You run for fun? It’s not a real sport. You don’t look like a runner. Don’t you get bored? Running is bad for your knees. Run, Forrest, run.
If you are a runner, you’ve probably heard at least ONE of these in your day. To clear these up though; I laugh and dance while I run so I have a blast, if you think it isn’t a sport you have never watched Jordan Hasay race, I look like a volleyball player and that’s okay I love my body, refer to above (I dance, I laugh, and I sing), running strengthens your knees (sitting on your butt is bad for your knees😉), and lastly, but my favorite because I LOVE (seriously know every word) Forest Gump, be original with yelling that at me but watch the movie it will change your life.💜
If you ask any runner why they run or why they started running, oddly enough, none of those reasons cross their mind. We all have a story. Since I’m new to the running blog world, I figured I’d give you an insight to why I am here. Why I run.
I was going to be the next Mia Hamm. I mean who wouldn’t want to be her? So my sister (who sparked my dream to be the next Mia) played soccer, I played soccer, she did club team and so I did club team. I played on a boys U-12 team when I was nine and I rocked that field like one (tough competitor if I say so myself 😜) of the boys. Fast forward and I made one of the best girls teams in Ohio. I was on the team for three years, making them some of my best friends and always my favorite memories. Spring of ’04 came around and my team and I were in the last tournament of the season. Championship game highlights; I broke my wrist, got yelled at by Dado to get back in the game (still to this day doesn’t give me slack about coming out of the game), broke it again, and my team won! But, you know how when you break something (hearing it crack), it is swollen, black and blue, the whole shebang (I mean it hurt like a
bitch) but your mom still makes you wait the “three days” til you go get it X-rayed? I mean c’mon! Wednesday came around and I got a cast and I got a phone call. My coach had an aneurysm and never woke up. I remember this phone call like it was yesterday. My heart broke and it still breaks thinking about it. He was the first person, that I can remember, that I was that close to, that I trusted, and that I had just seen a few days before. You have a special bond with your coach. It’s unexplainable unless you have had one like him. (On right)
I didn’t go to tryouts for the next fall season but promised it was just a “break”. If you know anything about my family, it was expected that you do a sport, blah, blah, blah. So no soccer meant I needed another fall sport… volleyball. Yeah, I didn’t make the team (I still think it was a God thing, see I’m not a V-ball player). I was 8th-grade-girl pissed. The only team left to start practice and not even have tryouts was the Cross Country team. Holla (sarcasm). I didn’t get it (running for fun that is) at the beginning. I got lost in the woods, I walked, and I hated it. And, that is how I became apart of the weirdest, yet most remarkable group of people I came to call my teammates, coaches, and best friends.
Watkins was so good to me. Honestly, I was just excited to be apart of something again. I never thought that the bond I had with my soccer coach could be replaced but man did my cross country coaches have the biggest hearts, I am so lucky. They taught me the sport that makes you feel alive. I could run with the guys, play Frisbee with the best of ’em, and even won a couple races (still blows my mind). These memories still live in me. Like I said, I was just happy to be apart of something bigger than myself. How cool is it to be apart of a team that has your back no matter what?!! Running is just as much a team sport as it is an individual sport. I ran for them and I ran for the running watch, the flip phone, and the other things my parents got me for winning 😜. (Shout out mom and dado for being there at every race, taking me to every practice, and always being my number one fans!!)
‘Land of the Cumbers’ bound to run cross country and track in the south. I actually lost some of my scholarship that first year. Why? I lost my reason to run. I was lost. I was reminded that I didn’t have a “runner’s body” daily and my faith was challenged more times than I can count in the bible belt.
The summer before my sophomore year I was out running and it hit me like a ton of bricks. My sister had just gone through another surgery and she was put in a wheelchair. About five miles from home and I started bawling, literally broken down. Here I am out running, feeling like it’s a burden and in came a huge slap in the face. God’s little reminder that there is always something bigger than myself. I was brought back to reality on that run that this gift that God gave me might not be changing someone else’s life but my sister was changing mine. I run for her. For all that she’s been through and all she will have to go through. For all the times she has been in pain, I can push that much harder. And, for all that she has done for me, the least I can do is try and be there for her.
My post college running life has shaped me into who I am today and I ran a freaking marathon! First of many I hope. There is always going to be someone faster than me and always going to be someone to learn from and that’s what’s so exciting about this sport! Post grad running has become the one thing in my life that’s mine. It’s my alone time with God. It’s when I have my best ideas. It’s my escape when everything in this world is going wrong. It’s crazy what running does to the brain. It’s changed my life.