So it seems like a lot of people who start blogs have a “story.” Said story typically involves either coming to a realization that the choices one is making might not be the healthiest. They turn their life around and lose a bunch of weight or become super fit and an awesome athlete. Well, that’s not my story. I’ve never struggled with my weight. I’ve pretty always been pretty slender and leaned toward healthier food choices, with moderation in mind. This is mostly due to the fact that I grew up in a family that did indeed struggle with weight/health issues and my mother was pretty determined to teach me otherwise (thanks mom). I also got my Dad’s good genes.
However, I haven’t always been a “runner.” I really started to appreciate running when I had a pretty traumatic event in my life turn my world upside down. Running became a way to cope, a way to deal with the stress and make myself feel like, well, myself again. Sometimes I’d run fast and hard to pound out frustration or anger. Sometimes I’d run slow and just take in my surroundings as a sort of meditation.
A few years later, my father passed away suddenly of a heart attack. I was 23. No one should ever have to lose a parent when they’re 23. Running, once again, was my salvation. I would run myself to tears every now and then. So now when I run races, I run for him. I can feel him pushing me and smiling at me in awe. He wasn’t a man of many words, but when I ran my first half marathon and called to tell him about, I could feel the pride he felt for me in his words. As it turned out my father had heart disease from smoking all his life and not taking good enough care of himself.
My father’s disease pushes me to be even more thoughtful about what I put into and how I take care of my body. I run, bike, hike and stay active because I want to run and play with my own children some day. I eat well and take care of myself so I can hopefully encourage other people to do the same.
Running will always be my love because it’s a true companion and comfort when all else fails. I suppose that’s my story in a nutshell. Run on friends.