Sheilagh admits to being a Ding-Dong-loving, forty-five-year-old mom, 50 pounds overweight, with no significant athletic experience. But she agreed to join the Children's Tumor Foundation Marathon Team, vowing to complete the Portland Marathon on October 1, 2006, while raising funds to help end neurofibromatosis or NF, an often devastating genetic disorder.
Like pregnancy, she had nine months to prepare for the marathon. Nine months to transform from a middle-aged, chubby, sedentary woman to a participant in an activity usually reserved for the elite athlete. The first trimester: an unwitting conception followed by big plans, but no outward signs of progress. The second trimester: significant changes, crazy discoveries, and the realization that she had no business doing a marathon or ever wearing a thong. The third trimester: discomfort, victories, and coming to terms with the inevitable. Labor: a grueling day-long push to finish the Portland Marathon.
Quirky, humorous, and brutally honest, "Learning To Walk" takes unpredictable side trips, yet, at the same time, stays focused on a singular experience and goal-finishing the Portland Marathon. Everything that crossed Sheilagh's path is explored and nothing is off limits.