Age: 26 State: WI
Experience: Iron Woman
Age: 46 State: NY
Age: 29 State: NY
Age: 22 State: CO
Age: 26 State: CO
Age: 25 State: WI
Age: 34 State: WI
Age: 32 State: WI
By: Kristin Frost
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28, when my youngest daughter, Anna, was only 3 ½ months old. I found the lumps after I was done nursing, and it turns out I had 4 tumors, all stage 3A. I had a mastectomy ten days after finding out, and went through what seemed like endless weeks of chemo and radiation. Now I’m 29, and my treatments are finally almost over.
Last October, I met a new friend, Stacey, in a support group and we quickly bonded over our shared struggle with breast cancer. Stacey was the one I’d text or call when I was worried about a test result or a doctor appointment. Just three weeks after finishing her chemo treatments, Stacey ran in a Dirty Girl Mud Run. I thought to myself, “No way — she just finished chemo!” I was amazed.
This year I followed suit and ran with Stacey and her team, “No Regrets”, when the run came to East Bay. My husband Dan, my biggest supporter, took this picture of me after I had finished the obstacle course, dirty from head to toe, with my two daughters, Anna, 1 ½, and Aubrey, 4.
I might be filthy in this picture, but I felt like a rock star. I would never have thought I could complete this kind of event at all, let alone as a breast cancer survivor. This was just another opportunity on my road to recovery to prove my own strength to myself — and to my girls. As they grow, I want them to be proud of their fighting momma and believe they can do anything.
Learn about breast cancer prevention and living a bright lifestyle from Bright Pink, Dirty Girl’s charitable partner. You can even sign up to receive monthly “Underwire Alerts” texts as a reminder to check your breasts.
November 15th, 2013
The team from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts joined us for a fabulously dirty day in East Bay, California on October 26. They transformed our changing tent to show how to freshen up #InAHyattWorld, take a peek at this short video to find out what it’s like at Dirty Girl Obstacle Course and see how Hyatt helped Dirty Girls get cleaned up and on their way!
November 15th, 2013
Dianne Montoya, 53, Vickie Wen, 50, DeeAnn Smith, 44, Cyndee Hudak, 40, Cindy Ross, 41, Wanda Peel, 46, and Stacie York, 51, were diagnosed in 2012 with breast cancers ranging from Stage I to Stage IIIC and met in a support forum hosted on BreastCancer.org. After a year of helping each other through surgeries, chemo, radiation, and hair loss, they finally made plans to meet in person. It hadn’t been easy, since the women live in Colorado, Texas, and throughout California. Dirty Girl presented the perfect solution. They met in person for the first time at the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Acton, CA on November 2.
The ladies ran under the name “No Sister Left Behind.” As team member Vickie explains, “We are so much more than the disease that brought us together. We don’t call each other survivors as we are more than that. We are sisters.” Some of the women have completed treatment; others are still struggling through. But none will be left behind.
The women’s well-deserved reunion was intercepted by the recent shooting at LAX — but this tragic event ended up just confirming their dedication to one another. When Dianne’s flight from Denver was diverted to Las Vegas, forcing her to drive to LA (without her luggage!), the other women banded together to provide her with a replacement Dirty Girl outfit STAT. They bought her a new purple tutu and Vickie hand-decorated a new team shirt, “just as a real sister would do,” as Cyndee put it.
“No Sister Left Behind” follows in the footsteps of the “Breast Cancer Ass Kickers,” a team of women from the same BreastCancer.org forum who ran the Dirty Girl in Scranton earlier this year. For all of these incredible women, who came to each other’s aid via an online forum, Dirty Girl has become an in-the-flesh yearly tradition. Some members of “No Sister Left Behind” are already signed up to participate in next year’s southern California Dirty Girl!
Who wouldn’t you leave behind?
P.S.: Three ladies from the “No Sister Left Behind” group — Cyndee, Cindy, and Vickie — got to meet a few days early to film a segment about their story on ABC Los Angeles with health reporter Lori Corbin. Watch the clip here: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/food_coach&id=9307136.
November 11th, 2013
By Quinn McAdams
With the leaves changing all around me, fall is my favorite time of year to get out of the house and hike! Like the folks at Dirty Girl Mud Run, I believe exercising should not consist of just hitting the weights in the gym or pounding the pavement. There should always be variety. Fitness should be a lifestyle.
The breathtaking views I encounter while hiking allow me to feel connected with nature, and above all else to stay active and fit. Over my years of hiking, I have learned that what you pack for your hiking trip is essential to the overall experience of the climb. I wanted to share with you what I think are the seven essential hiking items to bring with your on your next adventure!
#1 Filtered Water Bottle
Think of water as the fuel that powers your journey. The more water you carry with you, the further you will be able to explore. Bringing a filtered water bottle is not only convenient; it could potentially save your life in an emergency due to uncharted terrain or inclement weather.
