Earning Hope Molecules

You know those Hope molecules? 


They affect your mood, your immune system, every organ in your body, your brain, your bodies natural  anti-depressant.

Your endocrine system does not give these out freely though. You have to earn your hope molecules by doing some sort of physical activity that works your muscles. 

Walk, run, bike, hike, dance, anything at all that will get your blood flowing and heart rate going.

Most of my morning was spent taking care of my son. Now that he’s feeling a bit  better and playing with the kids on our street, I’ve got my pretty new purple #Hokas laced up and ready for some miles and smiles around the neighborhood. Race day is less than 2 weeks away. Physically, my body is ready to crush 100 miles. Mentally and emotionally, I need as many Hope molecules as I can get.

#MilesANdSmiles #BlindMotherRunner #TimeToFly

Learning About Hope Molecules

I learned a new word last night during dinner. My husband shared with me something he recently discovered.


Hope molecules!

Simply put, myokines are chemicals that your muscles create and release when you contract them, when you exercise!

My mama heart is heavy with so many feels. My boy has been battling chronic tummy problems for over 16 months. After seeing a G.I. specialist, undergoing the typical tests, trying every elimination diet we’ve heard of, and doing our best to feed him the cleanest most possible foods, we are still in the exact place we were last year.

It has been an exceptionally difficult week here. It hurts to see my boy hurting. I have just felt so utterly helpless.

So now that I’ve learned about these hope molecules, these chemicals that are part of your endocrine system that are only released when you exercise, I’ll try not to be too pushy about the importance of health and fitness.

Yeah, right!

I’m going to learn as much as I can learn about hope molecules and encourage my friends and family to get up and moving. I’m going to appreciate my runs that much more.

My emotions have been battling it out on the course. Helpless, frustrated, and exhausted have been in the lead. After a phone call with the Mayo Clinic, grateful and hopeful were given a cup full of Myokine by the aid station volunteers. My emotions have learned the importance of pacing themselves though. After all, I prefer ultra marathons.

Cheers to a 2023 filled with adventure, happiness, health, and wealth!

2022 was a year that truly tested us: a long search of what was causing Jackson’s tummy pain, Aaron and his heart issues and the fear that came with it and frustrations with workers comp, letting go of relationships personally and professionally, and the continued work to live the best versions of ourselves no matter what we might be swimming through emotionally.   

Despite the obstacles thrown at us, we still managed to kick 2022 in the butt. Our family made tons more deposits in the memory bank with another trip to Susanville, Big Rock Candy Mountain, our first trip to the Rockies and mammoth, and shared so many miles and smiles in the van, on foot, our paddle boards, and the bikes. We figured out the root cause of Jackson’s tummy pain, got him back in school, in GATE, the Lego robotics league, and promoted to another belt in jujitsu. Aaron not only said, “Take a hike,” to nay sayers, he summitted both Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Whitney, restored my parents old house so they could sell it after the tenants trashed it, said good bye to his 101 year old grandma and reconnected with old family members at her funeral. Marley crushed 120 miles during the 33 day National Braille Press   Braille Across America Challenged, set a 5K PR, started jujitsu and promoted to her second belt, more than doubled her braille reading speed, and is thriving in seventh grade and loving choir. I ran another ultra completing 150 miles in 72 hours, PR’d the St. George Marathon with a 4:56 time, said, “So what?” To certain situations, “Why not?” to some others, and “So long,” to a few more. I’m still working on boundaries, not sweating the small stuff, and the art of letting go.

We had fun pulling out all the New Year’s good luck superstitions. We carried around empty suitcases, ate 12 grapes, ran around the house 7 times, opened the windows and doors, super cleaned the house before NYE and didn’t do any cleaning at all on New Year’s day, ate pork, noodles, something round, something green, broke plates, made lots of noise, and even chose wisely what color underwear to be sporting  when the clock struck midnight. 

🍾 🥳 cheers to a year of adventure, happiness, health, and wealth. 🥂 

What do I do? What do I not do.

“What do you do?”

I struggle on how to answer that question. I sometimes just laugh, and say, “What do I not do?”

I don’t have a simple answer like nurse, teacher, or accountant.

