Blog to 2019 Day 3: What I learned from Running.

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Running was my world.

It was the one thing that wouldn’t let me down or hurt me.

It was always there for me no matter what.

It was the one thing that made me feel like I could do anything I ever imagined.

Running made me feel like I had super powers.

I started running track when I was 12, but it wasn’t until the next year when I started running the 800 that I would fall in love with the sport.

Every time I ran a new PR I felt like I was unstoppable.

And it felt so great.

Putting in the work and trying your best during a race, and watching it pay off with a new PR.

Nothing could beat that feeling.

Or the feeling or nerves in your stomach the day of the race, the twitching of your leg on the starting line a race ready to go at any moment. The burning in your lungs after you’ve given everything you have, to the feeling of pure joy when you take first place.

Running has taught me so much in life.

  1. To give everything you do your whole heart. No matter what I did in running, I always saw my best results when I gave everything my whole heart. When I remembered why I ran, who I ran for, and how much the sport meant to me. Give heart to everything you do.
  2. To try new things. Running led me to coaching, and it’s by far the best thing I’ve gotten from running. In the middle of my coaching career I was asked to coach something that I knew little about, hurdles. Coaching hurdles gave me the opportunity to learn so much about the sport and to coach some of the best athletes I know. Those kids continue to make me a better coach every single day.
  3. Value your friendships. I met my best friend late in life while running. I was entering in my senior year in college and she was starting out on the team as a freshman. We quickly bonded over the way she said “crick” and me dragging her across the football field. I soon realized that she would be the best friend I needed. She helped me through so much that year, and continues to do so.
  4. Your family is always there for you. My parents went everywhere for our races. If we were there, they would be too. I don’t know if I’ve ever told them this, but if I was in the middle of a race in the middle of a race I would sometimes tell myself out loud “you got this Megan” or “were so proud of you” as if I were them. Their words of encouragement always got me through hard times.
  5. Things just won’t happen, you have to work for them. This one speaks for itself, but I always got great success from running when I gave it my all. The winter before my senior track season, my coach decided to have me do daily doubles. Nothing crazy, but I would just do three to four miles in the morning and our regular afternoon practice on top of that. That track season after my doubles was by far my best season. Putting in that small amount of extra work in the mornings while everyone else wasn’t, made me so much better. If you put in the work, you will get results.
  6. Don’t be afraid. Some of my best races came from not being afraid. Where I didn’t let the fear of someone beating me, or the fear of the pain from pushing myself get in the way of my success. Where I just took a deep breath, and let my legs take me to the finish line. Don’t let any fear hold you back from accomplishing what you’ve worked so hard for.
  7. You’ll never please everyone. This one was hard for me. I found myself in college trying to make everyone like me. My biggest fear was the girls on the team not wanting to be my friend or thinking I was weird. It wasn’t until one day when a girl on my team told me she would never like me or be my friend, where I finally realized that people won’t like you, and that’s ok. It’s not your job to please everyone.
  8. You have to fall to get back up. Some of the most memorable races for me were races where I ran bad. Races where I literally fell or didn’t even try. I can remember those races vividly. I can remember everything I did wrong and how I felt at that very moment. But if it wasn’t for those races I would have never had the good ones. I would have never known what to do to be better, or what failure feels like. Failures nice, it’s good to feel failure, everyone should feel like a failure. It makes you stronger, it makes you never want to experience it again. It makes you better.
  9. Sometimes you have to put other people first. My entire junior year in track was dedicated to putting my sister first. My coach had me rabbit most of our races, meaning my whole purpose was to get her faster. It was hard. Our entire track career she was faster than I was. I only had a few times where I actually beat her, so having to swallow my pride and solely run to get her faster, it was hard. But it was also so rewarding. In doing that, I qualified for the conference indoor and outdoor meet that year in the 800, an event that wasn’t mine, it was the event I would rabbit Janelle in. In rabbiting for my sister, I bettered myself. I even got pretty good at it. I ran a lifetime PR in the 400 while rabbiting her to a spot at Nationals. It’s very rewarding to help others succeed.
  10. You have to be your number 1 fan. I got super confident my senior year in high school, I kind of had to. I was coming back from my worst season ever and had to pump myself up any way that I could. I got super into rap music that year, Lil Wayne to be specific. I would put on my headphones and go into my own little world where I was unstoppable. It carried into my freshman year in College for Cross Country, and kind of took a break through the middle of my college career. It wasn’t until my senior year where I found it again and never let it go. You have to pump yourself up. You have to be your number one fan and hype yourself up. Be there for yourself. Give yourself the confidence you deserve.

