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When most people hear me say that I love running, they tend to look at me like I’m out of my mind. As a little kid, I was always running around and my mom told me that I was “busy making.” I can’t sit still. I must move.

I remember when I was young and ran with the parks and recreation team for my town. I remember my first two weeks of running competitively. The coach for the girls’ team had me train with the boys because she saw potential in me for a running career. I trained with the boys. I ran all distances, too: 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters and long jump. As I went into high school the range of events grew: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 3200m, long jump and all the relays (4x400m,4x200m, 4x100m.)

Down the road, I had to put running on hold due to multiple injuries. From that moment on, I knew something was not aligned. When I got back to running I focused on training myself within the cross-country team because I understood that I was the only one that knew how to handle running with chronic pain.

I can tell you that running with chronic pain is one of the worst feelings that I’ve encountered as an athlete. I took what I learned from previous years of training with the boys at a young age, namely that you need to listen to your body and do what works for you.

This realization prepared me for when I signed up for cross country and track and field in college. The young men on the team were like my brothers. They pushed me to my best, but they learned to understand what I was going through, constantly, when I ran. Most people, when I’ve told them that I still run, think I am crazy, or they don’t believe me that I live with chronic pain and can’t possibly be in that much pain. I usually just let those negative comments not bother me because I know why I run and no one else has to understand it.  In that moment, I was hooked deeper into running. I ran the 200 meters and the 10k (6.2miles= 25 laps.)

My favorite quote on running is Anton Krupicka’s: “It comes down to connection and being engaged in life. It’s a structure for having this purpose in focus and commitment on a daily basis.” 

Running truly is about connection. To this day, running has saved my life in various ways.

“Some days life can really kick you down, those mountains fight back. We deal with that uncertainty and that unknown constantly. At the end of the day we just have to keep pushing and climb that damn mountain”. Timothy Olson’s quote applies to the perseverance required to run.

Currently, I am trying to pursue running 100 miles in one day, because this has been a long-time goal of mine since childhood. The challenge of running that length of distance has intrigued me from a young age, and this and similar running goals keeps me focused and looking ahead. 

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