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.
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.
I 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.
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.
My 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!
My 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.
Over 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.
This summer, we went to Louisville and ran the Color Run together.
I 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.