Running with the PeTA Pack to support Animal Rights!

Wow, what a difference a year and a few friends make...

In early 2012 I was inspired by a coworker to choose a healthier lifestyle. Out of the blue he chose to become vegan for health reasons. I decided to follow his path for almost a year and since have chosen to live a organic and vegetarian diet. I feel better than I ever have. During that time I became interested in food democracy and through that research I became quite passionate about GMO's (genetically modified organisms) and California's lack of labeling. Prop 37, the GMO Labeling Initiative, gave me a purpose. I was 34 years old and had never once voted. Let me tell you I wore that "I voted" sticker with pride all day that last year! Even though Prop 37 did not pass I found that I brought awareness to my family and friends. And so it started. I soon found myself researching environmental issues and in following my Grandmother's footsteps through service I became involved in recycling and volunteering at beach/trail clean ups. I chose to support local businesses instead of large corporations. I do not wear fur and I try to use only cruetly-free products. I finally became socially conscious. I became an activist.
In comes running, my everything. We can thank another amazing friend for this one! Through her friendship not only am I running but I am hiking, backpacking, camping, playing softball, kayaking...the list goes on. You know what I was doing a year ago? Nothing. Because of her I am a registered "athlete" in a half marathon. It's amazing!
Anthony Bourdain's final statement on the "No Reservations" series finale was to "Get up off the couch. Travel as far and as often as you can. Move." So that is what I decided to do. This summer I am wondering through Europe solo for 30 days. This will be my first time using my passport, first time taking a vacation from work and first time I am actually taking time out for ME. During that time I will continue my training for the run. All across Ireland, England, France and Italy will I wear my PeTA Pack shirt to spread awareness. 
PeTA begins team training for all athletes on July 14, 2013. 14-weeks of scheduled running, yoga and hikes. I will be running half of the Long Beach Marathon (13.1 miles) on Oct 13, 2013 with a estimated 1,000 other PeTA Pack runners. All of us have been given the challenge to raise $500 in donations each. All funds raised by the PeTA Pack participants will benefit PeTA's Investigations & Rescue Fund. This unique fund enables undercover investigators to expose the hidden cruelty behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses, circuses, and more. 
So as I sit here on the beach I think about all the different titles I have; I am a daughter. A paramedic. A friend. A Buddhist. A lover of animals. An activist. And now, an athlete. And with that, in this very moment, I have a new title...
I am "proud". 
I can't wait to embark on this amazing adventure and I look forward to any support whether it be in donations, kind words, a bag of recyclable bottles or a foot massage:)
Love and I am,