Becoming A Runner Helped Me See That I Deserved More

I never thought I'd be a runner. Even now, years later, it feels odd to call myself a runner. But, I am!

Growing up, I was that girl. The one that was made fun of for her weight. PE was my least favorite time. Even worse was when we had to run the mile. I was always one of, if not, the last to finish. Oh and the week we had to do pulls ups (which I could never do), sit-ups, etc was also hell. It was torture to me.

My freshman year of high school, I joined the basketball team. I had always played pee-wee basketball and my best friend was playing, so I did too. After our first practice, people were talking about me and how they thought I would quit.

The only reason I didn't quit was to prove them wrong.

That’s when that mindset started.

After that first year of basketball, I didn’t play anymore. Being a bench warmer wasn’t fun and I wasn’t in love with basketball. I stayed pretty sedentary the rest of my high school years. As a result, the pounds packed on. And then college happened and more pounds packed on. After I graduated college, I moved to another city to be with my long-term boyfriend. I was miserable and coped by eating. Finally, in 2008, I realized how miserable I was and began Weight Watchers. After I lost some weight, I decided to take up running.

I always equated running to be the tippy-top of athleticism. I thought, “If I could do that someday, I’ll be fit.” So, I gave it a whirl. I remember when I first started running, people (aka canoes) would yell things at me. I mean, how dare someone try to better their health by running outside? But, what running did for me at that time in my life was not only help me get healthier, but it gave my mind clarity. I was engaged to a man who did not treat me as I needed to be treated. I finally realized I deserved more.

Running gave me the confidence to see that and to leave.

Fast forward to last year, aka, the worst year of my life. I had my second son the prior June and I was deep in the post-partum depression. And not only that but my weight ballooned to the highest of my lifetime. I wasn’t me. My husband was begging me to get help but I kept shushing him and kept telling him everything was fine. Y’all…my marriage took a hit. My self-esteem took a hit. Every aspect of my life took a hit. We got ourselves in therapy and we’re better than ever now. Our therapist really encouraged me to find “my thing.” The thing that my boys will know me for because one day, my main role won’t be “Carter & Cameron’s Mom.” Who will that be? What does that look like?

Running. OF COURSE, RUNNING.

So, I’ve started again. I’ve become close friends with another badass who has been encouraging me. I've never run more than a 5K yet I am now signed up for two half marathons this year.

I feel alive. It’s boosted my confidence. I feel like me again and I never want to feel less than that.

I love surprising people with telling them that I’m a runner because I don’t “look” like a runner. I have a runner’s body because I run. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Everyone has an inner badass inside of them.