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Meet Carlee McDot

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carlee McDot.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started running in 2012. At the time, my hubby had multiple hobbies (surfing, art, motorcycles, etc), but I didn’t have anything to call my own – and it was bumming me out! A friend of mine told me about runDisney and challenged me to consider running the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon.

At the time I had ZERO histories of running but had about 9 months until race day to train. I figured that even if I hated it, at least I would be running through the “Happiest Place on Earth” so decided to give it a go. I started slowly (by walking on my lunch break which transitioned to using our office elliptical and finally running outside). I found that having a tangible goal and making small changes over time helped me not only tackle my first race but find a new passion.

Since then I have completed over 40 half marathons, 18 full marathons, 3 ultra relays, multiple shorter distance runs and even tackled running the Grand Canyon from rim to rim to rim. And although races are a great way to give you a measuring tool to see how well you are doing, my main focus with races (and running in general) is not to get a faster time or complete a longer distance, but it’s the running community.

The running community is truly in a world of its own (okay, okay, I realize I am totally biased, but I challenge you to engage with the running community around you and not have your life changed). Running is often a stress-reliever, a release, a way to process life, an outlet, a tangible way to show yourself how much you can accomplish or overcome, and being able to do that alongside of folks who have transitioned from strangers to friends to family is absolutely one of the best side effects of this sport.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Running, for me, is a gift. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in ninth grade. My body has to deal with constant pain and fatigue, but my thought is, if I am going to be in pain, I might as well be in pain while doing something that I love. I know I may not be able to run forever, but I am going to run (with a smile on my face) for as long as my body (and the Lord) will allow me. I will not let Fibromyalgia run my life… I WILL RUN MY LIFE!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I hate “tooting my own horn”, but have been told that I am incredibly inspiring. I try to look at the bright side on any and all occasions. There are very few times you won’t see me smiling. You never know when God will call you home, so in the meantime, I hope to be a positive light to those around me for as long as I can.

In fact, I have a tattoo of a cherry blossom tree on my back to help remind me of that fact. Cherry blossoms bloom for such a short amount of time, but despite their short season, they bring beauty to the world around them. I want to bring as much joy to the world around me for as long as I can.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe some of the most important characteristics people can have are empathy, understanding and compassion. I do my best to try and remember that everyone I come in contact with is fighting a battle I know nothing about so I need to treat them with as much love and kindness as possible.

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