A few months ago Bryan Botma (@thepacepusher) shared a touching story close to his heart, one that he felt should be shared with the running community. We agreed, and so we began a collaboration to create a featured hat to honor his mother. The story of his mother, Erin Botma, who passed away last year from breast cancer, is told below by Bryan. Every hat sold will help to carry on his mother's legacy, as well as donate $5 to Girls on the Run, an organization that she passionately supported. The "You Rock" Hat can be purchase at the following link: HERE
A heartfelt thank you to Bryan for sharing this story, which instantly pulls at the heart strings. Sorry for your loss, your mother would be proud to see you passing on and sharing her love of running through your own actions.
My Mother's Legacy:
From being in Sports Illustrated as a kid with future Olympian, Mary Decker to being a coaching staff member of one of the most successful track and field teams of a local high school, my mom, Erin Botma, has always been involved in the running community. She was a competitor at heart. Pushing herself to run multiple marathons and other races, as well as helping numerous athletes achieve levels they never believed were possible. This is where her passions of helping develop young people and running collided.
Having coached the Track and Field team to a combined 18 State Championships and the first Cross Country State Champions in school history, she was able to get the best out of athletes every day. Getting Highschool kids to commit to 5AM practices and giving their best was something she always had a knack for. But she also did this same motivation with her adult friends. Coaching some of her best friends to their first half and full marathons, motivating people to get out and run before the Arizona heat, and encouraging her friends to a happy and healthy lifestyle.
My mom passed away in October of 2018 at 59 from breast cancer where she left a legacy that will forever be remembered by many. In a room of over 500 people for her celebration of life, we were all remembering the time of her telling us, "YOU ROCK!" in only the way she could. If you just hit a new PR in a race...."YOU ROCK". If you crushed a workout that was a hard one..."YOU ROCK". If you achieved a personal life goal, work promotion, or simply helped out a friend in need..."YOU ROCK". No matter what the circumstance, if you got up and achieved something that made you a better person, it was always followed with "YOU ROCK".
Girls on the Run:
My mom spent many years giving back to the running community she loved. One of the ways she did this was consistently volunteering at Girls on the Run. This is an organization that helps young women become empowered and confident to become strong and healthy women to make an impact in others' lives and in their communities through running. She had a passion for helping young people see their endless possibilities through running.
Girls on the Run is a North American non-profit program that works to encourage pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games, culminating in a celebratory 5k run