Tessa Y. – San Diego, CA

Why did you start running?

For a while, I had let myself go physically. In 2008, during a long commute, I was shifting in my seat when the button of my pants popped off! Right there and then, I decided I was done feeling unhealthy. I started walking, then walk-running, then run-walking—and then I ran a 5k, 10k and half marathon!

What makes you go run?

Because I was asthmatic as a child, I always believed I was physically below average and that there was nothing I could do about it. However, when I was just a few years from turning 40, I realized I needed to try—for my family and myself. I started running (walking first), and became physically and mentally fit, healthy and strong. Along my journey, I have connected with so many other women who have gone through similar struggles—we all support and inspire each other.

Fun fact. . .

My current goal is to run the 2013 Bataan Memorial Death March, a marathon that honors the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II. Having been born and raised in the Philippines until I was 16, I have great respect for these war heroes who sacrificed tremendously to protect this country.