I am the wife of a firefighter. I am a stay at home mom to a fifth grader and seventh grader. My seventh grader, has the same eye condition as me, so we had many years of fighting with the school system to get what she needs to succeed. My fifth grader had a year of Awful GI issues, where we found out he cannot process lactos and sucrose. Sucrose (processed sugar) is basically in everything, so I get to cook everything from scratch for my family, which I absolutely love doing because real food and Whole Foods are the best foods! I decided staying home with my kids is more important than chasing a big career, and with my husband’s work schedule, it works best for our family. He is gone for 24 hour shifts, every other 24 hours, for 5 shifts, than gets 6 days home. Sometimes, he’s gone for 48 or 72 hour stretches, and the six days are not quite enough time for him to catch up on rest, especially if he’s working more shifts during that 6 day. But, we sure do love those 6 days during the summer when he only needs to vacation 5 shifts, and we get a whole 21 days to adventure.

I have this blog that I’ve neglected. I used to travel and do motivational speaking pre-pandemic. I occasionally get contracted to write an article or blog for someone else, or consult on something blindness related. I am an advocate and leader in the blindness community. Since joining the National Federation of the Blind in 2005, I’ve held leadership positions in the National Association of Blind Students, and National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. I currently serve on the National Federation of the Blind Board of Directors, National Braille Press Board of Trustees, and Board of Directors of Blind inc. For the last 6 years, I have served as President of the National Federation of the Blind of Nevada.

When I am not working on a project, planning an event, or fundraising for one of these organizations which I love, I am learning all I can about nutrition/ health/ fitness as a certified health coach, I enjoy hours on the back of the tandem bike with my husband, and I am a Runner.

I purposefully used a capital R above. I am not just a runner. I Love Running! I love it when I can get a few hours for a nice long run. I love the peace running brings me. I love the clarity that comes when I’m able to clear out the chatter in my head and just focus on my breath. I love the creative juices that flow, that’s actually not just sweat. I Love Running!

Ask me about running, and that I won’t struggle to give you an answer about. I’ll tell you about my big bad running dream of being the first blind woman to run the worlds toughest Road race, the Badwater 135. shhh… Hopefully there is not another blind woman going after this goal. But you know what? The best thing about running, and ultrarunning, is that you’re not competing against anyone else. At least, I am not competing against
anyone else. When I run, I run my race, not anyone else’s. When I run, I run with gratitude for the fact that my body can allow me to do this, and for the community of guides who take the tether.

Is that too long of an explanation when I am asked, “What do you do?” 

Making healthy choices and creating healthy habits as we go back to school

Dear parents and educators,

This week I re-enrolled my son back into public school. It has been a long nine months of searching for answers to his chronic stomach pain which often left him unable to even get out of bed some days, causing us to withdraw him from public school. We went from healthcare professional to healthcare professional searching for answers. After many months of waiting, we were finally able to see a pediatric G.I. specialist. Then there were more months of waiting, and tests after tests. Now, the final diagnosis is that he does not have enough digestive enzymes to process dairy and sugar.

Why am I writing this? Because those doctors did not do anything to help us. One nurse practitioner even told us that we were doing him a disservice by not allowing him to eat junk food, candy, and Chito‘s like his friends and classmates. It turns out that all of that stuff is what was part of the problem. 

I’m writing this to bring your attention to the food you’ll be packing in your kids lunches, the food they might be eating provided by school lunches, and sweet treats that teachers will be choosing to give out because it’s so easy to reward kids with candy, right? Teachers, you don’t have to choose candy as a treat. Kids would love stickers, bookmarks, and other things like inexpensive bulk buy rewards from amazon, The 99 cent store, or oriental trading company. We owe it to our kids to teach them that what they eat plays a direct part in how they learn and perform. We owe it to our kids to teach them how to make healthy choices and create  healthy habits. 

I will be posting ideas on my blog page of things I plan to pack for my son‘s lunch that do not contain highly processed, sugar loaded, prepackaged foods. Feel free to follow along at Blind Mom in the Burbs. I have also offered to our elementary school principal to teach an in person course for parents, their kids, and teachers. I have spent this last year dedicating my time to studying health and wellness and became a certified health coach, specifically to work with families. I do not enjoy the virtual experience, so I apologize to those of you who do not live in the Las Vegas area. If anyone has an interest in attending and in person class, I would be happy to set something up for your family, a small group, or your school. You can reach me by emailing Terri.rupp@gmail.com.