#2 Digital Camera
After spending five hours hiking to a beautiful destination, you’ll definitely want to snap a photo or two. Capture the beauty around you and cherish it forever. Don’t kick yourself when you get to the summit by realizing that you forgot to bring a camera!
#3 Toilet Paper
Toilet paper is one of life’s most essential products, yet it is so often forgotten on nature hikes. If you’re going on a long group hike into the wilderness, you’ll be everyone’s hero by remembering to bring a roll. Even though all toilet paper is biodegradable, make sure you bring white and unscented toilet paper. Toilet paper with perfumes or scents are still biodegradable, but the perfumes can be harmful to the environment.
#4 Small Flashlight
A flashlight is one of those just-in-case items that should never be forgotten. If you’re venturing into new territory, a flashlight can save you from eight hours of absolute terror if you happen to get lost overnight. Not only for worst-case scenarios, a flashlight will help you gather wood for a fire, find the zipper to your tent when it’s time for bed, and tell some ghost stories around the fire!
#5 Map of the Trail
Unfortunately, smart phones will not help if there is no service. You can avoid getting lost in the first place by simply carrying a good map of the trail with you. While hiking, remember to regularly orient yourself to the map so that you always know where you are. Additionally, if going alone, make sure to let somebody know the area you will be hiking and how long you will be gone.
Of course, with all the above being essential for your next hiking trip, you will need to utilize a durable and comfortable backpack to carry those items. For years I was using my old college bookbag, which used to be all I needed. However, the more I went hiking, the more holes started opening up in my trusty sidekick. I was prepared to continue sewing them back up, but my husband said enough is enough and for our anniversary bought me a beautiful new backpack.
#7 Water-Resistant Fabrics
Cotton may be soft and cozy, but it is not the best fabric to choose for an outdoor hike. When cotton clothing becomes wet, you’ll be left wearing heavy garments that are miserably uncomfortable. Just in case of rain, it’s much better to be wearing water-resistant or waterproof clothing for a hike.
Going for an outdoor hike will not only allow you to experience nature up close, but also get a fantastic workout. After all, negotiating steep trails and jumping over small creeks, just like shimmying up walls and climbing net ladders at Dirty Girl events, are things that an indoor gym just can’t offer. If you’re tired of jogging on a treadmill or need to tire out some rambunctious children, hit the trails!
November 4th, 2013
By Brieanna DeLong-Stamper
I never thought one day in the mud could change my life, but it did. Dirty Girl mud run, you have saved me.
About 6 months ago, Dirty Girl came to Charleston, WV. I had just recently recovered from a 2-month bout with pneumonia. We couldn’t figure out why my lungs would not heal. After two long months and plenty of medications, I went for my last appointment and was told the pneumonia was gone. After some blood work was taken, they told me I was pre-diabetic. This is something I couldn’t come to terms with myself, let alone tell my family.
My mom heard the Dirty Girl Mud Run was coming to town, so she put a team together and asked me to join. I was 23 years old at the time. I laughed at her and joked about being on a team with a bunch of middle-aged women. But when the day came, I couldn’t keep up with these “middle aged women.” I struggled to even walk the entire course. I didn’t understand why this was so hard on me. I knew I had gained some weight in the last two years, but not how much.
Where does Dirty Girl fit into this story? Dirty Girl took our bib numbers and posted our pictures directly onto Facebook. I couldn’t wait to see them. On the bus ride from the park to our car, I signed into Facebook and scrolled through the pictures, but I couldn’t find any of me. I kept scrolling until I showed the pictures to my mom and said, “They didn’t post my pics!” She immediately and very gingerly said, “Honey, that is you.” I was mortified. How could THAT be me? How could I have let myself go to the point that I didn’t even recognize my own picture?
I immediately erased the photographs, but it was too late. I had been exposed. After a silent drive home, so many thoughts raced through my head. I felt something from deep within me rise up. I walked into my house, went straight to the kitchen, and threw away everything we had in the fridge and cupboards. I didn’t know how I would do it or if I even could, but I knew I had nothing to lose by trying.
That was 6 months ago. I have lost 95 pounds since then, and have gained the confidence I never knew was possible. I have found myself and changed my life. I have been told by so many that I am inspiring them. I have watched more than twenty friends begin their own journey because of my story. I am now a Zumba instructor at our local YMCA and will be taking my fitness coach certification next month. My husband has lost 60 pounds and my dad (a stroke survivor) has turned his life around by instilling healthy habits into his life. As far as my health goes, I no longer have to worry about the danger of diabetes. I no longer suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome, which caused a miscarriage just a year ago.
I am forever grateful to Dirty Girl for that day in the mud. I have finally found myself.
October 28th, 2013