My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roadrunner Files: YOUR Stories

Most people that start running/exercising do so for a reason. Health, weight, in support of someone else, to reach a goal, and so on.

I personally believe that the story of a runner is what makes a runner. The story of a person is what makes the person. This post is not for runners only. It is for anyone out there who has ever started any sort of exercise or fitness program. Even if you aren’t currently exercising, you can contribute. If you ever have exercised, started a fitness program, began running, or anything similar. We all have something to gain, and to give, from this.

Throughout my years as a runner, I have been a witness to, and have heard about so many amazing stories out there! For example:
A friend who doesn’t run, trained for and ran a breast cancer 5K for her sister with breast cancer. My mother, trained for and ran a ½ marathon on her 55th birthday!
My first marathon I ran was one month after the attack on 9/11. One guy, who was not a runner at heart, ran the entire marathon holding up a full size American Flag. His brother had been killed in the attacks. We all ran the marathon wearing the name of someone who had been killed that day. Instead of a loud band playing fun songs at the starting line, all 4000 of us runners stood in silence and saluted the flag as the National Anthem played before the gun went off. There was not a dry eye there.

The stories inspire. The stories motivate. The stories keep us going on the days we don’t want to put those shoes on and go. The stories are what make us start in the first place.

I have a story, actually I have a few. My story changes depending on the phase of life I am in. I will share with you, but only if you will share with me. Allow me to get personal. ;)

I began running out of having nothing better to do. I was always active up through High School, and when I got to college, I found that if I wanted to stay active, since I was not longer able to do things with a team, I had to find something I could do myself. So, I started putting one foot in front of the other and went from there. I ran to stay fit and to be healthy. With some major coaxing from some cousins and trained for and ran my first marathon that year. I got hooked.

A while later, after I had been out of the country for a while doing a service thing, I was back to square one. I hadn’t run in five months, I had gained weight from the food we ate in Ecuador, and I had to start all over again. This time, my reason for starting, was to gain back what I had lost. I had a really bad experience my last week in Ecuador that left me in a mental mess when I got home. I had lost myself in a way. Running and God were my way back, and each step eased my pain and allowed me to work out the whirlwind of fear, unease, and confusion swirling inside of me.

A short time later I ran to overcome. As a result from that experience in Ecuador the last week I was there, and with the weight gain, my self esteem hit rock bottom. I developed an eating disorder. It was getting pretty bad by the time an angel friend of mine got help for me. I was using my control over food, or lack of, to gain control that I felt was lost. Through God, therapy, a loving and supportive family, and running, I became whole from that terrible disease, and learned to overcome. I ran my second marathon with a healthy and whole mind and body that year. It was a big deal to me.

Then, life went on. I got married to the man I love. Mary was born, and before I knew it, running was a thing of the past. I didn’t think that running and pregnancy would go well together, so I stopped. Then Sam came along. After I had him, we moved to California. Very far from family. Life got busy with the two kiddos, but the kind of busy where you do so much but don’t get anything done. I started to feel overwhelmed, lonely and unhappy. Ben gave me a pair of new running shoes for Christmas that year. What a man! They were my answer. I started running again, and oh the joy it brought to me! The freedom, the endorphins and the release of all that frustration! And at that time I ran for sanity, peace, and release. I completed my third Marathon a little over a year later.

I got pregnant soon after that marathon, but 16 weeks into the pregnancy, we lost our precious baby. Because of the way I lost the baby, complications in surgery and an illness I contracted in the hospital, I was not able to even stand up, much less run. I was told it would take 6 months for my body to get back to a good blood level. I decided one day as I lay there on the couch crying for my baby and crying for my sick body, that I wouldn’t let it beat me. I would overcome this, get my running shoes on, and show them who was boss. Because of God, I was able to begin jogging again three months before the doctors thought was possible. I ran to prove to myself that I could choose my attitude and the way I would handle what life gave me.

I got pregnant soon after, and 9 months later William was born. We moved from Colorado Springs 7 weeks after that. Needless to say, that once again, running had been put on hold. A month after living here in Utah, I found that I just flat out missed running. I had learned to love it. Now, I run because it is what I love. It makes me feel good. It rejuvenates me. It keeps me healthy. It makes me set goals. It gives me something to look forward to. And let’s face it, it keeps me sane. Disclaimer: I absolutely adore my children, they are good kids. And my husband is wonderful. I am happy with my life. As a young mother, it can get stressful though, that is where the “running keeps me sane” comes from.

