I went completely gray when I was in my thirties. I remember being with my older brother and some guy asked if I was his mother. So I colored my hair.  Then, I asked myself, “Who am I doing this for?”

I am an immigrant. I came to this country the year Kennedy was killed.  I spoke no English. I was raised in a family where the expectation was for me to be a wife and mother.  Maybe because my five younger siblings saw me as their mother – which I found shocking, sad and wonderful all at the same time – I wanted to work and to achieve – to be my own person.

I ran my first marathon 2009. For the first two, I joined groups.  I’m somewhat competitive and didn’t like to be last. For the third in 2014, I brought a book and trained myself.

I don’t think about how I looked in the past. I love the way I look now. I’m not afraid to wear anything, as long as I like it. I I’m a total fashionista! And, the bonus - I am now more knowledgeable and self-assured.

This is an excerpt from a comprehensive interview.