Meet #running4brave team member Erin Troia

#running4brave This Is My Brave fundraiser Erin Troia The Loudoun Half Marathon & 8k is in 10 days. Erin is our second highest fundraiser for Team #running4brave, so we thought it was only fitting that we asked her to share a little of her story with our followers.

Why I Run

You will often hear me say that one of the main reasons that I run is because it keeps me sane.  And that is very true.  The endorphins, camaraderie, goal setting and pavement pounding do make a huge difference in my life.  I feel healthier, thinner, and all around happier.

But running does not solve all of my problems. And that is because I suffer from debilitating anxiety and depression and have since the age of 12. The biggest lesson I have learned through therapy, medication and hard work is that mental illness is as much a part of me as blue eyes and a love of chocolate. And it is OK. From the bottom of my heart, I wish the stigma were not as strong.  I wish medication and treatment were not held against job applicants and parents in custody battles. I keep thinking, perhaps if we found the courage to tell our stories on the trail or in our homes or with our friends, that would begin to change. I believe in the power of change. I believe that we have the power to make a difference. That is why this April I am running the Loudoun Half Marathon with This is My Brave.

Erin shared with us a blog post she wrote on her blog, Erin Runs Happy, about how mental illness has affected her life, and why she has joined the #running4brave team. We'd love for you to click over and read the rest of her inspiring story: http://erinrunshappy.com/2015/03/04/why-i-run-this-is-my-brave/

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There is still time to contribute to Annie's #running4brave fundraiser! If you have a 5k or 1/2 marathon this month (even if it's not the Loudoun Half), please sign up on our team and join us in raising funds to help us fund our high school program.

The dollars raised will be used to provide two $250 scholarships to a local high school senior who is passionate about mental health awareness. The money will also be used to produce a video compilation of our teen This Is My Brave cast members from our spring performances. We'll couple the clips with mental illness education and strategies for coping, as well as ways peers can assist their friends in seeking help for mental health disorders.

#running4brave performance shirt This Is My Brave

If you raise a minimum of $100, you earn a #running4brave New Balance performance tee!