"One run can change your day, many runs can change your life."
I've been running ever since I can remember. It all started when my parents signed me up for track at the age of 5 and I've been running ever since. I ran my first marathon in 2015 and swore I would never do it again, but here I am 3 years later training for my 3rd & 4th marathon. Throughout my running journey, I’ve completed one 5k, three 10ks, six half marathons, and two marathons. It becomes an addiction!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am one of those obsessed runners. But in all honesty, running has just changed my life in so many ways. It saved me when I was in my lowest days. As many of you know I battle major anxiety and depression. Running has become an escape from it all, without it I don’t know what I would do or where I would be. I feel very fortunate to have an abled body that allows me to do the one thing I love the most. After dealing with an injury last year I am so blessed to be able to run. I feel so much stronger and have learned from my mistakes. No I'm not the best runner ever in life, but I don't have to be. Running is a lot like life. It is something you have to constantly work on every single day to get better.
Running gives you a feeling that can’t be explained, you have to experience it for yourself. I don’t know why more people don’t run. I hate when I hear people say "I hate cardio." If you have that mentality about running then you've got it all wrong. For me running is an escape, it has nothing to do with physical exercise. It's my time to zone out from the world around me and do something that makes me feel happy to be alive. When you realize running is mental exercise versus physical it becomes more clear why so many people love to run. The body is an incredible thing, but when it comes to running the mind is in control.
The thing that I love most about running is it teaches you that you are capable of more than you ever imagined. Each run teaches you something about yourself. I have ran many races and every time I learn something that will make me a better runner. You don't have to be the fastest, you don't have to be the strongest, you just have to have the heart to run. Every time I start to doubt myself and think I can’t even run 6 miles how am I ever going to run 26.2 miles, I tell myself Jess you’ve done it before and you will do it again!
If you aren’t a runner and want to be, do it! I promise it will change your life. I have had people reach out to me for advice on how to start. I know running can seem intimidating, but anybody can be a runner! You don't have to go out there and run a marathon right away, you just have to set small goals for yourself. I recommend starting by a run/walk mile and then keep building from there. Just know, there will be days where you don’t run as fast and other days where you feel like you are flying. But no matter good or bad, keep going. You’ll be surprised what happens when you start believing in yourself!
The best part about being a runner? The awesome people you will meet along the way! There is such a strong running community made up of the most amazing people that will cheer you on ever step of the way. I have met so many incredible people who are bad ass runners that I now call friends. It’s a beautiful thing when people get together who share the same passion. It takes a special kind of breed to be a runner. I get it running isn’t for everyone, but I dare you to just try it and tell me that it doesn’t change your life!