Feeding off of the continuous cheers and applause of spectators along the race course, Westview employee Tiffany O’Leary, crossed the finish line of the 120th Boston Marathon with a time of 4 hours and 33 seconds, completing a life goal that she actively trained for during the last three years.
It was an accomplishment that O’Leary will remember for a lifetime; a culmination of years of training coupled with a philanthropic mission. Representing The Heather Abbott Foundation’s Team Limb-It-Less, O’Leary raised funds totaling over $8,500 helping bring awareness and financial assistance for customized prosthetics to those affected by traumatic limb loss.
The Heather Abbott Foundation is a non-profit charity group founded by Heather Abbott, victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, who lost her leg from one of the explosions. O’Leary was quick to identify with Abbott’s mission having a friend who, despite having lost a leg at the age of 4, won a gold medal in the Nagano Paralympics.
“She encouraged me to apply for this charity,” O’Leary stated. “To compete not just for myself, but for the benefit of humanity.”
O’Leary’s training leading up to the marathon has been evident through her various Facebook statuses. During a February cold snap where most New Englanders are sitting indoors complaining, O’Leary took a selfie after completing a bitter cold run. Her beaming smile is only overshadowed by one of Mother Nature’s unintentional beauty secrets: ice covered eyelashes. The caption underneath read:
“I ran 18 miles this morning; 11 degrees. WHY? Because I can. For Claudia and Kevin, because they can’t. For all those sick or injured who CAN’T. I am making a difference.”
O’Leary’s mindset and determination viewed through her Facebook posts were only a small part of the picture though. She would run every morning, 6 days a week, all year long to gain the conditioning and mental toughness that she needed to endure the physical and emotional demands of long-distance running competitions. The benefits from her early morning exercise regiment quickly became evident throughout her entire day.
“Running provides me the opportunity to honor my body and spirit,” O’Leary remarked. “While normally high strung and intense, running lets me release my worries and facilitates a calm state of mind that lingers for days.”
The completion of the 2016 Boston Marathon marked a significant milestone for O’Leary that she is extremely proud of. But like the mindset of many competitive athletes, she’s already looking forward to the next strenuous challenge.
Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed skilled nursing inpatient facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed subacute short-term rehabilitation unit and an Outpatient Rehabilitation and Aquatic Center, both dedicated to providing quality health care services. Along with garnering a perfect five star overall rating found on Medicare.gov Westview is proud to have received such accolades as US News and World Report America’s Best, Consumer Reports Top 10 Connecticut Nursing Facility rating and Health Grades 5-Star Top Ranking.
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