I’ve known Denise long enough to realize writing this first line makes me old. Through these years I have witnessed her conquer the worst that life can muster, not only to survive but thrive through the experience. And whether it was innate or forged from such adversity, Denise emerged as an indomitable spirit, courageous to the core.
So when I ran alongside on her first failed attempts to revitalize her fitness regime, I knew that it would only be a matter of time until Denise’s tenacity and determination overwhelmed her doubts and apologies. Soon enough Denise shattered her wall of indecision and discovered her raison d’être for health: the confidence to struggle towards success; the bravery to push through the sweat and pain towards endless progress; and that touch of fanaticism that drags one out of bed on a freezing rainy December morning to run with a nut like me.
Yet, unlike most who selfishly keep their health epiphany hidden on solitary farmland runs or boasted only among cliquey gym rats, Denise has shared her journey and her infectious enthusiasm with countless others. The community she has formed has allowed real people to draw from each other’s experiences and share in one other’s success. Denise, as always, has found a way turn her trials into beautiful transformation.
And through it all, or perhaps because of it all, she still has the heart to find time to run on cold, wet mornings with an old friend like me.