That’s right. Had there have been a ‘least likely to ever say ‘I love running!’ category in our school yearbook, I probably would have won by a landslide. In the 7th or 8th grade, I cried because I had to run an 800m race during our school’s track and field day. At age 10, a few injuries and dance classes where I scooted out of the room on my bum because I couldn’t walk, led to a diagnosis of patella femoral syndrome and I was handed a doctor’s note requesting that I do not run. A lengthy stint in physical therapy made a difference, but I still was afraid to run. I seriously believed I was incapable of it.
During my first year of university, the freshman 15 was more like the freshman 20, which left me unhappy with my appearance. I moved back home for the summer and was working two jobs to help pay for my tuition. I needed to find an activity that I could do at any time – and anywhere. My mom had joined a learn to run 5k group. I figured, if she could do it, why couldn’t I? I decided that I would try running. At first, my motivation was to run 5k and lose some weight. I never thought I would turn into this girl:
Multiple half marathons later and the owner of a bucket list of races I want to run – who have I turned into?! I am no longer the girl who cried because she had to run 800m. I’m the girl who cries if I go too many days without running. Most of the people who have met me over the past 8 years will mention that I run in the first 30 seconds of describing me. It’s what I do. It’s who I have become. I’ve surprised myself over and over again as a runner. I ran until I was 6 months pregnant with my first son. I have surpassed my goal of running a sub 1:45 half marathon (sub 1:38 to be more accurate). And now I wake up at 4:30am to fit in runs before going to work.
You can do anything if you put your mind to it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you are the only one holding yourself back.