How I Fell in Love with Running

 Photo by   Josh Campbell

Photo by Josh Campbell

A lot of people cringe at the thought of running. Believe me, I used to too. I started running on the dreadful dreadmill - I mean treadmill - when I first entered the fitness world approximately 5 years ago. I was more of a gym head than anything else when I first started; I signed up at Planet Fitness and would mostly just do the elliptical machine for 45 minutes everyday, 5 days a week. That got real old real quick for me. So, I decided to switch to L.A. Fitness. Unlike Planet Fitness, they offered classes like spin, bootcamp, and so much more. I was stoked! I started taking classes, meeting new people, and I became a regular. I would see always see the same Brazilian ladies, who were shredded to death, lifting weights. I wanted to learn their secrets. So, I decided to subscribe to different fitness magazines and started reading more and more about weight training.

I literally became the girl version of a meathead (I know, right?). I even went to depths of taking pre-workout supplements and protein shakes before and after every workout. I felt pretty cool walking in the gym, taking my pre-workout drink while heading to the locker room, like "HEY! Look at me! I'm drinking a pre-workout to give me insane jitters and making my heart rate go off the Richter in about 15 minutes!" Once I got settled, I plugged myself in with my iPod shuffle, looked for the perfect jump-start song, which, for me, was "Power" by Kanye West. I settled into a routine: first up was abs. Then, a different body part of the day. Finally, at last, running as cardio to wrap up my workout. I hated it.

1 mile and I was dead. I would switch it up with a spin class every other day, but running day was still horrible to me. I didn’t let that stop me. I kept up with it and did the switch-off for a good while until I started getting the hang of running. There's a lake a few minutes away from where I live that's approximately 3 miles to loop it, so I started running that when the weather was nice. There are also beaches within 10-15 minutes away from me where I would do 3 miles at most and it made me feel super accomplished! You see, I've never played sports. Ever. So this whole active lifestyle was pretty fresh to me. But, it was a welcome change.

Fast forward to the end of Spring 2015, I decided to finally end an on and off relationship. I felt super free and like huge weights were lifted off of my shoulders. However, I still had my moments of cliché vulnerability, thinking "why did he do that to me?" while sobbing... so, I ran to keep my mind off that BS. And then I ran some more. Three times a week turned into five times a week, 3 miles turned into 3.5 miles, then turned into 4 miles, then into 5 miles. Finally, I hit the big 7 miles! I ran from Red Rock Beach to Nahant Beach and back towards the Fisherman's Beach. This was a big, HUGE deal for me, and I’ll always remember it. It was foggy that day and kind of humid. I ran on the hard sand through the fog and it almost felt like I was running with the clouds! It was pretty cool and very reaffirming. Just Kanye and I.

I then decided to share my runs on Instagram. One Instagrammer, @Marquis_Mark "liked" my photos. I clicked on his page and a light bulb lit up in my head. His page are all his run views of Portland, Oregon. This inspired me. I decided to run more and show more of how beautiful Boston is! It felt like an amazing opportunity to showcase my skills and my city. I skipped 5k and 10k races and ran my first half marathon September of 2015 in Brooklyn, of all places! With 4 half marathons under my belt, I decided to register for the big 26.2 in Chicago. I got in through the lottery and ran my very first full marathon on my birthday weekend on October 2015! Needless to say, it was an amazing way to kick off the next year of my life. Through social media and posting my runs, I have met so many cool people who have inspired me (and continue to do so) to keep at it, not knowing that I actually started inspiring other people as well. That makes all of this feel even more worth it.

And that, my friends, was the beginning of it all!

  Photo by  Josh Campbell

Photo by Josh Campbell