How it all began

I realized I’ve never told you guys how I started running. It’s kind of a funny story actually.

I was in 7th grade and my gym teacher was offering extra credit for participating in a 5k after school one day. I had run a couple of 5k races in the past (Race for the Cure, I believe) but never anything where I cared about my time. I remember running that race. We only lived a few blocks from the middle school, so my dad and little sister came to watch and brought our dog, Dax. I also remember seeing my next door neighbor, Becca, there with a boy (this is important to the story, I promise) who were both a year older than me. At the end of the race, I found out I had placed (my pride wants to say 1st in my grade but I really don’t remember) and I won a little bit of money, something I totally and completely was NOT expecting.

Becca then came up to me with this boy. Little did I know, my whole future was about to change. They were both on the high school cross-country team, which you could start training with as an 8th grader and then competing with starting in 9th grade. Becca told me that when this boy (if I remembered his name I would use it…) has seen me running he had told her “She needs to be on the cross-country team!”.

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And that was that. Had it not been for that dumb, after school race, had it not been for that boy who came with my neighbor to the race, I would probably never have even considered joining the cross-country team. But when school got out, I found myself joining the high schoolers for their 7 am practices all summer long. Since I was in 8th grade that next year, I couldn’t compete, but I was able to take part in a couple of invitationals. My coaches told my mom I was a natural and better than the fastest girls on the team had been at my age. I had potential!

Unfortunately, I was an idiot, as most teenagers are, and didn’t do cross-country my 9th grade year. I really wish I had because when I decided to go back my 10th grade year, I was way behind girls I had been better than the year before. I lost so much in the one year of training! Of course I got better. I ran cross-country my 10th and 11th grade years and my high school PR ended up being 21:53, a time I can only dream of hitting right now!

Right before my senior year, my family moved to Texas. My new high school was 40% Asian (not kidding) and true to stereotypes, the school excelled at academics and music but struggled in sports. Seriously, I wish I was making this up. I was heavily involved in all three of those areas (I played the violin) but because I had to take some extra classes to fulfill Texas high school requirements that Utah didn’t have and because you had to have a class period to devote to a sport, I had to choose between orchestra and cross-country and orchestra won. I really don’t know which choice I would have regretted more. I don’t currently play the violin but I miss it constantly! I do run now, but what if I could have run that year and received an athletic scholarship?! Where would my life be now?? So many what ifs. But you can’t live in the past. I chose violin and didn’t run my senior year.

I ran a little bit on and off through college but really college was me learning through experience all the unhealthy habits I SHOULDN’T be doing. Too many carbs, too many treats, too much soda, not enough veggies, fruits, exercise or sleep. Regardless of the fact that my major was all about exercise and a healthy human body, I was a horrible mess, health-wise, and I’m still trying to dig myself out of that pit I created for myself. You have to learn somehow right? πŸ™‚

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One day during my senior year of college, I thought about how I’d always wanted to run a half marathon. Then I realized (as I so often do) “wait…why don’t I?! What’s stopping me?!” So I went home that night and signed up for my first one. After that race, I was hooked. I had caught the bug and I wanted to run every half marathon in the world, but I never dreamed (or wanted!) to run a marathon.

Then earlier this year, I had been reading Janae’s blog about a women’s running retreat she was speaking at and wishing I could go. I then had another “wait…why don’t I?!” moment and signed up! This was another life changer for me. Not only did I have an incredible experience, make wonderful new friends in Janae and Elizabeth and run my 3rd half marathon, I realized again how much I LOVE learning about the human body and all the ways to make it healthy! I was also reminded how much I love running and how I wanted to help other people lead healthier lives. I came home, started this blog, signed up for my first marathon,Β changed my future career plans, and have been on this crazy journey ever since.

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I’m so grateful for the boy who told a little 13-year-old girl she should join the high school cross-country team. My life has never been the same since and I couldn’t be happier about it.

How did your love affair with running/exercise/fitness journey start?

Did you compete in anything in high school?

Any other orchestra nerds out there??

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30 thoughts on “How it all began

  1. I love stores like this! I started running about 8 yrs ago mainly to lose the freshman 15 (more like 25), but it eventually became a way of life for me now. I can’t imagine my life without running being involved and I love it!

  2. Love this story! So awesome! I ran track in middle school and focused soley on softball into college. The end of my freshman year of college I started running to keep in shape and fell in love with it!

  3. I love hearing how people get into running πŸ™‚ I also love the picture with Elizabeth.
    I didn’t run in middle school or high school but I really wish I would have. I played softball from 3rd grade through high school instead and danced. πŸ˜› I didn’t start running until my last year in college… what was I thinking?!

  4. I love this! So cool! I didn’t start getting into healthy living until the Spring semester of my Junior year of college. I started out with yoga, Pilates, and Zumba and was loving the weight I was losing. One day I decided to try running and it stuck. I didn’t get really serious about it until ~2 years ago, but now I love it (obviously) and just want to run all the races πŸ˜‰ I’m not ready to run a full marathon yet, but it’s definitely on my bucket list! I played volleyball in high school, but I got cut from the team after getting hurt my junior year 😦 I was so sad because I had played since 4th grade! But I got over it! I used to play the flute, but I gave it up when I got to HS because I didn’t want to be nerdier than I already was (I’m pretty nerdy). Sometimes I regret it, though.

  5. Um, I feel like you’re a celebrity because you got to meet Janae. All those bloggers seem so famous to me, but I’m cray. Back to your post – very unique story. I wish I had been more into running when I was younger because starting when you’re 22, 23 is difficult with all the people around you who have been doing it for so long. You are a phenomenal runner!! My high school activity was swim team! I was at every meet and every practice until I had to quit junior year. I miss it sometimes…. 😦

    • haha Janae’s really sweet. We still chat now and then. I was supposed to meet up with her on Saturday but had to work. I was super sad!!! I know what you mean though πŸ™‚
      I’m jealous you swam! Swimming is such an awesome workout. I’m not that great at it. I mean, I can stay afloat. I’m just not good at using it as a workout.

  6. I am a new reader and I love this post! Great story of you of why you started running. I started running because I was gaining weight. I am from Philippines originally where I’m used to having small portions. When I moved here in the US, everything is big! I indulged and I started packing the pounds on! That’s when I learned that I had to do something. I started running and joined races and pounds slowly went down. Now, I’m addicted to running! πŸ™‚

  7. Such an awesome story! I kind of wish I had started running as a kid. I danced, and it made me very fit, but endurance was incredibly difficult for me to adjust to.

  8. Pingback: Happy National Running Day! | see this girl run

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