At 28, one of the few things that have stayed consistent in my life is RUNNING. Whether it was competitively or just for fitness or leisure, I have always been able to rely on my legs to take me anywhere and back. It has always been my “go to” form of exercise and ultimately it was what allowed me to be WHO I am today.
I officially started running in my sophomore year of high school. And for me, it was a very rough start. I remember starting with indoor track season and I was somehow labeled the “distance” runner. But in my soul I wanted to be cool like the sprinters. I was just never fast enough. Lets face it, I lacked the leg length, the lean physique and fast twitch muscle fibers. I probably came up with a million other reasons why I couldn’t be a sprinter just to justify being labeled as a long distance runner.
Anywho, my main track events were the 1600m, 800m and shot put (why? I have no idea). I attempted hurdles once but after a VERY EMBARRASSING fall in practice (involved rolling and hitting another hurdle), I never tried again. Besides I was like 5’4″ and the hurdle height was so much higher for guys (plus I was big-boned lol).
Fast forward for my first indoor track meet…….total FAILURE! I lined up for the 1600m event, gun goes off, I start running. One lap down, seven more to go…….or NOT!?!?! As soon as I was about half away through my second lap I ran straight to my coach on the sidelines and told her I couldn’t finish. Over the years since that day, I have come up with several reason why this moment still haunts me:
- Pressure from my first race EVER!
- I was dead last already (I’m pretty sure I got lapped too)
- I’m pretty sure I should of been placed in a different wave. (like the LAST one)
- I was fat and out of breath already.
- I could never amount to anything
- I was a loser
- Maybe I should of been on the chess team.
- Again I was fat…(although many don’t recall me EVER being fat, I was just more evenly distributed)
However, this event only pushed me to work harder with my coach towards my events and future ones there after. Coach Horesco, even made me captain (clearly my dedication and work ethic outweighed my lack of physical running abilities). She saw me for the leader and dedicated person I could be over anything else. From there, it was outdoor track and then cross country. I ran, I got that endurance to do my events and I never ran off the sidelines again during an event.
Coach Horesco even teamed up with Coach Wojnarowicz (capital prep coach at the time) during the summer of 2006 and created a running camp which I was dedicated to and it really motivated me into college.
THEN college came…..Did I run on a team? No. Did I try to run a team? No. Why? I don’t know. College was busy for me because I had classes full-time, clinicals part-time for radiography and a full-time job at the Marriott (only possible through 3rd shift). I mainly ONLY ran to stay somewhat fit and active but regardless I gained the dreadful freshmen 15 and then some. I also had spiky hair so I just overall looked like an overweight hedgehog. But I graduated Magna Cum Laude and that counts for something right?
During my senior year of college I did however surprisingly got tricked into running my first half marathon. My sister, Olivia had suggested that we do the half marathon together and somehow on race day she was signed up for the 5k and I was running my FIRST Half marathon with absolutely no proper training. I set a goal for myself to complete the race in 2 hours, however I missed that goal by 1 minute!
This time period of running for me really was an athletic era where I had to deal with WHO I AM as a person and gain the confidence I needed to achieve greatness (or set/achieve goals if you will). Becoming active in high school really set me up to see and experience new things and learn more about my mental obstacles and how sometimes that could hinder your physical abilities. If I could go back in time I would of tried running as early as freshmen year and allow myself to learn and grow even sooner.