I’m Sorry But Did You Say Run?!

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If you would have called me a runner a few years ago I would have laughed at you.

I was the person who laughed and questioned every crazy runner outside in the rain and snow as I drove by them in my car.  So here I am now that crazy runner who is outside in ridiculous conditions training for the next race.

I guess I should really explain where this all began. About 4 years ago, I went through a bad time in my life. I felt I had hit rock bottom and I had no clue how to handle anything. So to keep my mind off of things, my mom signed me up for our local Turkey Trot. I never ran a race like that. However, I was always an athlete. I played hockey and softball for most of my life and I figured a few miles was no big deal. Now I should mention in my late teens and early 20’s is when my body issues really began. I stopped playing sports like I used to and wasn’t eating very well. I put on some pounds that I couldn’t get rid of.

But back to this Turkey Trot, my mom neglected to tell me it was 5 miles, not 3!!! We still laugh about this. So there I was, in my sneakers that were not made for running, at mile 3 wondering why the race hadn’t ended! I wave my mom on because I did not want to hold her back.

The next two miles were miserable. I walked most of it and complained…but I finished. I was so proud of myself.

That isn’t exactly where I considered myself a runner though. My mom and I began doing local 5ks, and then we even decided to start training for a half marathon. Throughout all of that, I began eating healthier and even had a trainer at the gym. I began to lose weight, and feel a little better about myself. Mom and I were ready for our first half marathon. 'We took on the Buffalo Half Marathon in our hometown.

We crushed it for our first time and crossed the finish line holding hands. That is when I called myself a runner. I knew how hard I worked to get myself there. I think this is also where I became addicted to running. (Totally not a bad thing, people will learn to accept this...I hope.)

Body issues do not always go away, I know this. To many, runners are skinny with abs and muscles showing. That wasn’t me and still isn’t me. When I first got into running, that's what I thought I needed and tried to be, its what I thought strength was too. It’s what I wanted to be. However, with time I realized that it won’t be me… and that’s okay.

Strength does not have to look or act a certain way. I am what strength is, someone who does not have a six-pack or a thigh gap, but someone who has some strong ass legs that run a 7-minute mile now and still enjoys a good donut every now and then.

I’ll tell you what strength is, my mom. She has Multiple Sclerosis and even on her bad days is out there running. She doesn’t let MS stop her from doing what she loves and enjoys, she is a total bad ass and someone I can only hope to be like when I am older.

There are people who ask me all the time why I run, what is the point? Well, I will tell you: Running makes me feel complete, I am at peace when I run because for a few minutes or hours all I have to worry about is the direction I am I going. I feel confident, even just in my sports bra! I feel more confident in my running gear compared to my regular clothes. Running is apart of my life…it is my life, everyone just works around it (ha!)

I wish I could recommend running to everyone, but I can’t. I know it isn’t for everyone, and that is okay. I do tell people to try it, you never know. More importantly, do you, and be you! Whatever makes you happy…do it!

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