I turned 50 this year, and have found such peace and love, with the love of running, and the women I share my adventures with.
It truly has changed my life, and continuously changing.
Rewind. It’s the year 2012, I’m age 43, my children are adults. Is it really time for me, to discover something I never knew about myself?
My story begins at a gym working out, seeing a sign posted:
“Learn how to run, 5km or 10km: REGISTER”
Fast forward to the present, the year 2017. Age 48, registered for GOODLIFE MARATHON TORONTO, with my two running sisters, Carina Spina, Lucie DesLauriers, our second weekend girls getaway, and “umpteenth” race together.
Who would have thought that year in 2012, the running poster would forever change my life.
My name is Maria Poulios. I’m age 48, married, with two adult children, ages 29, 26.
To date, I have accomplished over six half marathons, 10km, 5km and two 30km races, since the love of running started for me in 2012. My new challenge this year: my first marathon.
Every year that draws by is a growing experience. Always learning from every race, every training, every meal, every running buddy.
I started as a person with self doubt and evolved into a runner with self confidence. A healthier, stronger, me.
This new me, has in turn, made changes in other aspects in my life. I’ve learned how to balance my work and family life, and how to truly enjoy the memorable moments in life.
The rewards, ahhhh the rewards:
Lost fifty pounds
Mental health stronger
Looking and feeling healthy
Discovering a second family
My running family.
The extended family: the inspiration, support and encouragement I have found amazes me. The kindness, generosity, and the love I have encountered has restored my faith in humanity—that there truly are angels in the world.
Hence, we arrive to today: the GoodLife Marathon. The name says it all, GOOD LIFE. I have won the lottery. My winning tickets!! Carina and Lucie.
My running sisters. Is it really about a race? Or really the purpose? A reason to do a race? It’s a trophy, a medal, making our stamp in this world. Running has no age limit.
We are alive!
Each race is a finish line for me. At the finish, I look back and reflect on how I started, how I succeeded, how I failed, how I cried, how I laughed. How I overcame.
The gift to me is these two sisters and our getaways. The laughter we share, the fears, the failures, and the stories.
Through their eyes and adventures, even though I cannot be at every single race, I live the moment with them. They have guided me and encouraged me to see my potential, and flaws, and embrace both of these perfections and imperfections, as to the person I have become today.
Who am I today?
I am Maria Poulios: Runner, giving, loving, truly blessed, on an adventure of a lifetime. Discovering myself, sharing it with two amazing sisters, and having the time of our lives.
In retrospect, is it really about three girls and a race? Or is it a race, with three girls in a forever life of changing adventure?