Rahaf Khatib is a stay-at-home mom; an international marathon runner; the first hijabi to appear on the cover of a U.S. Fitness Magazine; and was a top ten finalist in the 2015 Runner's World cover search. Rahaf uses her running to empower the community through advocating for healthy living while organizing local runs.

I was a stay-at-home mom with two kids under age two. I felt empty and out of touch with society. Being at home all the time makes you feel like you’re left out from the greater community and like you’re not contributing to anything. I felt like I needed to get out there somehow.

I started going to the gym, not to lose weight or to look good. It wasn’t even about looks at all. I went to blow off some steam. Just get out of my house. Slowly, I started loving it.

Then I was like, “You know what? I need something more.”

My son’s school registered for the Martian Marathon here in Dearborn in 2012, and the gym teacher said, “You should sign up for the run and try to do that.”

So, I signed up for the 10K, not the 5K. I love to challenge myself. I trained and just did what I could, getting out there and running almost every day. Crossing the finish line, I had such a euphoric feeling that I came back for more, and more and more.

Being a stay-at-home mom you need to push through when things get bad. You know that eventually you’re going to get rewarded at the end.

There’s a saying, “If you want to see the positive side of humanity, go watch a marathon.” Go watch people crossing the finish line. People are in tears, people are hugging each other, people are on the floor prostrating, people are just—it’s just raw, deep emotions. Like giving birth.