Fearless Woman of the Week: Stephanie Bruce

Bellin Health Physical Therapist and Wednesday training run co-leader Lisa Reinke offers the latest installment in this inspirational blog series.

This blog goes out to all the women who have dealt with a body that in any way has caused frustration, guilt or just plain sadness. (I think that captures everyone at some point in life).

As women, our bodies go through a lot of ups and downs. Some bodies have recovered from different injuries, illnesses, diseases, cancers, surgeries, pregnancies … the list goes on. Women also deal with hormonal changes that, as you train, can give you the highest of highs as you soar through a long run to the lowest of lows as you push as hard as you can to just get in three miles.  

And we just keep pushing through.

Stephanie Bruce is a professional runner I got to know this past week through the internet and the magic of social media. Stephanie, like many women, took on the challenge of juggling her career while starting a family. She had two little boys who were born within two years of one another. Pregnancy completely alters one’s body, and having two children very close together can really do a number on a woman, professional runner or not.

When Stephanie was getting back to running, she shared a real photo on Instagram of her post-partum stomach with the caption: “When I look down I see stretch marks that are here to stay, ab muscles that need continued strengthening, legs that are powerful, and feet that are ready to fly! #trackseason #timetofly #flystyle”

This post, and many of her other postpartum posts, resonated with a lot of women, and perhaps unintentionally, gained her a large following of women in the same boat. And it’s awesome. From postpartum tummies to urinary incontinence, she’s opened herself up to helping women understand that they are not alone and to not be ashamed.

So this week, I encourage everyone to embrace the body you’ve been blessed with. Love it on good days, care for it tenderly on the not-so-good days. No need to selfie a midsection photo, just fill yourself with gratitude for the steps, strides and leaps your body has been going through as you train for the 2017 Bellin Women’s Half Marathon!

Click here to read an article on Stephanie Bruce and see the Instagram photo that got people talking.

See you Wednesday morning at the training run!


Lisa Reinke is a physical therapist with Bellin Sports Medicine who specializes in the treatment of running related injuries and gait assessments for the injured runner. Lisa has participated in several road races, bike rides and triathlons. Lisa is the mother to a 1-year-old little boy and is running with determination and joy through the ups and downs of running as a “new” mom.   You may email Lisa with any questions regarding running or walking injuries: Lisa.Reinke@bellin.org.


Category Tag(s): Running

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