Hey guys! I’m turning the blog over to Chelsea today! She has such a a great story about becoming a runner; I’m sure you’ll love reading this as much as I did. Thanks again so much for your post Chelsea!!
Happy greeting to you all! Aren’t you so thankful for TeriLyn? [awww, thanks! :)] I hope women can find freedom and wholeness through health. Not just physical health, but emotional and spiritual health as well. I believe that every woman is powerful and beautiful and unique. My hope is that we can break the lies about our bodies and ourselves so that we can Live Free and Be Fit together!
I grew up overweight and blissfully unaware. I played sports, wore overalls and ate Nestle cookie dough right out of the sleeve like it was going out of style. It wasn’t until my teen years that I began to notice my extra 4 inches, both in height and width, were not normal. Thus began my unhealthy relationship with running.
Up through college I used running as a means of punishment for the occasional crazy night with Ben & Jerry or really any kind of poor eating. I would lace up and hate every step I took and every bite I inhaled. Treadmill or outside, it didn’t matter. I hated running. But like most unhealthy relationships, I couldn’t let it go.
It wasn’t until I was preparing to get married that I realized, I need to get healthy. Not skinny. Healthy. Because this incessant insecurity and punishment cycle, just isn’t working for me anymore.
I did a lot of research, sought wisdom from a lot of people and began my journey to whole and healthy. This looked like healing my relationship with food that was all out of wack. This looked like realizing exercise isn’t punishment, its medicine and love for your body. This looked like forgiving people who have hurt me and letting go of that anger. And of course, that took time.
One year, 30 pounds down, and a renewed mind later, I felt like I could take on the world. All done without any serious running. Score!
A year past, I kept up my same routine of exercise and diet and I maintained my weight loss for a year. Not too shabby! But something in me was craving a change.
When my girlfriend, who was pregnant I might add, asked me to train for a half marathon with her, I could not turn her down. If a pregnant lady wanted run a half marathon, I could certainly do it!
I had already made a resolution to not weigh myself for 2014, so weight loss would not be my motivation for running this 13.1 miles. But the idea of actually running that far was overwhelming. I could barely string 3 miles together and these plans had me running 4-5 miles a day! With long runs of 9, 10, 11, 12 miles! Are you kidding me?
I eventually landed on a plan that would fit my schedule and just did it. I didn’t look ahead in the plan. I didn’t measure my waist line as I went. I didn’t time it. I just ran.
Day by day I gained confidence. I started filling my mind with encouragements and enjoying the scenery as the miles passed. I would finish these runs and feel this inexplicable sense of accomplishment and strength. It was addicting.
Soon I began loving my runs. They were a time to challenge myself, reflect, and pray. They were peaceful and hard and emotional at times, but I loved it. I loved learning that my body was capable of so much more than I had used it for in the previous 23 years! I was proud of myself.
Before I knew it, I was reading running blogs and shopping for a good Gu. Wait. Had I become a runner?
I had always reserved the title “runner” for thin, spandex/visor wearing women but somewhere along the process I joined their ranks. I became a runner. I ran my race. And although I am no longer training or logging as many miles as I once was, I am convinced I am a runner. Because being a runner has nothing to do with your appearance and everything to do with the practice and love of the sport.
So if you are a beginner, dabbling with the idea of running, I challenge you to jump in with a good pair of shoes, own the process and say the sentence “I am a runner” until you believe it. You can do it and it will be worth it!