Atlanta BeltLine Running Volunteer Extraordinaire Meredith Adams is an inspiration for fellow volunteers, runners, and those seeking a healthier path in life. In sharing her story, Meredith hopes to inspire others to lead more active and healthy lifestyles. She says,
Prior to running I was living an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle. I was morbidly obese and was diagnosed with diabetes. A normal blood sugar level is around 120. Mine was 596. My doctor said that at 600, you are at an extremely high risk for going into a diabetic coma and death.
That’s when Meredith decided to take her health more seriously and get involved in running. In around 2009, Meredith started running and ran in the Atlanta Women’s 5K. Eleven months later, she finished the Gasparilla Marathon in Tampa. She’s been running ever since – and has coupled her new-found love of running with her passion for giving back to the community through her involvement with the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series and other similar racing series. According to Meredith:
The Atlanta BeltLine is important because, in more ways than one, it connects us all. I think it’s much more about building an ‘active’ community. The BeltLine and the running series is not just for the top elite athletes or even for those 10-minute-mile runners. Everyone is welcome no matter what his or her level of physical activity is. The Atlanta BeltLine gives us a safe place to be active and scenic views to enjoy along our runs/walks. Additionally, I’ve seen a lot of community involvement and people from all walks of life coming together and chipping in to make the Atlanta BeltLine events a success.
With a vision to one day start her own racing series focusing on fundraising for smaller local non-profits in the Atlanta area, Meredith is enhancing her race-planning skills as a member of the inaugural Atlanta BeltLine Running Series committee. A “volunteer extraordinaire,” Meredith has attended and worked all of the Atlanta BeltLine Running Series races to date, supported various sub-committees, helped spread the word by passing out postcards and flyers, worked with vendors and other volunteers, and more, working closely with Atlanta BeltLine Running Series Race Director Dan Popovic to come up with ways to keep the races exciting and differentiating them from the other races around town. She also has been instrumental in getting the post-race setup with all our great partners as you’ll find her scurrying around making sure everybody has what they need.
Meredith is an inspiring runner and contributor to the community. She has accomplished so much – and given back even more – but says her greatest accolade was finishing the marathon:
It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. The training was exhaustive and all other areas of my life fell to the wayside during it, but it was totally worth it. My favorite quote is ‘Happiness is pushing your limits, then watching them back down.’ I am happiest when I am running.