Saturday Spotlight- Angela Barry

Name: Angela Barry
Marital Status: Single
Children: ( 2 Boys)Julian 14 years old- Jake 16 years old
Pet: Dog: Quentin-Cocker Spaniel
Occupation: Senior Court Clerk
Hometown: Smithtown, NY
Current Town: Holtsville, NY

Hobbies: Bike Riding, Hiking, Kayaking, Skiing, Dek Hockey, and being creative.

Hi Hillbillies!, and thank you Lou for asking me to be the warrior of the week. I’m so excited to share my running journey with you.

I would like to start by thanking Bernedette, Mara, and Paul. Without your motivation I wouldn’t be writing this journal. I also have to acknowledge myself for getting out there and showing up.

Background: I started running regularly about two years ago. I have participated in varies organized runs including Cow Harbor this past year. I try to get an average of 20 miles in a week. I have watched my body and mind transform dramatically since I began running. I can honestly say I love to run. Most people don’t know this but I run to get out of my own head. I suffer from anxiety and for the greater part of my life I was ruled by intrusive thoughts and paralyzing fears. Even as a child I was “highly strung” and there are a lot of things I look back at, and with hindsight, recognize as anxiety. Being a single parent with the day-to-day stresses of parenting on top of a career put me on edge. I began to self medicate with wine, shopping, or I would escape by napping. I would literally run in circles to escape my feelings. Running gives me clarity to know I am in control of my anxiety rather than the other way around. I find that my mind completely switches off when I run and it gives me some much-needed quiet from all the thoughts racing through my head. I can focus, regain strength, and breathe. In addition, running also satisfies something deep inside me that yearns to grow, to be more, to be better than I was yesterday, or last year. Something that makes me reach for the sun, for warmth, for love, for life. I noticed after I lace up my sneakers and take one step at a time, one step after another, that each single step gives me a chance to succeed and grow. I feel powerful and I noticed that this power assists me at times when I stumble from a mistake or failure, that I can readily recover, perhaps a bit bruised, but having learned something. Life’s stumbles taught me how to persevere. This has given me character. Through all this, success or failure, I continue to grow. My anxiety slips a bit further into the background. I have always loved the Selden Warrior motto “it’s just a hill, get over it.” My friend Paul introduced me to the hills about a year ago. The hills are a lot of fun to run. Every step of the way is a challenge, but when I finally touch the pole I feel on top of the world which makes it all worthwhile.