Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Journey to Running

My friend Megan suggested that I write about how I started running, so here we go!

I have always been an athlete. I played softball since the age of 8, basketball since 8th grade, and played both in addition to volleyball for my high school. I loved team sport more than anything. Running was an absolute hate-hate relationship in high school. Suicides at the end of every basketball practice was pure torture. Running poles after a softball game for errors during the game was the last thing I ever wanted to have to do. So, running was a punishment.
I quit my first full-time job in January of 2009 to pursue a graduate degree in school counseling. I wanted to attend the University of South Carolina but was accepted to Clemson for the Spring semester while USC's program didn't start until June. I figured why not move up there and get a head start and then transfer in June. Well I attempted this plan but it did not work out so well. I was in Clemson for three weeks and hated every minute of it. I was having a terrible day one day and I went to the gym and hopped on the treadmill and just ran. I ran for over an hour without stopping. I remember thinking "Wow, that actually felt pretty good" I left feeling somewhat accomplished. Later Mom called and said I got a letter from USC inviting me to attend an inverview for the program. SOOO...I dropped all my classes, packed up my car, and never looked back. I drove home that Thursday, had an inverview in Columbia Friday, and was accepted within a week.

Soo from February until June I didn't have much going on so I worked two jobs and hit the gym a LOT! The YMCA had a sign up sheet posted at their fitness desk about a half-marathon that they wanted to do in November of 2009. I thought "Hmmm...13 miles...I could probably do that. With a little encouragement from a past co-worker and friend, I put my name on the list and attended a meeting about the run and the training involved. Thank you to Steven, Lisa, and Charley for being at that meeting and encouraging me!

I still remember that very first group run. Steven, Missy, and I hit the streets of Flo-town for a sweaty 6 miler! When I was done, I had this amazing feeling about running 6 miles. It was such an accomplishment! We met every Saturday morning to train and it was so much fun. Thanks to these people, I have developed a love for running and personal fitness that will stick with me for a lifetime!

Very embarrassing shot of me at my college graduation party in December of 2007

Before leaving on our New Years cruise that same year
The gang at the finish line of our November 2009 Half-marathon

This picture captures everything I was thinking at that moment! Finished in 1:59:58...Not bad for a first timer!
The sis and I before hair and make-up at the Salon! I almost look like a different person here!

Random shot of being sprayed down with bug spray before entering the reception while admiring the bling! Everyone said that dress was made for me! :)

The sis and I before the ceremony!
And that, folks, is how my journey began!

It is not always easy and sometimes I don't always want to get out there and run but the feeling that running gives me and the motivation to be healthy and inspired a total lifestyle that makes it worth it every time! For this, I am so thankful!