CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Many people might say they started running because it makes them feel good. For one woman, running helped her overcome the bad.

Angela Van Deven hopes her story will inspire others to chase their dreams. She hopes it will build their strength.

These Girls on the Run are ready to rock-and-roll. Their coach is right behind them.

“I just, I want to let the girls know that they are worth it, that you can achieve anything that you want to if you just get out there. It’s okay.”

For Angela Van Deven, watching their journey reminds her of her own, though it looked a little different; a rough start.

“My mom was found suddenly passed away.”

Obstacles, anxiety and depression soon followed.

“It really increased when my mom was found passed away. I really needed to find something to help manage it.”

With that, she laced up and took to the pavement, running to soothe her soul with support holding her strong.

“She would share with me her stories and how some days were really tough and other days it was therapeutic to go through that process because she just really needed it with the stress in her life.”

Van Deven is a special education teacher at Fisher Grade School. Marla Peavler, one of her closest friends, is one of the reasons for that.

“She was so impressive that we ran out right after the interview and got her back out of the car and offered her the job.”

Peavler says, even when Van Deven struggled to hold it together herself, she’s always had a knack for lifting others up.

“She’s a great friend too. Very loyal. Very much, always there when you need her.”

And, always pushing to keep moving ahead. Van Deven will be running the Illinois Half Marathon this year. She says she’s also run the Chicago Marathon.