Jaime Saunders Archer

Last January, I was a stay at home mom with an online craft business. I also had a son with level 1 autism and other special needs. I, myself, was dealing with fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and a need to get out and exercise.

I was scrolling through Facebook one day in the middle of January and saw a post from a long time friend about applying to be a beginner or motivator with Running Start. My first reaction was to keep scrolling because I have never been a runner. I have never liked running. I decided to look at the application and realized that I could sign up to be a walker. After asking a few questions, I found out that the idea was to complete a 5k, no matter the pace. I decided to apply.

In mid February, I found out that I had been accepted into the Running Start Class of 2019. I went to the Boulder/Longmont kickoff meeting and listened to the stories of all of the other beginners and motivators and I realized I was not alone in my struggles. Nicole told us that running was putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how fast. I remember looking at the training plan and thinking that exercising 5 days a week was a lot. I was exercising 1 day a week on a good week at that point. However, I was also starting to work with a dietician due to some additional health concerns, so this was a great time to go all in with diet and exercise. I met my motivator, Carolyn, and she reassured me. I took the next week to prepare and then I began the 12 week training program.

At first the walks were difficult, but then things started to get easier. I was feeling stronger. Carolyn noticed I was getting faster. I was losing weight and feeling more confident. I also connected with other Running Start beginners who became my training partners. Those women have become my “sole sisters.”

At the send-off meeting, a few days before the 5k, Nicole asked us to write down one word as to how we felt. One of my sole sisters and I both shouted “ready” when we were asked to share. On the morning of June 2, I was ready to take on the course. I had set a goal of an hour for myself, but the main idea was to finish. I jogged across the finish line after a strong walk in 53 minutes and 14 seconds. I had done it.

A year later, I am still a stay at home mom with an online craft business. I’m still a special needs mom dealing with my own diagnoses. I am still a walker. However, I have a different outlook on exercise. Fibromyalgia doesn’t always make it easy to get out there and exercise, but when I am able to, I feel so much better. I also now have a special group of women in my life who are cheering me on and walking beside me.

Thank you Running Start for the difference you have made to me.

One thought on “Jaime Saunders Archer

  1. My name is Danielle and I’m very interested and running start with the personal motivator and mentor. I’ve always wanted to try to do a 5K and with the information that I have received I’m ready to change my life.


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