Kami is a Midwestern girl living in Central Missouri with her yorkie-mix pup, Gracie. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but spent her early elementary years in Sedalia, MO. She is well travelled, having spent time in Alabama & Texas before moving back to Sedalia at the end of the 8th grade As Kami states, “My childhood was fairly normal. I was the perfect straight "A" student that always behaved in school. I was involved in show choir throughout high school, served as the “student body president” my senior year, and was in the National Honors Society. On the outside looking in, I was a happy girl with a lot going for her. I always had a smile on my face and “appeared” to have it all together. Deep down, I was an insecure girl that suffered from depression and anxiety. I always wanted to feel accepted and struggled with knowing who I was.”
After high school she attended The University of Central Missouri. During this time Kami discovered alcohol and liked how it made her feel. “It made me worry less and I felt like I could be more out-going and everyone liked me. However, I soon realized it was a problem and needed to stop drinking altogether.” Kami completed her schooling earning a bachelor’s degree in Human Services.
In November of 2014, after almost 5 years of sobriety she had a relapse. Within 5 months, life as she knew it no longer existed. “I got in a couple of bad car wrecks; I lost my job, went to jail, and had to go to rehab two different times. Everyone was mad at me, I was mad at myself. Who was this girl? I felt extremely humiliated, lost, and every other emotion you can think of. I was at the lowest point in my life. I wanted to give up on life itself.”
Kami was very fortunate to have a good friend who was also her personal trainer come to her rescue. “This woman was not going to let me give up. She introduced me to running and truly believed this would be something that would help me in many areas of my life, (and boy was she right!) I had no reason to argue with her. I was willing to try anything at this point.” Over the last year, Kami has accomplished things that were previously unthinkable. She has run many races, and because of this is stronger both physically and mentally. As she says, “I have finally found myself and my confidence. For once in my life, I believe I am worthy and able to do anything I set my mind to.” Running has taught her that you keep going, even when it hurts or when you feel like giving up. The feeling I get when I finish something I never thought I could do is so powerful!” Another benefit of running is that Kami has lost 50 lbs. over the last year and is feeling healthy and alive again.
It was hard for me to be honest with myself and others about my past, because I have been ashamed and embarrassed about it. However, I am finally at a place where I have come to terms with the journey I have been on, and I feel sharing my experience will help others that are struggling with life just like I was. I am a firm believer in the ole saying, “everything happens for a reason.” I have been through a lot in my short 25 years of life, but it is my belief that it has served a purpose. Today, I am about to run my first half-marathon. In addition, I am going back to school this summer to begin work on my master’s degree in clinical counseling. I am continuing to grow and learn more about myself every day. I see that my struggles served a purpose in helping me to find the girl I was always meant to be. I love the person that I have become and feel proud that I have fought to become her. Now, it is my turn to share the message and help others. Running helped save my life and is a key component in the success of my sobriety. Running gave me confidence, it has taught me patience and to live life in the moment. It has taught me I am the only person stopping myself from chasing my dreams. I want to share this positive message with others and help make a difference in the lives of people that are in the dark, hopeless hole I used to be in. Running has given me a whole new life and, because I am alive and well today, it is my turn to spread the message of hope to others. I want to help educate people on the disease of addiction and spread light on the negative stigma that is often attached to this dangerous disease. I am very excited to be a part of Runwell and to have the opportunity to work with others that share the same passion for running and helping others that I do. Everything happens for a reason and I feel truly blessed to be where I am today.