I will forever be grateful for running. It gave me so many memories and gave me experiences that I will always treasure. And I’m so thankful that I get to now coach and teach these lessons to some extremely deserving kids. It’s the best thing I got from running.

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A letter to running.

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Dear running,

We met each other young.

I was just a girl who loved to run and be active.

It was fun, and I was good at it.

It was something my sister and I could do together.

We spent so many days at track meets.

And people were starting to know our names.

You took two twin girls and gave them a bit of magic.

Those days of running when I was young turned into hours spent at my high school track.

Day after day I ran and ran.

Whatever Coach asked us to do, we did together.

You made me feel confident and gave me something to be proud of, in a world where everyone was trying to find themselves.

You brought me to new heights, and allowed me to realize that I could do anything I believed possible.

I know when I was 17, I took you for granted.

I didn’t care about you as much and I forgot about why I fell in love with you in the first place.

I’m forever sorry.

But I know you forgave me.

It was a hard journey back to where we left off, but we got there.

You taught me that with determination and persistence, dreams can come true.

You took me to College.

You helped me meet some of my best friends and took me to so many new places.

We didn’t get the results that we wanted right away.

In fact, it took until my last year.

I finally let go of everything that was holding me back and just focused on you.

And with that, you allowed me to fully believe in myself again.

We didn’t hold anything back.

We stood on that starting line together, took a deep breath in, and just ran.

I did so much that year.

And it’s all thanks to you.

You gave me something for not only me to be proud, but my family.

I was always a good kid, never got in trouble, and had good grades.

But you gave me that one thing that put me over the edge.

My grandma went to as many races as she could, my grandpa bragged to everyone about his granddaughters, and my parents were my number one fans.

There were definitely times where I wasn’t sure if I was doing life right.

If I was making the right choices and making my family proud.

But because of you, I knew that I always was.

Life after college was weird.

My structure was gone.

No one was telling me that I had to run anymore.

They don’t tell you after your career ends how hard it is.

We ran together here and there but never really knew why.

It wasn’t until the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013, that we finally realized what we were running for.

Something bigger than ourselves.

We laced up my shoes every day for six months training for that marathon.

We had set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, and we missed it by just a few minutes.

That’s okay though.

We know that we’ll do it one day.

Along the way of training for the marathon, the coolest thing happened.

I started coaching.

We could use our knowledge of running to help others.

I joined my sister for what was going to be the most rewarding thing in my entire life as we helped coach the cross country team.

She introduced me to the head coach, who just two years later, would become my husband.

In 2015 my dad joined us and became the head coach of the track team.

You helped me start my family and bring me even closer than I already was to the family I had.

You helped me in a time where I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

I was lost, scared, and thought that I had lost everything.

But you led the way.

Because of you, my life is the way that it is.

I am strong.

Passionate.

Confident.

Brave.

Because of you, I know how to work towards what I want in life.

You were there for me when I was lost.

You were the one thing that I could always rely on.

You never let me down, and taught me so many life lessons.

When I fell, you were right there to pick me back up.

And you’re still here.

After sixteen years, you’re still here.

We run and we run.

As far as we want to.

You’re always right there and you always will be.

And I hope that I can make you proud.

 

That time I ran a marathon.

