Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How Running Saved My Life...

It's hard to believe that just over a year ago I was depressed, grossly overweight and totally inactive.

I'm lucky enough to have friends and family that loved me no matter what, but did I really love me? I mean, how can you say you love someone yet treat them so poorly?

Then I started running. I never really believed I COULD run. I told myself (and anyone who would listen) that I only run if something is chasing me and even then, I'd probably let them catch up. However, I decided to try. I did C25K...

Then I started B210K before realizing I actually LIKED to run and didn't really need an app, I just wanted to go out and do it.

I made more time with my friends who shared my passion. I read articles, took advice, made new friends who wanted to run too. I started signing up for races. First a 5K, then another and another. Then a mud run, then a 10K, a few more 5Ks, a couple more 10Ks and a half marathon.

I did 12 races in 2011.

 I signed up for a very difficult summer series where we ran cross country trails with kids half my age who finished the race as I was passing mile marker #1.

I started waking up at 5:45am to get my runs in.

I started waking up at 7:30am on Saturdays to meet my training partner.

I started living a different life.

I started living.

For me, running became a way to play sports without sucking. I'll never be an all star at competitive sports because I care more about having fun than winning. With running you can lose but still win! How? You run against yourself. You don't need to scout other players to see how they play. You have total control over how good you are or how bad you suck. If you train, stretch, become comfortable with the road and make achievable goals...you will meet or exceed your goals and you will win....regardless of what place you come in during the race.

For running, it's not about the finish time, it's about the finish line. I've made it to every finish line. I've never been last in a race (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I continuously improve my time because I strive to get the most out of my new and improved body.

I love being a runner.
I love telling people that I run half marathons.
I love signing up for races and researching where I could go to run.
I love buying workout clothes and running shoes.
I love finding the perfect song and downloading it onto my shuffle.
I love learning of the newest accessory, supplement, electrolyte drink, power bar...

I love how when I hit the road I can work out whatever is going on in my head. I end each run with a clarity that I don't think I've ever had.

There are days when I think to myself, "If I could go for a run right now, all of this would get figured out." I love my ever-growing collection of medals, race bibs and race shirts.

I love how I feel stronger, sexier and healthier.

I love myself. The difference is visible in my body and my heart.

Running saved my life....maybe it could save yours?

~HKS 1/30/2012

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