Colleen

Story of an Irish Girl

I was born into a big Irish family in St. Louis, Missouri.  My best friends are my two sisters and brother.  My parents have always been my biggest champions.  Mom and Dad taught me that I could do ANYTHING if I worked hard and believed in myself.  This philosophy molded me into the person I am today, and I will forever be grateful to them for teaching me to believe in my dreams and giving me the courage to leap.

Growing up, I was always active.  I loved to dance and for 11 years, I studied ballet, jazz and musical theatre dance.   I attended Nerinx Hall High School and went on to graduate from Northwestern University’s School of Communication in 2004.  My whole life changed later that year, when my uncle, an avid marathon runner, began to coach my little sister, Katie, who has cystic fibrosis, (CF) how to run.  Elated to see the positive effect running was having on my sister’s health and inspired by their dedication, I started running.  Before this, I had never run more than a mile or two.  I decided to join Team CF in the 2005 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, an empowering experience that shifted the entire course of my life.  Since then, I have run 6 marathons, and in 2011, I was ready to take it to the next level.  With the support of my family, I founded The Rose Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which sponsored my dream project, Run for Roses, a 65-day journey, where I ran 1,000 miles from St. Louis to New York City to spread awareness, raise funds, and share stories of CF.  Along the way, I made stops in various towns and cities to fundraise and spread awareness by performing a theatrical piece, sharing my story of growing up in a family with CF.  During those 65 days, I met many families and individuals with CF who were gracious enough to share their stories with me.  Run for Roses raised over $40,000 for CF.  Along with a brilliant director and producer, Matt Underwood, I co-produced Rose Compass, a documentary short that depicted the Run for Roses journey and screened throughout the country at various film festivals, winning Best Editing for Documentary Films in the 2014 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.

I will forever be grateful for Run for Roses.  However, the most thrilling moment in my running journey was when Katie asked me to coach and run alongside her in the 2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Marathon.  Crossing that finish line hand in hand with my little sister still brings tears to my eyes.

Following Run for Roses, I worked in nonprofit management, specializing in charitable endurance events.  I came full circle when I landed a gig as a Development Director at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where I recruited runners, hikers, and cyclists to raise funds for CF.  It was so incredibly special to have a full time job working on a cause so close to my heart. Witnessing the transformation of the participants as they passionately trained for the CF endurance events was so inspiring.

It was a heartwrenching decision to leave my job at the CF Foundation in 2016, but I realized I could not stay behind the desk.  I forever will be a passionate fundraiser for CF, but I needed to be out there in the community, inspiring people on a daily basis to engage in their health & wellness.

While I studied for the various certifications, I started consulting with Pedal the Cause, an awesome nonprofit in St. Louis dedicated to curing cancer through an annual cycling challenge.  Suddenly all of my passions were aligning.  I was able to engage in meaningful nonprofit work, but also have the flexible schedule that would allow me to teach.

I acquired certifications as a 200HR Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, a specialization in Trauma-Informed Yoga (13 Hours of Training with Zabie Yamasaki, 20 Hours of Training in Trauma Sensitive Yoga with the Center for Trauma and Embodiment, and 14 Hours of Training with the Prison Yoga Project), Personal Trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine), Primary Group Exercise Instructor (Athletics and Fitness Association of America), and Teaching Artist (Dancing Classrooms).

It was time to unite my endeavors under one umbrella, and that is how InspireMovement, LLC was born in January of 2018.  Through InspireMovement, LLC, I will support, inspire, and encourage you to fulfill your wildest dreams and take the path less travelled.

Next Steps...

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