I am also open to traveling, if your school,  organization, or company has an interest in learning how to take health into your own hands instead of waiting for the healthcare system. Unfortunately, the healthcare system is not always helpful, and often takes way too long.

 I am not a healthcare professional, simply somebody who is taking a proactive approach to my families health, and the health of those who want to follow along. 

A concerned parent,


What do you run for? I’m running for Braille Across America!

Exactly one month ago I was celebrating my finish of completing 150 miles at the Beyond Limits Running Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 72 hour event. I still have not yet written a full race recap. Every time I try, i’m overwhelmed with emotions. I knew going into that event that I would be going through a lot. What I have to say about those 72 hours deserves more than a blog post or a Facebook post. I know once I start writing, it will run, pardon the pun, away with itself and turn into that book that I will one day publish.

The landscape of life takes us through peaks and valleys, canyons, cliffs, barren deserts, and wide open Meadows. My heart is heavy with a few too many things, and so I run…

I run for my mental health.

I run for clarity.

I run for peace.

I run for an escape.

I run to numbe.

I run to feel.

I run for Joy.

I run because it is a place where I can just be.

In this current stretch, I’m making my miles count for more than just me. I am running to raise funds for braille literacy. I am participating in the National Braille Press Braille Across America event where individuals and teams across the country are running, riding, strolling, and rolling to raise funds to get more braille books into the hands of blind kids and blind parents.

National Braille Press makes it possible through donations from Events like this, and the generous support of sponsors to provide braille books at the same cost as print books.

The best part is that I’m doing this event with a few friends and my Marley.

If you’ve been following my blog Blind Mom in the Burbs then you know that we have had quite a journey as we have had to advocate for my daughters own right to braille literacy. thanks to the persistence we put in back as early as preschool days, my now middle Schooler has not only survived pandemic schooling, but is more than thriving with straight A’s in accelerated courses. This is all thanks to braille!

She at first was planning to complete the distance of a marathon during the challenge, then decided to triple that because it cost three times as much to produce a braille book than it does a print book. Now, she wants more. She is committing to go even farther than 3 times26.2. She is determined to complete more than 100 miles between March 17 and April 19 for Braille Across America.

Me? I plan to complete 365 miles, 1 mile for every day of the year! 39 of those miles will happen on my 39th birthday on April 2.

Won’t you support our miles and smiles as we go the distance for Braille Across America!

You can do so bye making a donation to our team or to our individual fundraising Pages by visiting this link. Or, if you want to make your miles count, you can join the team too for Braille Across America.

Happy lunar new year

Here’s wishing everyone happiness, health, and wealth.

The measurement of wealth is not in $$$$, but in the synergized product of happiness and health.

For almost 10 years I have been blogging at Blind Mom in the Burbs about how our family lives actively and loves proactively.

I’d love to share with you and your families how you too can LEAN into living as a happier healthier you.

Stay tuned for announcements on how to sign up for a four week health coaching course as we discuss the four pillars of health; lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition.

Bring on More Miles and Smiles in 2022

As we enter into 2022, I’ll be sharing more about my own health journey, and would love to be a support to your health journey.

According to Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, the world health organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmary. Optimal health on the other hand, is defined by health and human services as a holistic focus with The aim of obtaining the most possible health outcomes by promoting healthier behavior and not merely the absence of disease. Health and human services believes that when we focus on optimal health A prioritizes prevention and encourages individuals to prioritize and lower their risk for illness.

Personally, I know I feel much better physically, mentally, and emotionally when I eat well and am able to get out and move my body.

On this first day of 2022, I’m inviting you to get up, get out, and get active.


What’s your finish line?

A friend asked me over the weekend why I choose to do such big adventures and have such crazy goals. On Sunday, my husband and I will be embarking on a five day bike ride across the state of Utah with five other teams of tandem bike riders, then finish it off with a marathon at the end of the week. In February, I plan to complete my second official 100 mile race getting me 2/3 of the way closer to being eligible to apply for Badwater, a 135 mile race through Death Valley in the middle of July.

My simple answer, “Because it scares me.”

What is it that scares you?

What’s your finish line?