SPOKANE, Washington – Right now we are celebrating the stories of strong America from here in our own community. An inspiring story comes from the Union Gospel Mission – Anna Ogden Hall.

This recovery shelter supports women struggling with drug addiction and other issues. It helps them get back on their feet. Each Anna Ogden Hall woman has her own story, and Teri Anderson has opened up to share hers. As you continue to read you will see she takes her recovery even further.

“I came to Anna Ogden Hall to change my world,” Teri Anderson immediately told us. She said that she needed a change of soul and a complete inner change, to overcome the addiction.

A lot can happen in a year and Anderson knows it better than anyone. There have been a lot of changes and she admits it hasn’t been easy.

“It was ups and downs. It has been a very humbling, very exciting and rewarding experience, but a lot of work, a lot of work, ”she said with a smile.

When she started out at Anna Ogden Hall to make a new start in life, this first-time runner didn’t know it, but she had also picked up a new hobby while she was there. Now she can hardly believe the progress she has made.

“I couldn’t even run five minutes in a row, five minutes of rest. Now I run 11 miles, ”she exclaims.

“It’s called a homeless half marathon training program.” For some people, this is exactly what it is. “I have heard so many crazy stories. Running with a girl, she said, “Just a few months ago I was sleeping on a friend’s porch because I had nowhere to go. Now I’m at the UGM and training for a half marathon, ”explained Kelly Klossner, the team’s trainer, who works with Up and Running Again.

Klossner gives every woman recovering at Anna Ogden Hall the opportunity to participate once a year. This is the eighth time he has coached women in the running program.

“It’s amazing to see this transformation. I get so much of this personally. They inspire me because they come from such difficult circumstances in their life, ”he said.

Anderson was one of the seven who decided to challenge themselves even more.

In the dark hours of the morning, she gets up, lace up her shoes and trains. She doesn’t just train for the half marathon. She is also training for her future. She knows that the sacrifices she makes now to complete a road race will help her on the path to life.

The discipline and persistence that comes with the commitment it takes to run 13 miles has helped Anderson develop the confidence to face a half marathon and face life. “I can accomplish anything! Oh my God. Things I didn’t even know I could accomplish. I now know I can do it, ”she told us.

Crossing the finish line on race day will be a huge accomplishment in her renewed life, but she has big plans for what lies ahead, beyond. Anderson told us, “I just want to get back into nursing and be a productive member of society and just do good – and be a good human being and a good mom and a good grandmother.”

The seven women will begin their 13.1-mile journey together in the Priest Lake Marathon on September 25.

“I want to run towards something, instead of walking away from something,” Anderson added.

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