So here I am: Writing my first ever blog. About to pace my first ever race. I didn’t plan to be here. It might not seem like a big deal to most people, but for me, it means so much because it represents a lot of forwarding progression that took a lot of hard work.
Running has changed my life. Well, it is not running itself that has changed my life. There is more to the story. It is the people who I have met and the personal growth I have experienced while being a runner that has changed my life.
I don’t think I can express my gratitude and humbleness for where I am today in words, but I will do my best. I am so grateful today to be where I am, that I am teary-eyed when I think about it. Who am I kidding, I have been more than teary-eyed; I have been crying hard. When I started running, my heart was broken (June 2018). Some healing was done the 2 years before; however, after becoming apart of the running community, I made the most progress in my healing process. Have you heard that when you do what your creator designed you to do, you will flourish? If that is true, then God designed me to be very social and very active while loving people to the best of my ability. I get to do all of this through being apart of the running community. I feel more full than I have ever felt in my life, despite the lowest point in my 38 years of life being only 3 years ago. I healed, and I learned how to love people better because of my pain. I think that is what it is all about; Loving people.
For anyone in a low spot, come alongside me, spend time, and try running with me. Join this beautiful running community that has been created. You don’t have to be good; you just have to keep showing up.
Showing up to what you ask? Well, for me, it was running groups. It was the discipline of going to a group week after week while making friends and connections with people who were kind to me. It was the people I ran with, the hours I spent with them, the talks, the unfamiliar faces, the familiar faces, picking each other up when we were down, encouraging each other when we were up, and the sense of accomplishment we shared that has touched my heart so deeply. It is all of you, the people God put into my life, through running, who bring me the real joy! Just by showing up, you help my cup overflow. Whether you are a stranger or a friend, you impact my life when we cross paths. I’m thankful to have met you.
Then from there, it was volunteering, encouraging, and supporting within the running community. Also trying new things like writing a blog and pacing.
My most proud running accomplishments:
– I started running again June 2018
– ran my first marathon at “The Great Wall” in China April 2019
– I completed my first full Ironman in Boulder, CO June 2019
“You never know until you try!”
Here are a few really great FREE fitness groups that I recommend new people connect with and seek out the kindest people.
Hills & Stairs – Wednesday 6:30pm
November Project – Wednesday 6am
Westside Stride – Tuesday 6pm
More Advanced Free Groups:
West Michigan Trail Runner’s – Sat 8am
Dirty Herd – Sunday at 4pm or 6pm depending on the time of the year
*Also “RunGR” is great but there is a small fee *There are many other groups as well that are great! So seek something convenient for you or try them all!