{Guest Post} - Fueled By LOLZ - Lake Effect & Napa

I cannot recall the exact time in which I started interacting with Hollie of Fueled By LOLZ but I am glad that I did.  I find Hollie's blog posts and social media engagements to be enlightening.  She does not take what she does so seriously as to make everything else that isn't done by her wrong.  She has an open mind and is always willing to listen to advice.  Add to the fact that she has a terrific sense of humor and I was more than happy to lease (nothing was exchanged in this transaction) her my little space on the interwebs. ==================== [caption id="attachment_9380" align="alignright" width="225"]lolz - zooma - lake effect - fund raising Source: Lake Effect Half Marathon[/caption] Jason was kind of to allow me space on his blog to talk about two campaigns I have going on.  My name is Hollie and I blog at Fueled By LOLZ.   I respect everyone in the triathlon world and as retired college swimmer I now turn my attention to running.  I’m currently training for the NJ half marathon where I hope to PR (1:24.49). The first campaign I have is an eating disorder awareness campaign.  I am currently running the Lake Effect Half Marathon in Syracuse, NY on February 24th for the charity and inpatient eating disorder center Ophelia’s Place. While I have never personally had an eating disorder I have witnessed friends lead down a devastating path.   I graduated college with a degree in community health and spent the next year raising awareness for multiple different mental health issues including eating disorders.  After seeing one of my personal friends struggle with an eating disorder that eventually led to her not competing again, it has always been a topic close to my heart. Last year I signed up for the Lake Effect half marathon in Syracuse, NY.  It is a notoriously cold and miserable race, often times white out conditions during the race.  I signed up and although it was cold had a blast.  It wasn’t until after the race I found out the charity that was co-sponsoring the race was Ophelia’s Place, an inpatient eating disorder center.  After moving in May, I determined this was a race I had to get back and do.  Not only get back and do but raise money and awareness for eating disorders. Eating disorders make up one of the highest mental health illnesses yet there is not much awareness brought to them.  Eating disorders make up the highest rate of suicide for mental illnesses.  The statistics are shocking, yet they are one of the least discussed mental illnesses.  In fact, they are also one of the most well hidden.  They aren’t talked about, family members or friends live with an eating disorder and yet are able to hide it from their loved ones. For the Lake Effect half marathon, I have two primary goals.  One is to raise 2,000 dollars for Ophelia’s Place.  As of now I have raised 1275 dollars and have exactly one month left before the race.  Every dollar, donation and shared story brings more awareness to the campaign!  Here is even more information and stories that have been shared Lake Effect Series as well as the donation page if you are interested and able Lake Effect Fundraiser. [caption id="attachment_9381" align="alignright" width="236"]lolz - zooma - lake effect - fund raising Source: Zooma Run[/caption] The second campaign I have going on is a personal campaign.  I am in the running to win a chance to run the ZOOMA Napa Valley race.  The race itself is in late June.  ZOOMA has a contest for bloggers who they believe follow their mission to inspire others to live a healthy, active and happy life. So why me? I personally think I have come to terms with living a healthy, happy and active life.  One of the most important factors to me in life is balance.  It’s important to balance your social life, your friends, your family, personal time as well as training time.  Throughout my three and a half years of blogging I think I have learned that. I have learned that sometimes it is okay to skip a day of working out to hang out with a loved one. I have learned that sometimes it is okay to say that you can’t hang out because you need some alone time, some workout time or need to do what’s best for you. I have learned that while you should never strive to make anyone feel guilty or bad, only you can make yourself truly happy.  You must love and accept yourself before others will do the same. Honestly despite all of my moves and lives curve balls I have come to terms with being more balanced…  I am at a point in my life that I am truly happy.  As I sit here and reflect about that I realize how far I have come since college.  If you were to ask me “Hollie would you be happy living in NJ, eagerly awaiting job callbacks while sitting indoors while it’s 20 degrees?” I would have laughed. I probably would have thought I would be stressed beyond belief.  I probably would have thought I would have fallen deeper and deeper into my social anxiety hole from early college but I have not.  I have risen and combated my social anxiety. It would truly mean a lot to me if you voted for me.  You can vote HERE: link VOTE TODAY  daily from now until February 24th.  I appreciate everything Jason has done by allowing me to share all of this information with you.  If you are interested in chatting please feel free to email me at lolzthatswim(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thank you again Jason!
Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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