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A true story about an overweight woman who started training for a marathon with Oprah's trainer.

Inspiracional Todo público. © Marcia Noyes

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A true story by Marcia Noyes

How farfetched would it be for a 219 pound Texas woman with three small children to believe she could not only run a marathon, but manifest running it with Oprah's trainer, Bob Greene? Well, if I had stopped to think of the incredible odds, I might have quickly dismissed the idea, remained overweight and been unfulfilled for the remainder of my life.

Yet, only a week after reading Oprah and Bob's book, 'Making the Connection' in the fall of 1996, I read an article which held that if you had a dream, you must "put it out there." So, on a whim I quickly sat down and wrote a letter to Bob Greene in care of the Oprah Show.

This letter explained my love for the book and that I had already lost five pounds, following the 10 steps outlined therein. I went on to say that as I arose at 5:00 AM every morning and stepped into the darkness for my two mile walk, I envisioned Bob beside me, encouraging me along the way, as he had done with Oprah during her training and subsequent marathon. Then, I boldly requested that once I had achieved my goal weight, would he consider running a marathon alongside me.

I quickly forgot the letter after it was mailed. However, three days later a producer from the Oprah show called me, saying she'd received the letter and asked if they could follow my progress. I said that was fine, but the letter had been meant for Bob and not the show. She never would say if the letter would be passed along.

Each month I would send a picture of myself and my current weight. I also continued to address these letters to Bob and tell him of each accomplishment along the way. I never was asked to be on the show, but I continued to write.

Eight months passed and I found myself moving to Denver, CO. My progress was hampered by altitude sickness for a few weeks and then a terrible fall from a 12 foot ladder. Running was put on hold for an indefinite period.

Then in the Fall of 1997, I heard a radio announcement that Bob was coming to town on a fitness tour. I asked a new friend to accompany me there. She agreed and I took along the pictures and letters. When I spoke to Bob, he did not remember ever seeing them, but he was quite impressed with my progress and took them all back to Harpo Productions. Again, I asked if he would run a marathon with me, once at my goal weight. He kindly said his schedule was dictated by Harpo Productions and just didn't know.

During that event, I somehow convinced my tag-a-long friend to train with me for my first marathon. Thus, began the journey of a lifetime. My friend was incredibly psychic throughout her childhood and the many hours of training were speckled with conversations about concepts I'd not previously even considered, including the possibility of manifesting your dreams and desires.

My dream of running with Bob during a marathon became pale in comparison to THIS journey. My awareness was heightened beyond my wildest imaginings. We trained for this first marathon from November through June in the dead of winter. Three foot snows, hail and bone chilling winds didn't dampen our enthusiasm. I continued to send letters and pictures of our progress. During this time I met another group of ladies online. They were all part of the running/jogging message board on the Oprah website. We all became friends and they were such a support during our final weeks of training for our marathon in June.

My friend and I completed our first marathon in Duluth, MN. We started together and we finished together with our hands clasped above our heads in victory as we crossed the line in 5 hours and 19 minutes. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, and it showed me the distances one can go with a vision and dedication to put one foot in front of the other.

As wonderful as that experience was, the story doesn't end there. My online buddies decided we all wanted to run a marathon together and meet one another. So, we chose the Portland Marathon in October of 1998. My friend took a full-time job and could no longer train with me or run this marathon, but the online buddies continued to support my efforts. As we got closer to the date, we began to hear that Runner's World wanted to cover our story, then the Oprah Show said they'd be sending a camera crew to cover it for an upcoming show.

What I didn't know was that they were also sending Bob Greene. He was there to support us all, so I had no thoughts that he'd possibly run the whole race with me and at that point I was just so happy he was there to support all of us.

Since I had already run one other marathon, I decided to throw caution to the wind and not pace myself. I went out with some very thin and much younger women, with whom I had developed a rapport. They were clicking off 10 minute miles, which were much too fast for me. At the six mile mark I told them to go on ahead and I'd pull up the rear. It was a struggle from there on out. I was virtually running this race by myself. There wasn't a single friend in sight and oh how I missed my friend from Denver.

As I came up St. John's bridge at mile 17, Bob jumped out from behind a bridge section and began running with me. He said, "I'm here to run the rest of the race with you." Tears came to my eyes. All those miles, all those pounds, all those daily affirmations that I would run a marathon with Bob Greene had culminated into this reality. It was truly overwhelming. And yet, the dream had become so much more. Not included in the dream was this wonderful experience of discovering the wonders of metaphysics or of developing such a close relationship with all these women. We spent the rest of the race talking about manifestation and how we draw those situations and people into our lives to support those dreams.

As I write this, I look on my wall at my medal and the framed poster-sized picture of Bob and I finishing the race. I keep it right above my desk as a daily reminder that anything I dream can become reality, if I only dare first dream!

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