ToyQueen Strong

marathonThe last 5 years, I’ve been running a blogging marathon. It’s been a long road with lots of never-ending hills, physically fueled many times by caffeine and adrenaline, that has been infused with a lot of frustration, exhaustion, breathlessness, fear, insecurity, and utter excitement.

I am definitely not a long distance runner by any means, I actually hate running, 2 miles is about all I can handle. However, I know what it means to work hard and set goals. My occupational therapy background has trained me how to be focused on achieving a long-term goal of the finish line, by surpassing milestones, and relishing in small victories.

One year ago, I was at the Sandbox Summit in Cambridge, MA on Patriot’s Day. The day of the 117th annual running of the Boston Marathon. While runner’s crossed the finish line as the bombs were detonated, I was 2 miles away, just over the bridge on the opposite side of the Charles River at MIT. Thankfully not at the scene, but certainly a little to close for comfort.

I was on Twitter sending out live tweets of information from the conference when we began to notice alerts about a bombing at the marathon. My cell phone was dinging and buzzing like crazy with friends and family members who knew I was in Boston for the day asking if I was safe. We could see helicopters in the air, but didn’t hear or feel anything. Horrific images started popping up over the internet in my Twitter feed. I drove home, picked up my son from my parents house and squeezed him a little tighter that night, as for days we watched and waited for the arrests.

A lot has happened to the Wilmot family and at ToyQueen.com the past year. Just this past 6 weeks alone at ToyQueen, we’ve celebrated some of the most exciting experiences and opportunities, many of which I would have never expected we’d be part of and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next few months.

One of those amazing experiences is that we were chosen to take part in the Toyota Sienna Carpool Diaries program. For 3 months we will drive a Sienna minivan to use as our primary car. We can’t wait to share our daily experiences with you, so follow along at #SiennaDiaries, and since we have also received a cash stipend, stay tuned as we plan some family road trips and use the minivan on a fun community service project.

The day we picked up the minivan, I was driving through Boston the night before the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon tragedy. I noticed all the media trucks in Copley Plaza, but without even thinking, I took a right turn onto Boylston Street, which is how I’d usually head home, and the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon was directly in front of me.  One of my first #SiennaDiaries  experiences, was actually driving across the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon.

April 15th, 2014, was the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. In a few days, thousands of people will run a heartbreaking 26.2 miles, some to beat their personal bests for their bucket lists, while others raise money for causes that aim to fight debilitating diseases and disabilities.

Everyone is fighting their own battles and running their own marathons in life. Though last night I crossed a finish line, I know this isn’t the end of the marathon for me. It’s just the “water break” I needed to reflect on all the lessons I’ve learned along the way and another moment to cherish in the amazing experiences this part of my career has provided.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to run this marathon, and as I’m finally hitting my stride, hop the fence, and run with me if you like. If not, please cheer me on from the sidelines by liking and sharing the information here at ToyQueen.com if you find it helpful, but I haven’t been able to get this far alone.

I’m thankful for those of you who keep inviting me and including me in the wildest party I’ve ever attended. As writers and content creators, we often work and train by ourselves everyday, but I’m so thankful to be part of a larger community where I’ve met some of the most amazingly talented and wonderful people along the way.

So to the runners on the road with me, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for lending me a hand, a hug, a high five, advice, an invitation, a ride to New York, a giveaway item, a swag bag, a good laugh, a set of keys, or an exclusive opportunity to be your plus one. Though I still have no idea where this marathon will take me, it sure feels amazing to think I’m good enough to even qualify.

Disclosure: We are currently being compensated to take part in a 3 month opportunity as part of the Toyota Carpool Diaries Program (#SiennaDiaries). Any and all opinions are my own and/or the viewpoint of my family.

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