From some 1,600 applicants, ten finalists were chosen and gathered together in New York. Today, Rodale’s Runner’s World has announced that two of those ten are the winners of its Cover Search contest.
Bobby Gill, based in Washington D.C., is the founder of the charity Cupid’s Undie Run. And Brooklyn’s Michelle Hercules Walker has recently embraced the discipline and benefits of running to find her way to a new, healthier lifestyle:
As a child, Walker was known as the “fat girl,” and by age 13, she’d hit 300 pounds. She was outwardly exuberant, impressing teachers with her vocal skills at New York City’s prestigious High School of Performing Arts. But inwardly she was struggling, and a depressive episode in her late teens landed her in a psych wing at Kings County Hospital. She tried Prozac, she talked to therapists — nothing made her feel good. She soothed herself with food. “Food was my best friend,” she says. “All I did was eat, sleep, eat, sleep. Food was my life.” It would remain so for the next two decades…
In her bedroom, next to her neatly made queen-size bed, is a child’s wooden chair that she used to have to stand on to climb into bed. Now it holds an iPad and a copy of Runner’s World. The full-length mirror on the closet door is harder to peer into because the door’s swing is blocked by one of four big piles of clothes on the floor. “They don’t fit me anymore!” she says. “I’m giving away a lot of clothes.” She shows off a favorite new purchase — a pair of size 12 dark wash Gap jeans. “I can almost fit in size 10, but I don’t want my stomach hanging over the top, no.”
If you frequent Brooklyn’s Canarsie Park, you may have seen Walker – a phlebotomist and mother of two – jogging around the paved path. Congrats to her and Gill!