From a “Two Packs A Day” Smoker to a Boston “Rock Star”

Seven years ago I could have never pictured myself as a runner. Probably because seven years ago I was a “two packs a day” smoker. I put cigarettes down on August 21, 2006 and I haven’t had one since.

Six months after I quit, I was going nuts, and had to find something to do. There were a couple of ladies in my neighborhood who ran. And they looked amazing. And I wanted to look like them. So I started running.

Ok, maybe not running, but trying to run. I would run to a mailbox, then walk. Then run a little further. And before I knew it I was up to running three miles straight! I signed up for my first race: the St. Jude half marathon. I ran that race in December of 2007, and when I crossed the finish line, I knew I was a runner! There was such a sense of accomplishment. To think that God had not only given me the strength to quit smoking, but he also let me run 13.1 miles straight!

After my first half, I decided it was time to move on up to 26.2 miles. So I signed up for the Country Music Marathon. Oh my goodness! I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. It was hard! Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I did it. And six months later I ran my second marathon. Neither was fast. Then I heard about the Boston Marathon and decided that would be my next goal. So on my third marathon I had a friend pace me (how selfless of him to do so). He ran every mile with me. He kept me on track and I did it! On my third marathon I qualified for the marathon of all marathons! My hubby and three of my five children were at the finish line cheering me on. I was in tears!!!

So in April 2010 I ran my first Boston Marathon. I don’t really know if I can put into words how awesome the experience really was. I went back in 2011 and 2012. Just knowing my feet are running behind the most amazing runners in the world is incredible! The Bostonians are all so friendly and treat each and every one of us like rock stars. I love Boston! I cannot wait to go back.

Bridgett Jolly
Brookhaven, Mississippi
April 19, 2010
Age – 35
Bib # 14549