The Boston Marathon Bombings really upset me.

I remember watching it happen on TV and being completely shocked.

How could someone hurt something that I loved so much.

I couldn’t imagine training for so long only to have it ruined by a careless and heartless act.

I really wanted to do something to honor everyone involved in that horrific event.

I remember texting my sister telling her that we had to do something.

We brought up our local marathon, the Portland Marathon in October.

We thought it was crazy.

The furthest we had ever run up until that point was probably 15 miles, how on earth could we do 26.2.

But that didn’t matter.

We wanted to do whatever we could to honor everyone involved at Boston.

So we did it.

We clicked “register” and signed up for our first marathon just 5 months later.

The training started.

It was gradual and then took off.

I got help from an awesome teammate of mine in College, who wrote me a training plan that I religiously followed.

We realized what our end goal was going to be right away.

We wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

The qualifying time for women our age is a 3 hour a 35 minute marathon.

We were going to do it.

We were so freakin excited.

After months of training, training, and more training.

Some of the longest and most challenging months of my life.

The day had come.

God I was so scared.

It was such a scary thing, 26.2 miles, but I knew if I had my sister by my side, I would be okay.

My running partner since birth was going to be with me today and all was fine.

We got up probably around 3:30 or 4 in the morning since we lived about an hour away from the race start.

I remember the butterflies in my stomach on the drive up, hell I can feel them even now four and a half years later.

Listening to my drake playlist over and over again.

Trying to pump myself up for the challenge ahead.

When I got a text from my best friend.

“Give me speed, give me strength, let me fly.”

It reminded me of all of the people I had met along the way.

The support system I had driving up with me to stand around for hours just to watch me run.

We got up to Portland and found our starting area, and most importantly the bathrooms.

My family took pictures as Janelle and I sat and waited.

I remember saying our goodbyes to our parents and my husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time, as the race neared.

It was all starting to feel so real.

Before the race a voice came over the speakers and said that we were going to have a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings along with a tribute.

And next thing we know, Sweet Caroline played through the streets of Portland.

A song sang during Boston Red Soxs games.

My heart was so happy.

Everyone around us sang along, hand in hand with each other.

But that wasn’t the best part.

They were trying to play the national anthem when something went wrong with the speakers, so they suggested we all sing it out loud.

I had never heard anything more beautiful.

Singing the national anthem with strangers who were spread through the city, all with the same goals.

Who were all running for something bigger than ourselves.

It was something that I’ll never forget.

Next thing I knew, the gun was off.

In typical Megan and Janelle fashion, we got out quick.

We had to get into a good spot and get into a good rhythm.

I was surprised with how good I felt.

Step by step.

Mile after Mile.

I felt strong.

We came up along a group of runners who cheered us on and asked if were were twins.

We answered in sync, like we always did.

He called us the “wonder twins” and as silly as that sounds it motivated us that much more.

We felt empowered and strong, because we were.

We were running a marathon.

I remember even seeing my family a couple of times and hearing them shout our names. It reminded me why I was doing this.

For the people that I loved.

And those who lost theirs that last April.

We just kept running, right next to each other, up until the half way mark.

I had written my paces on my arm in sharpie, to make sure I could hit that 3:35 Boston Marathon qualifying time.

I was feeling great, and we were ahead of pace as we approached the arch of balloons letting us know we were at mile 13.

Janelle wasn’t feeling great, and I was.

I kept trying to walk her through getting rid of her side ache and for the most part it was working.

She could tell I was feeling better than she was, so she let me go.

She told me to leave, that she was fine and if I could do it, to go.

We squeezed each others hand and I was off to do the rest by myself.

I still felt good.

I was hitting my paces and breathing just fine.

Until I approached the St. Johns Bridge.

I had been warned about this bridge.

But nothing could have prepared me for it.

The hill leading up to it was huge.

I could barely pick up my legs.

I was trying and trying, giving it everything I had.

