“1 woman dies every 2 minutes around the world as a result of complications of pregnancy and childbirth”- EMC

98% of these deaths are preventable. Every Mother Counts (EMC) is one of She.is.beautiful charity fundraising partners. One of the ways EMC raises funds to support this cause is through charity running teams. Learn a little bit more about EMC through one of their fundraising team members…

Name: Anna Quinlan

Occupation: Freelance writer, copywriter, and consultant

How did your  involvement in Every Mother Counts come about? I decided to run the Big Sur Marathon as a tribute to my son’s birth mother (we adopted him as an infant), who gave birth outside and then walked a mile to the nearest road so she could hitchhike to the hospital. It seemed really fitting to honor her maternal love and sacrifice by using that marathon to also support Every Mother Counts and the work they’re doing to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. You can read more about my marathon story here.

When did running first become a regular part of your life? I joined the cross-country team in high school to stay in shape during the soccer off-season, but I didn’t really enjoy running until I discovered trial running in my 30’s.

What was/is the biggest challenge in working out consistently? Finding something you actually enjoy. For me, once I find an activity that I find both fun and challenging, I always find a way to make time for it. Lately that’s Megaformer classes and hot yoga, but I go through bootcamp and trail running phases as well. I try not to stress too much about following a strict regimen or program. The best workout program is the one you’ll actually do, regardless of what kind of activity it is.

What makes you love running so much? The accessibility of it (just put your shoes on and head out the door!), and the way it allows me to experience the outdoors. When I run out on the trails, I see the water flowing, the tall grass swaying, the trees rustling, the birds gliding overhead, and the arc of the sun as the shadows shift all around me. I am reminded that time is always moving forward, the earth is always orbiting, the seasons always playing out their unique personalities and then gracefully giving way to the next. Nothing is stuck. And I am invited to participate. None of it relies on me; it will all continue to move forward whether I acknowledge it or not. But when I run I am part of it, part of nature, all of us in motion, together.

What are you future goals in both running and life? I swore I’d never run another marathon after Big Sur, but now that enough time has passed I just might want to run that one for EMC again. In life? I’m just trying to show up as my most loving and joyful self for my husband and kids, and stay true to myself as I navigate my writing and consulting business. And just have fun with everything else!

What do you like to do when you are not running? Almost anything outdoors, including paddleboarding, hiking, surfing, laying out at the beach, and camping. I also love cooking and eating great food, and staying out past my bedtime dancing with my girlfriends.

What’s one word you would use to describe how running makes you feel? Small (but in a really good way)

What keeps you going? Knowing how I’ll feel when I reach my goal and knowing how good an enormous breakfast burrito will taste after the finish line.

What does healthy look like to you? Making choices out of love and respect for oneself and one’s body exactly as we are here and now. 

Along your own life journey, what’s one truth you have uncovered? The things that feel both scary and exciting are the things that make us better people. Say yes to those things.


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