Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Running for Change

Five years ago if you would had said that I would fall in love with Running; it would of been something hard to believe. Though I was always an active person I never enjoyed Running. As a matter of fact, I stopped showing up to Softball try-outs at my High School after I was told I had to run laps. My Journey of the kind of Runner I am today wasn’t easy. Sometimes I am amazed of the power of this sport to transform not just your body but also your mind even at toughest of times.

Within that year signing up to run my first Half Marathon, my Grandma suffered a stroke causing half of her body to become paralyzed. The following month my Aunt suffered an Aneurism leaving her in bad shape. 

My families’ tragedy made me ask myself if I was living my best life. The answer was, No. My relationship was in the rocks. We couldn't see eye to eye causing us to grow apart. Work wasn't giving me the satisfaction I used to feel anymore. And I had gained 12 pounds that made it difficult loose. One night I came to realization that so many things I had wanted to do were put off. I was chasing the wrong things and somehow I had forgotten about me. That year Running became the only way to create change.

The first month I had no training plan. All I knew I had six months to prepare. I only shared my plans with people I trusted who I knew wouldn’t laugh at me. It was difficult maintaining a steady motivation. There were days I had to dig deep inside of me not to give up. At first I hardly could finish a mile without stopping multiple times to catch my breath. Some nights during the middle of the night my legs would cramp up. Then occasionally, there would be days when I saw small progress giving me hope that I could really do this!

One day (two months later) I noticed changes in my body. Pants that didn’t buckle became easy to close. During training I was able to run not just a mile but 5 miles! My pace was super slow but it didn’t matter to me. I no longer looked like I was in pain instead tried to smile. I had heard somewhere that said if you smile then you can deceive your mind by thinking you aren’t in pain! HA! Not sure if that’s a fact but it helped me.

Another thing changed, my Boyfriend took me seriously on this crazy dream I had! We began to wait for each other after our run with a clean towel and some Gatorade for each other. The day I ran 12 miles he was waiting for me at the end of my route at our local park. I hugged him tightly. Looked up to the skies and thanked God for great health. At work I became more confident again and opportunities came around.

The morning of Race day I was extremely nervous. At that point I had made changes in my life. My relationship wasn’t working and instead of continuing to avoid our issues I made a decision to separate. The last two months I trained back home in my new apartment and never stopped Running. The nerves I had that morning wasn’t of me doubting my ability to finish the race but more for what it represented. As I ran that day I didn’t just run inspired by the strength of my Grandma and Aunt but for me. The girl who began with great doubt somehow found strength to not give up on herself. Be able to feel proud that I took action to make my happiness. Nowadays whenever life gets tough I look back to this experience. There is nothing in life I can’t accomplish.

The following year I crossed out from my “to do” list Running a Marathon. What became as something I wanted to cross off my list became a sport I love and respect more than anything. If it wasn’t for this sport I wouldn’t be the woman I am today and turned my life around for the better.

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