Mary's Story

Mary Toth, Chemical Laboratory Supervisor – BGSU Chemistry Department
WellAware and Group X participant

I have been the full time Lab Supervisor for the Chemistry department’s stockroom since May 15, 2000. Prior to that I worked in the Chemistry stockroom as a student employee for two years. Through my time at BGSU as an undergraduate and employee, I have participated in the different group exercise classes that have been offered. I also enjoy participating in the different programs that WellAware offers, such as the Maintain Don’t Gain and the Poker Walk. I also enjoy going biking with my husband and daughter.

My advice is if you are struggling with a goal, talk to others, find support and take advantage of our WellAware crew. The WellAware staff are here to assist you to achieve your goals!Almost 5 years ago, my beautiful daughter Lily was born. To add on the role as mom on top of working full time, maintaining a household, being active in my church and being hospitality chair to a national organization NAOSMM became more of a challenge to find the time to work out. I am so grateful for the free employee programs that are offered during the lunch hour such as the BGFit program. I want to do a shout out to my hubby, Chris Toth, for letting me through the years participate in the after work employee classes, while he picks up Lily from daycare and gets dinner going! Of all the programs offered, Zumba is my absolute favorite. The first time I took a Zumba class, I fell in love with it because it felt more like dancing than a typical same old aerobics class. If you are hesitant to try Zumba thinking you are not coordinated or people will watch you mess up, think again. Everyone is so focused on their own movement and enjoying the experience that they don’t have time to pay attention to someone else.

I have had the desire for years if not a decade to be able to run. In my school days, I was that kid who came in last in gym class. I would do a combination of walking as fast as I could with sporadic moments jogging to complete our mile run test.  As mentioned, I have had the desire to do a 5K, with the intention of completely running it. The last couple of years, I would time and time go to the Eppler gym, during my lunch breaks and start to train. I would go several weeks being dedicated and then I would fizzle out and stop trying to go for this goal. Then, I would get the desire to do it again and same thing would happen several weeks later, I would stop.  This pattern went on for the last couple of years. 

This past fall, I got the urge to want to completely run a 5K again, but this time I said enough is enough, what I have been trying to do is not working to achieve my goal. I decided to contact Karyn Smith on October 15, 2014 and told her I need help and need a running buddy.  She connected me with an exercise science student Trisha Conley. Trisha and I met and we decided to follow the couch to 5K app. We began on November 3, 2014. Just over a month on December 5, 2015 (2 days before my birthday), I was able to completely run 2 miles. It was an amazing moment that brought tears to my eyes, because I have never done this before. Trisha and I finished the app and throughout the whole program she gave me tips and advice on techniques. 

Due to weather being cold and other reasons, my first 5K got delayed. I decided to run my first race in Columbus with Pi Day 5K theme. People that know me know that this theme is appropriate for me with my love of science and chemistry. On March 14, 2015 at 9:26:53 AM, I ran my first 5K in Columbus with Pi Day theme. My friend Nancy, my daughter Lily and my student employee Keagan were there to cheer me on. My first race was quite an adventure. First mile was fine, second mile got challenging for me, but leading into the third mile was unexpected. It had rained the whole day before and shortly after completing the second mile, the route was completely covered in ankle to mid-calf deep water for about a 100 feet. Both sides of the trail had ankle deep mud. I chose to run through the water and had sopping wet feet for the last mile to finish. As, I bound the last corner, Lily and Nancy were waiting for me before the finish line. 

As I past them, I looked back and my daughter started to follow me. I slowed down and grabbed her hand. Lily and I finished the race together! Once again, another amazing moment being able to have my daughter see me FINALLY accomplish my goal and for me to be a good role model for her with my healthy choices! It took me 45:03 minutes, but that’s ok. What was important is that I completely ran the race without one step of walking!!! Since then, I have participated in 2 more 5Ks. I now have the desire to run a 10K next May at the Cleveland Marathon, so, hold me accountable. Who wants to join me and learn to run? Feel free to contact me. 

My advice is if you are struggling with a goal, talk to others, find support and take advantage of our WellAware crew. The WellAware staff are here to assist you to achieve your goals!

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