I remember someone coming up behind me and telling me to follow him up the hill.

I tried.

Once I got to the top I had a little more energy.

I was told by that after you get over the bridge, that the rest of the course is a gradual downhill.

I wanted that downhill so bad.

I was feeling better.

Getting my stride back.

One foot in front of the other.

That’s what I kept telling myself.

The streets of Portland were flooded with fans.

Pom Poms, huge signs, and voices louder than you could imagine.

It was so encouraging.

Until mile 24.

At mile 24 my vision started to get blurry.

I felt like I couldn’t see my feet hit the ground.

Like I was moving but I wasn’t.

If that makes any sense.

Looking at my watch I noticed that my pace was starting to slip just a little.

I couldn’t have that.

I had one goal, and I was going to achieve that goal.

Janelle passed me at mile 25 as we crossed the Broadway Bridge.

She told me good job.

I tried to mutter “you too” but just a bunch of sounds came out of my mouth.

I was slowly losing it.

I was so close though.

So close that I could hear the crowd at the finish line.

The finish line that I wanted so badly.

I turned onto Naito Parkway, which meant that I only had about a half mile or so left.

And then it happened.

I fell.

Maybe I wasn’t picking my feet up or something.

But I fell.

Right on my knees in front of everyone watching.

I remember this sweet woman in a pink shirt stopped and grabbed me as she called for the medics.

People in white shirts came running from the sidewalk.

My knee was cut up pretty badly and they wanted to take me off the course.

I told them no.

That I had to finish.

I was only two minutes away from finishing and I needed to finish.

They let me go, and the sweet woman in the pink shirt agreed to run right next to me as we finished, in case I fell again.

I turned the corner to the finish.

And don’t remember anything after that.

Except getting placed down on a bed under a medical tent.

I woke up to an IV getting stuck in my arm.

I freaked out.

Instantly I looked down around my neck searching for my finishers medal.

I found it.

Thank god.

I had finished.

But I didn’t know how.

I blacked out and didn’t remember any of it as I took that final turn.

I had been training my butt off all spring and summer for this race.

But I didn’t remember finishing.

I looked back at pictures of other people finishing.

There were smiles, and hands tossed in the air with the look of pure joy on their faces.

Whereas I, from what I heard from my family, crossed the finish line with a blank stare on my face and instantly dropped.

I found pictures of myself in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk.

I still ran an amazing time.

I ran a 3:42:59.

I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 8 minutes.

That was it.

Do you know how it feels to want something so bad.

To the point where it’s all you think about?

That you consume your life with it.

To get so close to finishing and not even remembering it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly proud of myself, and always be.

To be a 23 year old and miss qualifying for the Boston Marathon by only 8 minutes during your first ever marathon?

But I didn’t get my moment.

I didn’t cross the finish line feeling like I was on top of the world.

I didn’t have that moment that I can look back at and remember with pure happiness.

I don’t remember it.

It’s almost like I left it unfinished.

I’m surprised sitting here today, four and a half years later.

It still gets to me.

Crying as I write these words down for everyone to see.

To see that I wanted something so bad and was so close to getting it.

That I blacked out at the end and don’t even remember finishing.

Some people would use that to quit.

Some people would take that moment and never do it again.

They would be embarrassed or say that it wasn’t meant to be.

They would be discouraged.

But not me.

I’ll always have that drive.

That motivation that one day I will remember finishing a marathon.

That I still have so many years to reach my goal.

There will always be this fire under me, reminding me of what I still have to do.

I was and still am so incredibly proud of myself.

I know that one day, I’ll do it.

I’ll run those 26.2 miles and have my moment.

I’ll cross the finish line with the biggest smile imaginable.

And I’ll do it.

One day.

Just watch.

That time I got nervous..

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I love running.

As you may know by now by reading my blog.

It’s a huge part of my life.

I never thought that something could even come close to it.

That once I was done running in college I’d never have that feeling again.