So, that’s my running story.
The reason for this post, was not for me to give you all of life history of my running, it was to lay it all out there to make it more comfortable for YOU to share yours. We all have something to gain by those who are willing to give. Give us your story. The comment section has lots and lots of room.

Even if you aren’t exercising, but have a goal to start up soon, tell us about your goal! A goal not written down is a goal that probably won’t happen. So write it down here, among friends.

What motivates you? What goals do you have? Who has inspired you?

We all start somewhere, and that somewhere is with a story, a purpose, or a goal.

Share with us, I dare you!

Up next….Where do I begin?
Advice and how to’s when it comes to starting up running program.


Megan said...

I think we must have the same ex-gymnast thing going on because I about went crazy when I no longer had a coach or a team to push me. Same story with kids too, exercise got put on hold. Not to mention our 6 moves in 5 years. Exercise popped up here and there, but was never permanent.

I am just now feeling hooked. I started a class at the gym to survive the long dark winter here. Then I went swimming and found that the class and mothering 2 children had given me the endurance I was missing for a long time.

So that was it, I signed up for some very difficult races and boy that gives me the motivation to keep going.

But I also totally agree that as a mother of young children, exercise and racing has to be a permanent part of my life. I'm actually feeling emotional about it right now because it brings me so much release, joy and rejuvenation to come home and be a better mom.

And that's the real reason I'm hooked. It's a win-win hobby. I feel better, I look better, and I act better towards my children. Why would I ever cut that out of my life?

Kariner said...

I'm not nearly as noble or motivated as you are, Becky. The reason I run (when I do run) and the reason for all my exercise is I can eat more food. :)I really like food.

runningfan said...

Oh, this makes me want to run again. Maybe someday! There's nothing like pounding the pavement and being alone with my thoughts. I have received significant inspiration while running, bonded for life with friends while running, healed my heart while running, achieved goals while running, and done things I thought I couldn't do while running. Such a fabulous sport...

Familia Morales said...

I started running 1 1/2 years ago. My husband was working All.the.Time! He was up at the crack of dawn and didn't come home until 10pm or after. The kids got to see him only when we dropped dinner off at his office. I was going insane. So I signed up for a half marathon and started training for it. It was exactly what I needed. The hours on the treadmill helped work out my frustration with the job. It gave me a break from 3 needy (but still lovable) kids. I love it now. It's my preferred method of escaping and unwinding.

My goal now is to run an 8 minute mile--I'm a slow runner, so 8 minutes is a big thing for me.

I also want to run another 1/2 marathon to improve my time. The first 1/2 I did my worst nightmare came true and I came down the a fever and chills 2 days before the race. I still ran, but I know I can do better.

tiff snedaker said...

I wandered over from Chris & Natalie's (Snedaker) blog and wanted to say hi!

I love this post, and it's so true. Last March I'd never run more than a couple miles. Then I ran a half, and then a marathon last September. I definitely know what they mean about runner's high. But you are right, we all start doing it for a reason.

Thanks for sharing your stories, ups and downs, makes it very real!

I swear I saw you at the Thanksgiving Point Half as I ran that one too, but I wasn't 100% sure if it was you or if you would even remember us from back in Rexburg. :)

Good luck with your training!

P.S. Your kids are adorable!!

Lisa said...

A little over a year ago I saw on Facebook a group for a zombie themed 5K. My husband has a funny obsession with zombies (not watching gory movies--but like reading 'survival guides'). I shared the link with him just to say-ha ha funny right---a run where you can be either a survivor or a zombie 'chasing' the survivors. Well, being both 'non-runners' I was surprised when he said he was tempted to do it. I was a few months post-partum with Alex and needing something to help me get into better shape, so we decided we'd start running. We researched out and found a jogging stroller which I got for Mother's Day, found a "from couch potato to 5K" program that started out really slow and worked you up to a 5K within 2-3 months. It was fun to go out together and though I'm still not in love with running it definitely was the best experience I've had with it and we're planning on doing it again this summer. (I quit after I got pregnant with my second and started having bad hip pain when running). I admire those who dedicate themselves and run like you do!