In 2011, I had known for a little while I needed a big life change. I went off to college in typical fashion in the fall of 2008– with the idea that I was entering into “the best four years of my life.” Well, 3 years and a whole lot of disenchantment, fast food, weight gain, and binge-drinking later, I was ready to finally make the leap. I left college without a degree, my tail between my legs, and moved 3.5 hours away to Mobile, Alabama, where my sister was in grad school. I wanted nothing more than to live with her, she’s my best friend, but she was a little worried we were going to hold each other back and get too cozy. Boy, am I happy to say she was wrong! We were able to use each other as super supportive springboards to launch into new adventures, namely running. We had done one 5k together in Auburn on a whim with zero training, and we had the itch to not only want to “look” like runners but also just be able to say we ran.
That dreaded first 5k– I might even still have that bib!
So we did! We were clueless as to what we were doing for the most part, but we wanted to be regulars at a weekly Tuesday evening event called Mellow Milers at the Mellow Mushroom near where we lived. We wanted to be a part of the running community. And I don’t know when we finally felt a part of it, but I feel like there’s no going back now. It’s been 7 years of struggle, persistence, races, training runs, blisters, chafing, huge mistakes, and even bigger accomplishments. Running has been one of the only things that has been consistent in my 20s, and I am so grateful to have had it to fall back on. Cause life gets choppy sometimes, and I think everyone needs a constant.
I mean let’s think about it– I was 22 when I started running, met Marcus when I was 23, ran my first marathon at 25 and got engaged the next day, had my first baby at 26, and am now 31 weeks pregnant with #2 and will be 28 at the end of August. I lived in Mobile, Alabama, then Panama City Beach, Crestview, Venice, now Spring Hill, Florida. There have been so many huge life changes all in that time, and running has given me an outlet for the stresses and has been a means to meet new people. It’s given me a confidence that I can handle pretty much anything when it starts to feel unbearable, and it’s given me things to plan and look forward to. I don’t know what on earth I would have leaned on (OTHER than my relationship with the Lord, y’all) physically had I not had running over the last several years. Chick-fil-A, maybe? That definitely didn’t serve me well in college!
All this to say, what grounds you when life is throwing changes and curve balls? What do you enjoy so much that you could do it anywhere? If you moved to a new community today, what would you be seeking out? Because if you don’t have an answer, I beg you to try running. There’s nothing like the excitement of seeing sidewalks in my community and seeing all the places I want to run. There’s nothing like exploring those commonly-traveled trails and parks that are so inviting and waiting to fill you with joy and endorphins. There’s just nothing like it. Nothing has made me more frustrated, proud, exhausted, pained, exuberant, and full of life as running consistently has. Nothing has challenged me and changed me as much as continuing to run through 2 pregnancies, except maybe motherhood. Cause that shit will challenge you, too 😉
I also have an amazing new fat bomb recipe to share with you guys, if you’re into the whole low carb high fat thing. Stay tuned! They’re mega coconutty!