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Going the distance

John W. Adkisson

Emily Knudson is a goal-setter. As the owner of a personal training studio, Empowered Personal Training, mother of four and active citizen serving on several community boards, Knudson has always been reaching for new heights. So, this past year she took her goals to a whole new level. She decided to run one marathon a month for an entire year. Each marathon stretched the full 26.2 miles, and others called “ultra marathons” were as long as 32. After an intense year of training, on Nov. 11 in Savannah, Ga., Knudson crossed the finish line on her goal as she ran her 12th marathon of the year.

On choosing the challenge I just wanted to be an example to my clients and my kids that you set goals and you have to work hard but you can achieve them. I like it when people set goals that are a little bit risky and a little bit far-fetched because then they push themselves and that’s how we grow – by pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone.

On marathons relating to everyday life I live the marathon. It’s just such a good life parallel. Life’s not a sprint. Life is definitely a marathon, an endurance event. You know things are going to get hard in life or business or any different aspect, [but we’re] training, not only to be physically strong, but spiritually and mentally strong so that when that does happen, we keep going. That whole parallel excites me.

On her favorite marathons As far as marathons go, I got to go to San Diego for one of them. That’s my hometown and I loved that. I also did the Chicago marathon. It was huge. My mom has ovarian cancer and she’s fighting it right now. This year our family has all come really close together. So it was a really cool thing to go and stay with my sister in Ohio and my brother in Chicago. My mom actually came to both of those with me. I told them in Chicago, “You don’t even have to come there with all the crowds and wait for me.” Because it was so crowded that they never even saw me. But, I knew they were out there somewhere. They didn’t have to be, but they were.

On what she hopes to inspire in others It’s not all going to be easy or a straight road but you’ve got to just keep going. And that’s what I want to tell people. I’m not an athlete, I’m not fast, I wouldn’t even qualify myself as a runner but I enjoy doing it and I won’t stop. And that’s what I want to tell my clients. It doesn’t have to be running. Maybe they’re doing something else; fighting something else in their life or struggling with something else. I just want them to know that they can’t stop.