On my wedding day, my father made a beautiful speech on dreams, and his role as a parent in supporting and witnessing my dreams come to fruition.

He started his speech by talking about my first dream, running a marathon, and how it was achieved with 475 miles of training, support and coaching from my loved ones (he was my super fan during that training season!) and a trip to the medical tent ;) That dream took place in Philadelphia, the city that became the foundation of my next dream, marrying the love of my life.

My husband was born in Philadelphia and as I ran the streets of Philadelphia during the marathon that day, I never thought those roads would eventually bring me to my new running path and my destiny, becoming Mrs. Gilman. After almost four months of marriage, I could not be happier and more grateful for having such an amazing person by my side as my life partner.

With two dreams under my belt and an amazing support system of family and friends, I feel incredibly humbled, happy and inspired. It also has become the catalyst for taking on my next dream.

Ever since I crossed that finish line in Philadelphia, I have felt something in my heart and my stomach that has never gone away—the passion to help people and make a difference. Unfortunately, this explanation did not pan out well for my job interviews as I looked for my first job post-college graduation. “What does helping people mean?” was the common response I would receive during interviews. I actually even had someone leave the room and bring someone else in since they were so annoyed with this response (this person will remain nameless but I am tempted to reveal them!). Anyways, the point is, at that time I truly did not know how I wanted to pursue this passion and what it meant for me.

Now here I am. I finally feel like I am figuring it out. It has taken five and half years of post-college employment, 7 marathons and now embarking on the journey to becoming a yoga teacher but I have found the true meaning of that statement and it has set the foundation for my next dream.

My dream is to become a yoga teacher and help others feel more balanced, present and confident in the mind and body. Teaching regular yoga classes, providing workout schedules, diet suggestions, i.e. essentially lifestyle plans, for those who are craving positive change in their life.

As a marathoner and a yogini, I have totally become the yin and yang of exercise and wellness. I am able to run and practice yoga and feel complete—I satisfy my need to sweat, to generate heat, build strength, foster flexibility while feeling grounded and having a clear mind. However, this has not always been the case.

Yoga did not come into my life regularly until a couple years ago. Running fulfilled a lot of my cravings that I talked about above but after non-stop marathon training for five years, my body and mind were feeling the effects. I was burned out emotionally and physically with an injury or two. That is how yoga has been so instrumental in my life.

By having the proper balance of yoga and running while sustaining a healthy diet and sufficient sleep I have never felt stronger, faster, more confident and connected to myself. I want to share that experience with others and bring this positive change in their lives.

Here goes dream # 3! Step 1 is completing the yoga training program (which will be end in March) and step 2 is getting a yoga teacher job. This blog will be my reflection as I take on these challenges and will also serve as a platform of health tips and strategies I use in my every day to feel more balanced, present and confident.

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