Power of Intention: Christine McHugh

Christine is a mom, runner, and life coach. Here is her journey to her first marathon using MyIntent to help fundraise while staying mindful of her own intentions along the way! 

“I am inspired by so many things,” Christine began, “I’ve always been an avid outdoors person. I’m super excited by nature, and I’m always inspired by people. Over the last 5 years, Christine has become more in tune with what inspires her. “I think about what moves me to action,” she commented. 
Her journey with intention began when her son was training for a 5K race at his elementary school. During the decision to be a part of the race with her son, Christine recalls, “I realized that there was so much more within myself than I thought was possible.” This act became a turning point in her life and her main source of inspiration.
Christine first started intention-setting when she joined a running group. There, she met many different people outside of her immediate community. Being a part of this group exposed her to new ideas and practices such as meditation and journaling. Christine practiced what it meant to be present – not only focusing on a goal, but how to go about achieving that goal. She started asking questions like HOW and WHY – seeking to reflect on the journey as a whole rather than just the finish line. Two years ago, she decided to start training for the New York City Marathon, and it clicked. Christine says, “From the beginning, I wanted to train for a marathon from an experience perspective.”
People told her, “If you ever run a marathon in your life and it’s only one, you should run the New York City Marathon.” The NYC Marathon required you to either enter the lottery or sign up for a charity team.  Christine decided to apply for a charity team. Since heart disease was prevalent in her family, Christine chose the Heart Association. She had to raise $3500, a seemingly impossible feat at first, but Christine realized “I was so grateful that I actually had the opportunity and the body and the mental faculties to be able to make this come to reality.” She had a running plan to help her physically prepare for the marathon, but she also wanted to form a mindset to mentally prepare her for the race too. Her goal was to finish, but more importantly, to be PRESENT in the moment.
Christine was just starting to train for the marathon and needed to fundraise for her charity. She wanted to figure out a fun way to gain sponsors, so she thought about giving gifts to those who donated. She was sitting in a meeting at work when it all fell into place. One of her co-workers was wearing a MyIntent bracelet that read BRAVE. This resonated with Christine, and she immediately ordered her own bracelet: GRATEFUL, with a red string for the Heart Association. She says, “I felt connected to the mission of MyIntent. It’s more personal than a product; it promotes support and builds relationships.”
She then thought of a creative way to inspire people to help her raise money; “Whoever donated a certain dollar amount, I would choose a word that I thought they embodied as well as something I would need during my marathon.” She would send them a MyIntent bracelet with that personalized word. As word spread, and more people began to sponsor Christine. This became so popular that she was able to raise over $9000. On the day of the race, people posted photos of their MyIntent bracelets in her honor, creating a community of support and positive energy.
Christine describes it perfectly – it was a beautiful day, sunny and clear and filled with tons of excited energy, positive vibes and a huge support system. Described as a ‘giant block party’, nearly a million spectators came to the New York City marathon to cheer on the runners. As she began to run, Christine says, “I looked around…pinching myself – I cannot believe I am here, I cannot believe I have the opportunity to run this marathon.”  Every block, every bridge, every tunnel, she was surrounded by people in costumes, friends, and families. She remembered the texts from her running buddies who were tracking her progress and cheering her on. She recalled the last few miles when she was feeling the pain of hitting the wall. There were two final moments that kept her going. With three miles to go, she glanced down at her MyIntent bracelet, she remembered why she was there and how GRATEFUL she was for this experience. When she hit Central Park, her son texted her with an encouraging “You got this!!” and she took off. Everything clicked, and she finished her race strong.
Christine’s practice of intention-setting has evolved over the years. Initially, she chose words that pertained to her running, such as GRATEFUL and ENERGY, but through journaling, she has become more conscious in how the intentions she makes show up in all areas of her life. She’s learned to change her mindset from forming resolutions to creating intentions. Where resolutions are based on solving problems - on figuring out what’s wrong, intentions pertain to who you are at your core and how you want to show that on a daily basis.
For Christine, it wasn’t about the actively searching for her word, but rather something that came to her while she was driving down the road. “You don’t really have to look for the signs because they are already there, but think about, in your heart, how you want things to be for you. It doesn’t sound very glamorous.” Christine chuckles. Intentions come from an awareness in you and your heart. Sometimes something as simple as talking to other people about your intentions can bring you to your word. When you set the intention, your word will present itself to you.
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Christine is the Chief Strategy Officer at Kinetic Sports Rehab and also has a side business providing leadership and lifestyle coaching.  She lives with her husband, 15-year old son, and two yellow labs in Seattle.
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