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Runner Mom: Responsible Rachel

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

What a name right?

I can still remember the first time I met her; throwback to October 2018…

New to the One A Week (OAW) Run Club and feeling completely out of my league surrounded as I was by the intensity of the adults (and children) who were pretty committed to this level of run training.

Responsible Rachel impressed me.

With a name like Responsible Rachel, I was expecting someone considerably older, motherly even. Instead, this running Mom looks fresh out of university.

One would never guess she’s the mother of a 12 year old son, extremely diligent, organized and has a way of getting stuff organized like that! Hence the nickname Responsible Rachel.

Responsible Rachel showing off some medal loot

Out of a running club filled with blazing guns, she was neither overly fit nor fast; but in reality, quite the contrast.

However, she was relentlessly persistent.

It caught my attention time and time again.

This fire drew me, encouraging and emboldening me to do more. I loved the commitment she gave to overcoming her personal challenges while at the same time not taking herself too seriously.

Responsible Rachel was neither the fittest, nor the fastest, but my goodness; her determination was IMPRESSIVE. She just did not quit!

She had a mental endurance that was constantly evolving with each training session – I wanted more of THAT for my own self!

By the way..her real name's Charelle. Hope you enjoy her story.

Charelle Shares Her Story..

When Teheli approached me to share my story, my immediate response to her was "But I am so far from amazing!".

In terms of fitness, I consider myself an average Jane, or more specifically “Responsible Rachel”, my nickname in the One A Week (OAW) running community.

I've yet to run a full marathon or achieve an amazingly fast time in ANY race, so I thought to myself "What is my purpose in sharing my story?".

I want to show that anyone can commit to a fit lifestyle and bettering themselves no matter what their life situation.

YOU are the only one that is holding YOU back.

I started running seriously in 2018.

After attempting my first 10 km in May 2018 and training consistently, I felt empowered and decided I wanted to attempt a half marathon distance next.

In 2019 I completed some more short distance races including the Sea to Sea 10K at their Marathon Weekend in Tobago, going on to running my first 15 km - RBC Race for Kids, and later that year to run the UWI SPEC Half Marathon in October.

All local and popular races in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sea to Sea 10km

RBC 15km
UWI SPEC Half Marathon – October 2019

Shaky at home.

On the personal side of things, for most of 2019 my personal life was on shaky ground.

I'd lost my job and my marriage of 8 years finally came to a complete crumble.

There was so much uncertainty; in the current economy, I had no idea how long my unemployed status was going to last...not knowing what came next left me feeling out of control.

Starting from scratch all over again.

Single and a mother learning to navigate being alone for the first time in my adult life, how I found the mental and physical strength to keep running I truly don’t know.

All I knew, was that I had a goal to accomplish- completing that Half Marathon distance.

THIS at least, I could control.

I wanted to show my son that I was strong. He needed me now more than ever.

Charelle enjoys a moment with son Chris

Also, Teheli would never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t! Lol!

The support of the One A Week (OAW) running family and my son also played a pivotal role in this and many of my other race successes. Many times I would not feel to show up for training or even on race morning, but I would do it simply because it would make him happy.

I will never forget the morning of UWI Spec Half Marathon...while most runners had goal times in mind, I was a nervous and emotional wreck and wondered if I would make it to the finish line!

It is hands-down the most challenging race I have ever done but this is what makes it such a great accomplishment for me.

Completing a Half Marathon distance inspired me to try new things.

I took up "learn to swim"classes with a group of amazing people that Teheli introduced me to -T&T Aquatics and within less than six months I even made the leap from the baby to the big pool!

I even hope to one day compete in our local triathlon event.

That success story however, is still loading!

Hope you enjoyed Charelle’s story (as told by her) as much as I did.

Just goes to show how much we can learn from each other if we keep an open mind.

"I might not run fast, but I'm not gonna stop running" - Lisa Nichols quoted from an interview on rescuing yourself, overcoming fear and finding success by serving others.

Learn more about our training programs and community.

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