One of my passions has always been running..it has helped me get to where I am now. It has helped shape the person that I am. It wasn’t always easy and definitely not always fun (especially the college days) I fell in love with running because it was my social life and it was my stress reliver. But things change and we evolve.
By the time I was 18 that changed, I went to college, had new teammates and a new coach….suddenly I was constantly in trouble: from the way I ate to my bubbly personality was a problem. I was no longer allowed to be me; but instead a robot. I felt like I was in the military. We needed to dress the same at practice, never smile, and never talk. We were scrutinized on how we ate and how we looked, to the point that being unhealthy received praises.
Running has always been a part of my life and always will be; but college changed it all for me. I used to love competitvely running but as soon as I got to college it was a different story…constantly being told you are replaceable and never good enough dug deep and turned my confidence into concern. I was surrounded by negativitity, my once love of staying all day at cross country meets and track meets turned into I could spend my time doing something more with my life.
Running was a risk I took in high school that gave me an abundance of opportunity but as I have gotten older the truth is I love running but not the same as I once did in high school. I always loved track more than cross country when I was younger but now I like road races more, I like running in nature, I like doing things on my own terms and my own time.
Running has opened the door for me to take risks. It has helped me continue to take many risks and sometimes I fail but I always get back up because running taught me that. If it wasn’t for running I wouldn’t have taken the risk of moving to a different state and giving another college team a chance to change my mind about collegiate coaches/teammates. I wouldn’t have risked moving back home and into the unknown if I hadn’t taken a chance on running. I wouldn’t have taken a risk starting up a blog and a YouTube channel if I hadn’t taken a chance on running.
The truth is running turned into one of the best things in my life.
It opened doors I dreamed about as a little girl; yes, I got to go to my dream school and represent it. Was it what I anticipated? No, it was a horrible experience but it was a life experience that taught me that it doesn’t matter what people think of you and say to you. What matters the most is how you see yourself.
It took me several years to get what those coaches told me out of my head and the funny thing is neither one of them are in my lives to this day and by the grace of God never will be in my life again. I am grateful for all the verbal put downs because it taught me that bad times are only temporary and that you are a hell of a lot stronger than you thought. It prepared me for the ups and downs of life. It taught me to be calm during storms in my life and it taught me that no matter what happens to continue to perservere. It taught me that I deserved better, I deserved to be surrounded by positive people who truly care about me. It taught me that I have a voice and I matter.
Running has inevitably taken a back seat in my life, it is no longer in the drivers seat. I don’t freak out over how many miles I run a week, I go based on how I feel and how it makes me feel. I no longer compare myself to other runners, to be honest I stopped following a ton of runners on social media for the sake of my mental health.
I rarely run with people who only care to talk about running because I have evolved I want to talk about more than just running because I am more than just a runner. I have other interests besides running, I have a full time job while having two part time jobs that I consider my hobbies and running is my me time, my stress reliever, my inner peace.
I am proud to say I love running and that I am a runner but I am so much more than just a runner and I am becoming the person I am meant to be.
Of course with the help of running opening doors and even opening my eyes to the possibility. So always believe in yourself even if at times it is hard. You have to power to change your future and look at every setback as a lesson, look at every heart break as a blessing in disguise, just like the name of my blog I still believe that everything truly does happen for a reason.