Team ASPCA experience has been amazing, and something that I think everyone should experience at least once. I know that once someone does experience it, they will be hooked like me. The camaraderie that is built with the team members is unlike anything I have experienced before.”

Team ASPCA is currently looking for participants for the 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Halloween Half Marathon. If you are ready to reach your fitness goals and make a real difference in animals’ lives, learn how you can join Team ASPCA and get started today!