Erinn Murray may not be an artist, but she has managed to turn her life into a very colorful and unique mosaic.
Even though she grew up in the small state of Rhode Island, Erinn has always had big goals and aspirations.
From her life as a dedicated mother, and successful educator, to running 26-mile marathons, Erinn has managed to create quite a life for herself.
Erinn grew up in the city of Barrington, and had a relatively normal upbringing. She was raised in a household with two loving parents, and an older brother.
Even though Erinn's family life seems normal, her brother's health has always been a major concern for Erinn and her parents.
“At birth, my brother was born with a congenital heart defect. It’s scary, because someone living with this condition doesn’t really get a sure answer on their life expectancy. Fortunately for him, and for my family, he has been able to live a very fulfilling life.”
This fulfilling life includes a successful law career spawned from his years of study at Georgetown University. Erinn also attended Georgetown for one brief semester, but fate seemed to have another career path in mind...
Even in her years as a high school student, Erinn always knew what she wanted to do.
“Right out of high school, I got accepted to Boston College. I knew I wanted to be an education major. Like many college students, however, my plans changed once I got more involved in the curriculum. I switched my major to English, and I happened to stumble upon a very unique field of study.”
This field of study was Anglo-American Literary Relations. If you’ve never heard of this before, neither had Erinn until she learned more of what it was about.
“This particular field of study focuses on the linguistic and cultural divides in writing between Great Britain and America. It was a fantastic learning opportunity, and I even had the privilege of studying at the University College of London—I did my thesis there.”
Studying across the pond was a wonderful experience for Erinn, but she knew she wanted more. Like her brother, she attended Georgetown, but not to study law. Erinn needed to fulfill a language requirement to achieve her Ph.D., and she ended up discovering her true passion.
“My professor assigned me the random task of working with children with learning disabilities. I can honestly say it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. From the moment I worked with those kids, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I just wanted to help these kids.”
This life-changing experience inspired Erinn to attend Columbia University. There, she got her Master of Education in Reading, and a Master of Arts in Learning Disabilities. Afterward, she got hired as a teacher at Winston Preparatory School in New York City—a school for students with learning disabilities.
For years, Erinn was fulfilled by a joy she couldn’t express in words. She was doing something she loved, but another happy event would soon leave Erinn facing a difficult decision.
“While I was working at Winston, my husband and I discovered we were expecting our first child together. I honestly had to make one of the toughest decisions of my life. I loved my career, but I wanted to be able to spend quality time with my unborn child and my stepdaughter. I then made the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I knew it would be best for my growing family.”
Pregnancy and raising four beautiful children brought Erinn and her husband a lot of joy, but for Erinn, each pregnancy did take its toll, both mentally and physically.
“After the birth of my third child, my real struggles with weight began,” says Erinn. “I developed postpartum depression. I was prescribed antidepressants, and I just couldn’t get the baby weight off. I even got my thyroid checked. I fought this battle for about three years, until I decided to do something about it.”
Even though she was a busy mom juggling four kids, Erinn knew that she wanted to get back to her old self. She discovered that one of the best ways to do this was to compete in a marathon.
For months, Erinn trained to compete in the 114th Annual Boston Marathon. Erinn completed the race on April 19, 2010, and she was able to represent a cause that was very dear to her heart.
“Because of my brother’s condition, I raced for the Children’s Hospital of Boston. The whole experience was absolutely wonderful, and I was able to raise over $8,000 for their team.”
Now, Erinn has one more marathon on her mind: The New York City Marathon on November 6, 2011. She will be racing on behalf of the Melanoma Education Foundation in honor of her mother, who struggles with the disease.
Even though she has four kids, and just started her own educational consulting business, she is still making the time to train for the event.
“Running makes me very happy. It’s a great escape, and it makes me feel good about myself. Right now, I try to go to the gym at least three to four times during the week. If I can’t make it one day, I always try to make up for the time lost the next day. Time management is the most difficult part.”
Even though time management can be difficult, Erinn has all of the motivation she needs. Not only does she have complete support from her husband and family, but she has managed to get back a part of her life she has missed so much.
Her job at Winston Prep may be over, but that hasn’t stopped Erinn from pursuing the thing she loves most: helping kids with learning disabilities.
Despite her hectic schedule, Erinn has just opened her very own educational consulting business where she helps parents of learning-disabled children get the resources they need for a brighter education.
“For me, it’s all about helping the kids. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
BistroMD will also be there to help Erinn as she competes in the New York City Marathon. Erinn will be eating meals from bistroMD as she prepares for the race.
The most exciting thing about eating bistroMD?
“Not having to cook. That will be a much-needed break from the ordinary.”