The other day I was trying to figure out what moves me. What has brought me to this place of run love and coaching others to success? I couldn’t put my finger on it. There is no one aha moment where I suddenly discovered what makes me tick, what my ultimate dream or goal was. Not one. There are instead, a lot of little moments that drove me to this point.
Newsflash, life does not always (usually never), give you a straight forward answer. Instead it gives you moments, and in those moments, you discover who you really are. Sometimes it may just take one. Other times it can take hundreds and maybe that journey will even last years. But in the end, the moments make you.
I think this is what often scares people away from exercise when they are new to it. They may not have had some exercise epiphany, they just know they should do it. They want to WANT to do it, but they don’t know how to get here. My advice is to take small steps. Show up every day. You never know when that moment will be where exercise or running just becomes a part of who you are. Put in the work, show up, and reap the results.
It might actually surprise you that I did not always enjoy running. I played basketball throughout high school and college and running was a part of this. But to just go out and run for 3-5 miles? I wouldn’t do that, and I thought those who did were a little crazy.
It wasn’t until after college that I began to miss the cardio benefits that basketball had given me. I signed up for my first 5k, raced without even training, and finished with a fairly good time. I wasn’t hooked yet, but I felt so accomplished having finished 3 miles without stopping!
On a whim, I put my name in for the Nike Women’s Marathon lottery, telling myself if I got in I would train and see what came of it. Luckily, I got in on my first try. Here I was, in 2011, running my first marathon with hardly any running or racing experience. That did not deter me. When I decide to do something, I absolutely do it. There is no giving up.
I showed up race day, with my longest training run having only been 14 miles, and pushed through to the finish in 4:45 and some change. I was a marathoner! It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but so worth it. It opened so many doors to where I am today and who I am today.
A Door Opens and a Dream is Realized
In 2012, I received an invitation from Nike Women to train with them for the Nike Women’s Marathon for a second time. I was stunned, shocked, and excited for the opportunity. I have always had the dream of working for Nike and the fact that they chose me out of thousands, millions of others, to represent and train with them was a wild and crazy dream come true. It opened my eyes to the possibilities that I have by simply trying new things, challenging myself, and sharing that with others.
I went on to work with them for the four months leading up to the race and enjoyed an amazing race weekend promoting the brand and running the race that started it all for me, my second marathon.
How I Got to Where I am Now
Following that race and experience, I really began to see how the running world was growing and changing and I wanted to be a part of it. I began focusing more on my blog and more on promoting running in general. The great thing about running is that it can be done anywhere and at any time. It’s a timeless sport because it’s been around since the beginning of time. No equipment required (though we all know a good pair of Nike’s never hurt anyone).
I have been lucky enough to work with various fitness brands, some I have reached out to, and others have contacted me. I am always grateful and still a bit in awe when a brand sees me as influential and someone that they believe can help their brand grow and is a trusted voice in the running community.
My blog and running doesn’t completely pay the bills, I also work as a freelance writer, train clients and lead group fitness classes. I wish I could just get paid to run, pro athlete style, but I came to running a little too late in life and wasn’t blessed with those Olympic Marathon time genes. 🙂 You know what, that is ok. Running for me is a lifestyle now and it will always be a part of who I am.
What Motivates Me
I am motivated by how I feel after a run and how I can help others by just being me. That is what life is about. Discover yourself, discover your passion, and share it. That is the only way to truly be successful. Whatever your dream or passion may be. Go for it. Life is meant to be lived.