Joy Triumphs


Joy Triumphs

Health is the greatest of God’s gifts, but we take it for granted. It hangs on a thread as fine as a spider’s web, and the smallest thing can make it snap, leaving the strongest of us helpless in an instant, and in that instant, hope is our protector, and love, our panacea.

~Via PBS series Call the Midwife, Season 1, Episode 5


If you have suffered a debilitating illness or injury, or love someone who has, you probably nodded your head in agreement at that quote.

You remember how that gossamer thread of hope quickly became your safety line as you slowly and painfully worked your way back to health.

Others added helpful words and deeds that strengthened that slender strand, and gave you courage to continue to move forward.


Joy triumphs when you focus on the love that surrounds you.


Monika Allen is an avid runner who is also a brain cancer survivor.

Just last year, after long weeks of training with friend and business partner Tara, she ran and walked her way through a marathon—her 19th marathon up to that point—while still in the midst of chemotherapy. The two runners crossed the finish line together, holding hands.


Joy triumphs when you allow others to make the hard journeys with you.


While finishing a marathon last year in the midst of cancer treatments was a huge accomplishment, Monika stepped out into something much bigger:

She married her Prince Charming.


Joy triumphs when you choose hope.


Monika and friend Tara have run multiple long-distance races, coached, and also established Glam Runner ™:

“Tara and Monika founded Glam Runner ™  in 2011 as a way to bring more fun and GLAM to running while raising money for Girls on the Run of San Diego. Girls on the Run is a life-changing 12 week program for girls 8-13 years old that encourages positive emotional, social, mental, and physical development, all while training the girls for a 5K race.”


Joy triumphs when you help others in need.


Self Magazine asked permission to use a photo of the two runners—all decked out in their super-hero t’s and colorful tutu’s—in their magazine.

The women were thrilled to comply.

After all, the goals of all three organizations were so similar: to help girls and women enjoy fitness, and to be happier, healthier, more confident!

As you may know, the magazine didn’t divulge they wanted the photo to bully those who run in tutus as totally lame.

Needless to say, Monika and Tara were shocked and disappointed, but handled the situation with all the grace that Self Magazine didn’t.


Joy triumphs when you move forward and focus on the positive


The magazine apologized and is discontinuing their BS Page, assumably because it’s not and never has been compatible with their mission.

That is the section where the photo and rudely critical commentary originally appeared.

Awareness of Glam Runner ™  and Girls on the Run shot through the roof.

Donations rose for GOTR, which means more lives will be transformed.

Thank you, Monika and Tara, for showing strength and courage in the midst of tremendous difficulty, and for your graceful and giving spirits.

May joy triumph wherever you are!


Joy triumphs when you look beyond the rain to see the silver lining.

(Like that? Click here to tweet!)


look beyond rain to see silver lining


Question: How have you found riches in the rain? Please share in the comments, as your words will encourage others!

Ballerina photo credit: Mike Baird

Flower photo credit: Alaskan Dude

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  1. I’ve been following this story but I did not know about Glam Runner, so thank you for that!
    Tamara recently posted…Science Fiction Double Feature.My Profile

    • You are so very welcome, Tamara! Glam Runner sounds like a great company, and the young girl’s group they support sounds great, too. Thanks so much for coming by!

  2. This is a beautiful post. Joy sometimes surprises me in the smallest blessings, like knowing I get to have hot coffee when I wake up. And when things are rough, the little things may be all I can recognize, because the big picture seems blurry. Hope is so important – we need to pursue it with all we’ve got, and share it with those in our lives who are running low.
    Seana turner recently posted…Common Organizing MistakesMy Profile

    • Beautifully said, Seana. I agree-sometimes it’s noticing the littlest things that get us through. Mmmmm, morning coffee. :-) Reminds me of a weekend decades ago of a Girl Scout camping trip where the adults had to walk about a 1/4 mile through the very chilly early morning foggy woods to get to the lodge where there was coffee. What we’ll do for that sweet brew!

  3. I love that silver lining that they received far more publicity than if Self had had not done that, and that they handled it with grace and dignity. The outcry on Huffington Post is pretty powerful (one commenter talked about Marines in tutus – amazing). I enjoyed this post and how you presented this very much.
    nan recently posted…IntimacyMy Profile

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Nan. It took a long time and 4 revisions to get here. I was initially so angry at the bullying by Self magazine. There is just something about someone proclaiming themselves as the arbiter of cool, and others as lame and stupid and unworthy. Argggghhhh.
      Yes, there is a huge outcry, and I think it’s a good thing, as it really brought into view what Self was doing every month with that ridiculous column. Sunlight is a great disinfectant. :-)

      • Four revisions! I would not have been able to post it with such maturity and grace! You brought joy to a situation that could have been so ugly. That is an anointing! And you are right – that was bullying and because they thought they were “all that” they actually lost subscribers, buyers and respect. So high school of them. And the magazine’s editor-in-chief sounds more like “Oh, I’m so sorry… that I got caught being ugly” not “Oh I’m so sorry we didn’t research and do our job and were not up front and honorable about letting these girls know we were going to try and humiliate them.” It truly was a dirty and underhanded deal and I’m glad you helped expose it because I knew nothing about it. I won’t support Self again.

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