Johnna’s passion for health and fitness is reflected in her academic and professional career, as well as in her running hobby. She has an MA in Anthropology (her thesis was on the biological and psychological stress response of Southern women with tattoos) and an MBA in Nonprofit Management (her capstone focused on creating a toolkit for a successful food ministry in Los Angeles). Currently she works as a community organizer, empowering faith communities to make lasting change in their cities. Johnna is a four-time half marathon and two-time marathon finisher who became Catholic during the 2017 Easter Vigil. You can connect with Johnna on Instagram and on her blog.
Charlotte has been Catholic since childhood, but has struggled with exercise for almost as long. She is about to finish her PhD in Early Modern History, focusing on Renaissance Venice. She even lived in Venice, Italy for one year in graduate school and is therefore officially allowed to be an Italian food snob. Charlotte and her husband, a mathematician, met at the beginning of graduate school and have been married for three years. They have a two-year-old who helps them stay active when they don’t feel like it. She also enjoys reading novels, trying new board games, and playing classical guitar. You can connect with Charlotte on Instagram.
The Catholic Women Run Story
Johnna and Charlotte met during their freshman year of college, and have been friends ever since. A few months before Johnna came into the Catholic Church, during a conversation about writing and blogging, Charlotte suggested that Johnna write about how her fitness connects to her faith. Johnna didn’t do it.
Almost eight months later, Johnna finally listened to Charlotte. She sat down to create a half marathon training plan that included prayers based on Bible verses and quotes about running. Johnna planned on trying the training and prayer journal out on herself first, but soon after she finished another Catholic friend asked for help training for a half marathon. At the same time, Johnna posted about the journal on Instagram. More and more women reached out to ask if they could use the journal. Eventually, Johnna asked Charlotte if they should work together to turn this into a ministry. God responded with a resounding YES.