I have always enjoyed moving, whether it was running around our backyard, climbing trees, jumping out of the barn loft, or playing games with my brothers or neighbors.
I have enjoyed running on and off throughout my life. I enlisted in the Army Reserves when I was 20 years old and was required to maintain physical health and the ability to pass a Physical Fitness test every year which involved a two-mile run. I didn’t mind running in formations with my platoon, there
was an ease about running together in cadence not to mention the inability to fall behind! I enjoyed going out and running alone as well. The was peacefulness of morning and time to ponder everything and anything was always welcome.
After my children were born I struggled to find time go running again but found it incredibly challenging between going to nursing school, working second shift at the hospital and caring for the family. Not to mention I struggled with my weight and postpartum depression. I know, I should have really tried to get out there. Running would have helped with both but it felt more stress filled than helpful at the time. We went for a lot of walks to the park though!
Years went by without much running, I tried again here and there. One year one of my neighbors and I trained for a 5k together. Then life got in the way and we stopped running.
When my daughter was in high school she was on the cross-country team. I found myself missing it when I would watch her run. Her coach also banned soda and fast food restaurants. At the time my weight was at an all time high. My motivation to start running again and eat healthy was sparked by the
two of them and the inaugural Kalamazoo Marathon happening in the spring.
I began again, with the walk/run method and built up from there. I joined Borgess Run Camp and trained for a half marathon. I struggled some days but had been told by a friend if I can run 6 miles, I can run a half marathon. That was my goal… get to the 6-mile mark. I found I was much more balanced in
everything when I ran. I could manage stress and my emotions in a more calm and controlled manner, I was happier than I had been before.
Running has helped me through the loss of loved ones, stress at work, and it has helped my marriage. My husband, who did not enjoy running, watched me leave for run camp every Saturday morning for five years and he was always there cheering me at races. One year he decided he should probably join me. We were nearing an empty nest and I was making new friends and enjoying life to the fullest. Now we go to run camp together and enjoy breakfast after with our friends.