That Running Story

This is the post where I tell you all about how I fell in love with running. I personally love these sort of blog posts, so I hope you enjoy my story.

It all started with soccer.

Wait, what?

elise M -Yep, that’s right. Soccer was my first love. I played soccer from 1st grade until my freshman year of high school.

I played for the YMCA for most of that time, and I absolutely loved the game and my teammates who returned every spring and every fall. My coaches were fantastic, supportive and helped me have a great experience.

4-16 eliseM9I played midfield most of the time, which made sense because mostly what I was good at was running up and down the field all game. My ball handling skills were alright, and I was always a little afraid of getting physical. So, I ran up and down the field as instructed.

eliseM 1 4-09This worked great at the YMCA and later on when I played in a local Catholic league, but when I joined the freshman girls’ soccer team, I realized my strengths were no longer worth much to the team.

The girls on the team were not very nice and the coach was mean. I had never had a mean coach before. I wasn’t sure how to handle it. I spent a lot of time on the bench and was terrified about actually playing because I usually did something wrong.

After my experience on the soccer team, I knew something needed to change. I wanted to find a sport I could participate in, get in shape and really feel good about myself. That’s when I turned to cross-country.

My mom has run basically her entire life, and that made me resent the concept of “running.” I was not interested in running at all, despite the fact that I had always been pretty good at it and my best friend Hannah had joined the cross-country team during the fall of our freshman year.

She had a fantastic experience, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to join. It was only after my soccer season that I realized I needed to make a change in my athletic experience. So I swallowed my pride and signed up for cross-country the fall of my sophomore year.

The experience changed my life.

63024_432726188182_614616_nMy first race was a two mile season “kick-off” race. I ran on the JV team, while Hannah ran varsity. I didn’t know my own strength, but I ran FAST and found myself sliding into that seventh varsity spot. I never imagined I would be on a varsity sport in high school!

315_1026600387538_3508_nMy first varsity race was so cool. We ran as a pack and I ran faster than I ever thought I could. Having my friends running with me helped me push myself. This seemed to be the theme of this wonderful sport: everyone supports everyone else.

354_35693576921_8044_nOver the next three years, I battled injuries, fell off the varsity team and ran some bad races. But none of that mattered as much as the memories I had of the wonderful practices and that feeling you get when you’ve run your hardest.

IMGP1897

IMGP2047There is nothing like running a race and knowing your friends are there cheering for you as loud as they can.

322_82167470251_251_n

IMGP2092And there’s nothing like theĀ camaraderie in running. The relationships I’ve made from the sport have continued after our last race.

IMGP1831I still get together to run with Hannah, Melissa and Geri during school breaks, despite the fact that we all go to different schools.

This summer, we went to Louisville and ran the Color Run together.

255292_426154994097007_1963940192_nI’ve also found a form of exercise I can do for the long-term. Running makes me feel strong, beautiful and happy.

me1I hope to continue to reach for new goals and personal records. I want to run faster, farther and better. Or, sometimes, slower and easier. I want to keep myself motivated to continue to love running.

So that’s my running story. I’m so happy I have one to share with you.

trophey2

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3 thoughts on “That Running Story

  1. Pingback: Late Night and Leftovers | Expeditions of Elise

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