“I think there are models of experiential learning, but not one that gives back to the community. And that was important to me, that they weren’t just growing as business communicators, but that they were growing as people and they were giving back to the community,” says Kristy. “They’re so engaged, they care so much. They’re just good humans and they’re showing that and that’s awesome. They care — they really, really care.”
For Matthew, helping with this race holds special meaning given his connection to Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was involved with the program as a child after his dad passed away.
“A program like Big Brothers Big Sisters helped me stay on track. It’s very easy as a young boy to get into the wrong things at the wrong time, so to speak. And Big Brothers Big Sisters just gave me a place to go where I could actually be myself. I could get mad, I could talk to someone who understood. And they didn’t make me feel bad about it. And I think that is so important and underrated. And we have thousands and thousands of kids around here who need that hope of help. So that’s why I think this is one of the best causes you could choose.”
Learn more about the Big Little Hero Race at biglittleherorace.com
Megan Eddinger is a runner and founder and host of the podcast The No BS Mama. She joins Heather to talk about her mental health journey and the ways being self-aware changes us and our relationships for the better. They talk about noticing our "warning signs" -- the perhaps not-so-healthy ways we cope with everyday stress -- and how shifts in our mindset (and prioritizing sleep and making room for the little, meaningful things in life) can help us feel better and improve our overall well-being.
Megan Eddinger, who lives in Delaware, is a 35-year-old mom of three who married to her high school sweetheart. She first became a mom just two weeks after her 18th birthday and had her last baby at just 23 years old. She was thrown into motherhood before she really had a chance to figure out who she was.
Her life has been everything but traditional and she shares all the ups and downs with raw transparency. Her ultimate goal is to normalize all the parts of motherhood that no one tells you about so that other moms don't feel so alone in their own journeys.
You can learn more about Megan by following her on Instagram. You can also join her free membership for weekly tips and tricks. FInd her podcast The No BS Mama whereever you listen to your podcasts.
Also featured in this episode: race discount codes! If you’re starting to fill your calendar with races, be sure to check out the race discount codes we’ve got at Michigan Runner Girl.com We have race savings for events throughout Michigan, including Rivertown Races in Grand Rapids next month, the North Mitten Half Marathon, 10K & 5K here in northern Michigan over Memorial Day weekend, the Goddess Race Series of events from Epic Races — these include the Ann Arbor Goddess 5K next month, Tri Goddess Tri in June, and Women Run the D Half Marathon, 10K and 5K this fall in Detroit — Tulip Time in Holland this spring, Holland Haven Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8K this fall, and others. Head over to Michigan Runner Girl.com and click on Races and Events.
"There's a difference between being depleted and empty, and being depleted and full. I am depleted and full all the time. I cannot squeeze anything else out of my day. But when my head hits the pillow, I think 'God, that was amazing.'"
Mel Charbonneau — entrepreneur, writer, runner, mother and inspiration powerhouse who creates spaces for women to own their stories — sits down with Heather to talk about discovering what fills us up, becoming aware of our values and living a life in alignment with them, surrounding ourselves with supportive people who help hold us accountable (what Mel describes as "filling the runway"), and so much more.
"The more work I have done personally and professionally to define my values, and to make decisions based on what those values are to live the kind of life that I want to live — when I started doing that, everything changed in work, in my personal life, how I approach fitness and movement but also how I parent my kids.”
Mel launched Fellow Flowers in 2012 with a collection of colorful flowers to help women honor the reasons why they run. Since then, she has turned the company into a national movement, 30,000-women strong. Through programs such as the goal-setting Declare It Day, Breakthrough & Begin oceanside retreats and Tell Her cards that encourage women to lift one another up, Mel has created a sisterhood of empowerment and support that proves to every woman that she is a story worth telling.
Most recently, Mel launched the Made to Move Women’s Race Series. Made to Move honors not just race day, but each woman’s journey to it, celebrating goals, competitive spirit, community and stories every step of the way. Made to Move actively works to remove barriers that can prevent women from running and to create a welcoming and inclusive experience for all women.
Mel lives in McFarland, Wisconsin, with her husband and three daughters.