By Eva Reiter
For all of us, Gazelle may elicit various associations or images. For some, Gazelle means a custom-fit shoe experience or stylish running gear (with all the fun hidden pockets), or if you’re like me, you associate Gazelle with their presence in the community through races like Gazelle Girl. In 2015 and 2016, the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon marked a very significant transition in my life. I first heard about Gazelle Girl from a friend while I was living in Charleston, SC. I was seeking a fun race to do in Michigan while visiting family and interviewing for a new job. Around that time I was working through a pretty gnarly breakup and was actively using running as a coping method to process my thoughts and feelings while systematically trying to burn up the bearings on a very special treadmill at my gym. My 2015 race hurt, emotionally and physically, but it was a beautiful day and I was lucky enough to run the race in the vicinity of the wonderful gal who would decide the next day that she needed to hire me.
Fast forward to 2016, I was now a Grand Rapids local, had lost over 20 pounds, and had finally filled a lot of the gaps in my life that really challenged me during that 2015 race. In 2016, I had awesome running partners, including a co-worker who was running her first half marathon (!!!), and I was finally working towards happiness. After a year of continuing to put one foot in front of the other, I managed to shave 13 minutes off my time overall. So while you may see Gazelle and think, “It’s shoe time, y’all!”, I think of mile 12 of the Gazelle Girl race where, in 2015, I cried in desperation and in pain; but in 2016, I cried with joy and love for the choices I had made that brought me there that day.
I challenge all of you to think about what Gazelle means to you or to find a way to allow them to positively contribute to your goals of finding balance, health, or happiness.
And don’t forget – there’s still time to sign up for the 2017 Gazelle Girl Half Marathon and 5k (10k is sold out!). Learn more here.
My name is Eva and I will be one of your friendly neighborhood Gazelle Sports Activators for roughly the next year. When I’m not marauding through the streets of Grand Rapids in obnoxiously bright high-vis gear that could melt the retinas of Medusa herself, I’m a just a “normal” young professional and a profoundly proud mom of a goofy dog named Howard. I’m excited to share some of my experiences with you over the next few months and hopefully provide some form of inspiration. If nothing else, I hope to at least leave you with a laugh or two. Because who doesn’t need a laugh?!