Super Women

How is a Super Woman different from Superman?  To start, she doesn’t need a phone booth or cape to perform superhuman feats (a cell phone and minivan often do the trick). There’s also no kryptonite strong enough to stop her (well, unless maybe if it’s chocolate-covered…). Being super does not mean having to be a “superstar.” We at Women Run know that every woman is super in her own way, and we want to recognize the everyday feats of everyday women. Tell us your story – or the story of a woman who inspires you – and we’ll choose one woman a month to profile.


Super Woman – July 2012: Pam Kelly (Dartmouth, MA)

If you think you don’t have time to exercise, then you need to meet this month’s super woman, Pam Kelly.  And then you need to meet her SIX children (five boys and finally a girl!) – ages 16, 15, 12, 10, 8, and 6. A working mom and wife, Pam teaches physical education at Normandin Middle School where she also works before and after school programs. This same mom, wife and teacher also trains and competes regularly; in her biggest season, Pam competed in 26 running races (including time trials) and 6 triathlons from April to October of 2010 – and won or placed in her age group in almost every one! Pam’s favorite sayings are “A happy mom is a happy family” and “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – two ideas that I’m sure collide some days.

Early morning is Pam’s time – up at 4AM most days – for guilt-free time while kids sleep. (“If I can do it, other women can. I hate getting up that early, but it’s the only way I can get that ‘me’ time.”)  A certified Spin instructor, Pam leads friends through spin classes at 5AM twice a week. (The five ladies have been so dedicated that each one’s husband bought her an official Spin bike last Mother’s Day!)  Other mornings Pam might run, ride or lift, or in the summer she might fit in a swim.  Pam’s advice for sticking with training is to find a group. Though Pam admittedly does not love getting up at 4, she says it’s easier to do knowing that people expect her. At one point, Pam and a training partner each agreed to pay the other $5 for any missed workouts. Pam again emphasizes the value of groups: “Even if you’re not friends, you’ll become friendly because you have the same interest. There are always people out there who need to do things at the same time you do – you just have to find them. Network.”

“Every minute counts” – words Pam lives by. Though she doesn’t have many minutes for television, Wednesdays are special. “We all sit down to watch Survivor. The kids help me get ready so I can get there. It’s the one time a week I can just sit back and enjoy us all as a family.” Pam has typical mom duties – laying out clothes, going through backpacks, making lunches, cleaning, taxiing to sports – but she also commits to her own well being. Pam continually seeks the feeling she gets by accomplishing something she didn’t think she could, and she loves getting others to have that same feeling. “If I train someone and she beats me, I’m so happy.”

Two people beat Pam this year who were not trained by her, but they do share her genes. In an unprecedented Kelly event, the whole family ran a 5K road race on Father’s Day (the littlest pushed by dad) – and her two teenage sons both beat her. She says the whole experience was awesome, and her family race photo and posting about it on Facebook was likely her most “liked” posting ever.  Pam’s medals are all hanging in her children’s rooms, a reminder that her running is essentially for them. Pam says she was lucky to have parents who encouraged and supported her own athletic endeavors, and to this day Pam’s parents are her biggest fans, still attending almost every race. Pam and her husband Jimmy are doing the same for their family by being at their children’s games, and Jimmy coaches some of their teams. Wanting to make sure she can be at her children’s events is Pam’s main reason for cutting back on her own racing.

Pam looks forward to more days when her children’s events and her own events aren’t necessarily separate.  She especially loves seeing a mother and daughter out running, and her own daughter looks forward to being big enough to run with mom.  It’s these ideas – that women need to see their own health as a priority and that they can hand this down to their children – that makes Pam a fan of Women Run. “I have five sons and finally got a girl. I want to pass this on to her, and Women Run is helping women to see the value of their own well being.”

The folks at Women Run congratulate Pam for being their August Super Woman – but, more importantly, for being such a good role model to her own children and an inspiration to women everywhere. Thanks for being part of the Run!


Are you – or is someone you know – our next Super Woman? Let us know!