Hey there! Hope you’re able to get out and get some miles in today. As of late I’ve been enjoying “running for fun”. This is the first time in years probably that I’ve not had tons of races on my calendar. And for good reason. In the last few years I’ve raced and (won) a 100k, a few 50 milers…and successfully conquered the 100 mile distance. Twice. It has truly been a whirlwind and I am so very thankful for these strong legs of mine. Running has simply changed my mind, my soul and my body and in more ways then I could ever imagine. So today, allow me to tell you a story. Of how I fell in love with not only running…but how trail running and specifically ultras have impacted my life in such a huge way.
Well, if you have been reading for a while you know my story of how I discovered the simple act of running. I lost weight in college (after tipping the scales at over 200 pounds) and entered into the working world bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to conquer the world. I landed a job in Dallas working for a major network and worked in the busy newsroom as an assignment editor. I helped reporters find their stories and we tackled breaking news. It was exciting at first but mostly extremely stressful. After a few years of working long and odd hours I got incredibly jaded and burned out by the doom and gloom the local news showcases. What happened next was a blessing in disguise.
I got laid off after 3 long years (as did thousands of other employees with this station across the US after numerous hiring freezes and layoffs) so it was time to go. It was tough as this was my first job out of college but I quickly got back on my feet. I had so much down time for the next couple of months that I started working out. Just to pass the time really! It was kind of fun though, and I made so many great friends. I started attending a social run at a local running store (shout out to Luke’s Locker!), and met a group that was training for half and full marathons. In 2010, we all ran the Chicago Marathon together. A couple of years later, I became a volunteer running coach with this particular marathon program and trained many to go on and run their very first marathons successfully. It was a great way for me to meet people and give back all at the same time.
Fast forward to today. Still working in television, now as a producer and loving it. Still running, still loving it, and simply addicted to the simple act of going out there and going for a run. Many people ask me…what KEEPS me running, after all of these years. What keeps that fire of desire burning so strong. I have to say that even after all of the accolades and wins, what keeps me going is knowing that I actually NEED running to get me through things. Hard things. To remind me every day that I am strong. That I am capable. That there is such a thing as pushing past limits and that you can do things that people say you can’t do. I have an insatiable desire to break barriers. To defy the word YOU CAN’T. You shouldn’t. Why would you. Frankly, why would you not? If things terrify you, if you have a fear, you should absolutely demolish it. Every single time. Face your fears, your demons. Whatever you want to call them. Always. And always, looking in the face of fear will make you strong and give you such a power that you feel that you can do absolutely anything.
So that is the reason why I keep going. Not for social media, not for friends. Many times, I am out on the roads, on the trails alone. Friends make this journey so much sweeter, challenge me and make me better. But what got me started and what has kept me going is that raw, that real…fear facing THING. That pushing past my limits THING. That passion, like a lover who you just can’t quit. Who you don’t want to quit. Who will always be in your life. It’s a passion that keeps burning strong.
Running, you teach me something every day and forever I will be student and keep wanting to learn things about you. It is a self discovery of sorts. It is a beautiful thing when you keep discovering things about yourself.
Happy Global Running Day to you all. Get out there.
Share with me your running story today! What keeps you going?