Butterfly Spotlight

Esther Bruce

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a fifty-nine year-old retired educator for North Carolina public schools and currently I am a part-time community college instructor.  I have a seventeen year-old daughter and a three-year dog.

When did you start running and why?

I started running seven weeks ago. I was introduced to PBRC when I met Loree at a line dance class. She gave me her card and I had kept it for over year. I could not see myself running but I was intrigued by the idea. I received a “go” when I consulted my doctor; however, I still was not a believer. In March I saw and talked with Loree at a church health and career fair. I thought that PBRC was destined to be in my future. I made a commitment to start the next Tuesday. On that day, I pulled into the parking area and saw so many women and I asked myself who I thought I was and what was I doing. I resisted the urge to keep driving as if I had not reached my destination. Breathe I told myself. Soon we had prayer and I thought surely I was in the wrong place when I heard Loree announce that we would start the warm up with jumping jacks! I was going to do what? Well, fortunately my weight is hovering around 200 lbs now so I did have the stamina and” just did it”. I have been running and praying to a higher power that made it possible for this unlikely runner to stay in the game one step at a time.

Did you ever think you would be a runner?

Absolutely not—I have weighed well over 350 lbs for most of my life and I would never have fathomed running as a part of my life.

How did those first runs feel?   How has it changed?

We started out walking two minutes and running one minute. That had to be the longest one minute ever recorded. I made it through the pattern to complete one mile that day. It was an awesome feeling for a woman who has never been athletic or had the physical stamina to participate in running to achieve this goal. The most significant change for me is that I have now run 1.2 miles without stopping. This is to me a God given blessing.

What health benefits have you noticed since running?

My blood sugar readings have lowered significantly. I am currently taking no medication to control blood sugar for the first time in thirty-five years! This withdrawal of medication occurred after my being with PBRC five weeks.

What’s in your playlist?

Artists: Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Donnie McClurkin, Whitney Houston, and a few others

What would you say to someone who wants to start running?

The environment in which we run is wonderful. We are coached in techniques and monitored to make sure all is well as we run. There is no competition or timing. If you think you might want to run, look for Purple Butterflies, join them and “just do it!”

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