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Dorina Gilmore-Young

Author, Blogger, Runner &  Speaker

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By Inside Out with Courtnaye

   oin me as I sit down to chat with Dorina Gilmore-Young, a lover of Jesus Christ, Christian author of Bethany House, fellow blogger, speaker, former news reporter, and wife and mother of three beautiful, brave daughters. We are going to be talking about her new book, Walk, Run, Soar, but also how running a natural race can also help us run this spiritual race. Without further delay, let's dive right in. 

Courtnaye – Welcome Dorina! I am so excited to be here with you today. 


Dorina - Thank you so much, Courtnaye! It’s a joy and great opportunity to be here. 


Courtnaye – Awesome! So, let’s go ahead and do this! Your new book, Walk, Run, Soar, which is a 52-Week Devotional comes out September 29th. Yay! It’s actually made especially for runners. But before we dive into it, tell us more about how you got started running?


Dorina – I started running when I was a young person, as an elementary school girl. My dad actually invited me to train for a 10k race. He and I did a lot of training together. He taught me about stamina, breathing, discipline, and good running form. So my first race was in 3rd grade. In that time, I loved it because I got to spend time with my daddy. From that, I ended up pursuing running through grade school and high school. I was also an athlete for our track and field team and that’s where I got hooked! I loved racing and I was a hurdler. So that’s really where I got started and then running has just been a part of my life. Now I’m a coach and I love coaching junior high and high school girls. We actually coach adult runners to get them to the finish line of the half marathon.


Courtnaye – Wow! This is so good! My husband is actually training for his first half marathon. He’s never done it before. So I love that you’ve created this book! Now, we’re going to shift a bit. Can you share with us a little bit about the grief that you experienced when your first husband died? I know that’s pretty hard to talk about, but how did it affect your running and your relationship with God? 


Dorina – That’s such a good question and really it’s a part of the inspiration for my book, too. So, my husband Ericlee and I were married for 11 years and we loved running, working, and doing ministry together as we were raising three girls. But back in 2014, that was the year when everything changed for us. We found out that my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma cancer. It was really a sucker punch to the gut for us because he was a runner, triathlete, CrossFit guy, and was very healthy in the way he ate. So cancer was just something that we never imagined. It wasn’t on our radar. Everything in our lives came to this screeching halt. 


Courtnaye – Wow!


Dorina – We’d planned many different mission trips for that summer, our kids were only 2, 5, and 8 at the time, and it was just a really busy season. But we had to completely shut everything down and focus on treatment and healing for him. We had hundreds of people praying for us all over the world for his healing. His healing came, but it was in him going to heaven on September 9th of that year. That was six years ago, now. It actually was the beginning of a very difficult grief journey for me and my daughters. I never planned on being a widow at age 37. But honestly, that was the place where my faith began to grow even greater because God showed up for me every single day. He was so faithful to me and helped me to see that He was my husband, my coach, and that He was going to walk me through that hard time.

Courtnaye - My goodness. 

Dorina - Running actually intersects with that as well. As I look back over the last six years, running is the thing that helped me to deepen my relationship with Jesus. Every time I would go out to run, that’s when I would grieve, pray, ask those hard questions, and where I got to see God’s glory in the hills, clouds, flowers, sunsets, and the lakes with the water lapping at the shores. There was always this reminder that my God is the Creator of the whole earth and that He held all the details of my future in His hands. So that’s some of the grief journey and then the next piece of it which I like to call the "glory story" or the "redemptive story" is when God brought my new husband Shawn in 2016. God redeemed our family in a way that we never could’ve imagined.   


Courtnaye – That is definitely a redemptive story! I also want to say that I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. I know that was really hard for you, but I love how you share how God was there for you every step of the way, yet also how you found a new mission with your new book. Now the Lord is using that hard season for you to help others. Personally, I find that running is therapeutic. I walk and run the track in my area and that's another way that I get to talk to the Lord about anything that I’m going through. I just love how the Lord meets us right where you are. You also talk about courage in the book. So what is biblical courage? 


Dorina – Well, I like to differentiate between biblical courage and courage that we talk about a lot in our culture, because we have this saying that girls should be strong and that we should be courageous. But I think the nuance of biblical courage is that our courage comes from God. It doesn’t come from us pulling up our bootstraps or impressing people with our accomplishments. It comes from a place of God’s character. One of my favorite verses is from Joshua 1:9 where it says, “Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Those are words that God gave to Joshua who is this mighty warrior and God actually said this same phrase to him over and over again, mostly because Joshua needed to be reminded to have strength and courage. Courage is not something that I naturally have, but it is something that God gives me when I run. 


Courtnaye – This is so powerful and so super encouraging. Now, in one of your devotions, you talk about running through hurdles, instead of running over them. What should our focus be when we encounter hurdles in our lives? 


Dorina – So the concept of running through the hurdles means that we don’t try to sidestep the hurdles, we run towards them. We run towards them with strength and courage and we snap our leg down and we keep running. I believe that is an amazing concept even for us in our lives because we come up against challenges all the time. I think sometimes we work so hard to avoid hard things in our lives, but those hurdles may be placed in our lives to grow our character, resilience, and our faith. So that’s the idea of running through the hurdles. 


Courtnaye – Amen! So helpful! Thank you for sharing this with us. How can we get more information about your book, but also connect with you online?


Dorina – The easiest way to find me is on my website which is You can get my book from the website and on Amazon. I would love it if people would pre-order. You can also connect with me on social media channels through my website.  


Courtnaye – Awesome! Connect with Dorina, ladies. I love this quote that you say in the book, "Don’t just run, soar!" Thank you, Sister!  


Dorina – You are a gracious hostess, thank you! 



Inside Out with CourtnayeFeature Interview with Dorina Gilmore-Young
00:00 / 25:19


As a runner, you want to accomplish your physical goals. But deep down, you long for your training to be a more meaningful experience, engaging your body, mind, soul, and spirit. Walk, Run, Soar is a 52-week devotional and training journal designed for runners who hope to experience God's presence, purpose, and glory in a deeper way as they run. Dorina Gilmore Young, and her triathlete husband, Shawn, will get you moving with a new motivation: improving your spiritualhealth. Along with weekly devotions to inspire you, Walk, Run, Soar includes...

· practical running/training tips

· training schedules from a running and triathlon           coach

· advice on how to fuel your body well
· reflection questions and action steps
· space to journal and record your running progress

Whether you are new to running or a longtime runner, Walk, Run, Soar will motivate you to hit your fitness goals while strengthening your faith.


Courtnaye Richard

"Inside Out with Courtnaye"

Blogger, Author, Speaker, & Mentor

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