That nervous leg twitch on the starting line before a race.

The butterflies in my stomach.

The feeling of fire in my lungs tired from the race I just ran.

I thought it was all gone.

Until I started coaching.

Watching your athletes race is such a crazy experience.

You train with them, run with them, and put everything into what they do.

To have it all come down to a single race that you can’t help them with.

That they have to do all by themselves.

It’s so surreal.

I have the same feelings that I had when I was racing, when my kids are racing.

Now I know what my parents went through all those years.

Thinking back on the four and a half years of coaching I’ve done, cross country and track, there are two races that stand out to me.

Two races that gave me goosebumps.

Two races that made me so incredibly nervous but excited at the same time.

Two races that made me remember why I love coaching.

The first race was during the track season of 2016.

I got to coach Adolfo for 3 years.

He struggled quite a bit the first two years to really find himself.

To hit those times that he knew he could hit.

He ended up running a seasons best of 11:28 in the 3000 meter run his freshman year, and didn’t even do the event his sophomore year.

Junior year he started to show progress and ran a 10:46 in the 3000.

Yet he still wasn’t happy.

He trained all summer and had a great cross country season in the fall, all to make sure he had an even better track season.

We were at the Stayton Twilight track meet, and the 3000 was going to be run in the dark under the stadium lights.

It was the best race.

Throughout the season he had run a 10:47 and 10:23 in the 3000, he was ready for a breakthrough.

He started off the race so strong and so tough.

He kept his eyes up and on every runner in front of him, knowing what he had to do to improve.

The last 600 meters were my favorite.

Cheering so loud for him, telling him that he was having a great race.

When he approached the final 100 meters I looked up at the clock.

I remember being in shock.

He was so close to breaking 10 minutes.

I remember sprinting down to the finish line with a bunch of other kids screaming as loud as we could.

He didn’t quite break 10 minutes but he ran a 10:00.14.

He was so close.

But he was happy, and proud of himself, and I don’t think he stopped smiling.

Even thinking about it now brings back chills.

Seeing that moment in an athlete when things finally click.

When they finally believe that they can do what you’ve been telling them they could do all along.

My second favorite race was during this most recent cross country season.

Ramiro, who’s only a sophomore, had been training so hard all summer.

All of us coaches knew that he was going to have a special season.

His freshman year he ran a personal best of 19:35 in the 5k, but never broke the 20 minute mark again after that.

We could all tell that he had more in him, he just had to figure it out.

This last season was crazy for him.

He started with a 20:45 which would have been one of his faster times from the year before.

And then he got faster.

19:38.

18:41.

And of course, the one meet that I had to miss, he ran a 17:58.

Breaking the 18 minute mark is huge.

And he did it.

I talked to him on the phone after his race and told him that since I wasn’t there he had to do it again, he agreed.

The next meet he ran a 17:57.

Ramiro kept improving.

It was insane.

Watching it all click for him, and watching him get excited to race, was so much fun as a coach to see.

His last meet of the season was the district cross country meet.

He told us before the race he didn’t want to know his place or time throughout the race.

So we all cheered as loud as we could when he passed us.

He looked strong, focused, and motivated.

We realized as he passed us, that he was in a state qualifying position.

We all looked at each other in complete shock.

I remember telling everyone that I had goosebumps.

Even though he might not have finished in the position he wanted, he ended up running better than he was ranked, he finished 14th.

And he ran a 17:23, which was a personal record.

It was the coolest thing.

Watching him run.

Watching it click to him.

Watching him in control of his race.

Deciding to coach is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Coaching gave me a purpose.

Coaching motivates me to be a better person.

Coaching is the most rewarding thing.

I can’t imagine my life without it.

So cheers to more amazing races to come.

Cheers to being so nervous that I can’t even think straight.

Man, I love coaching.

 

I like to chase things.

It’s true.

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I like to chase things.

I realized this on my run this morning.

I had stopped for a minute to catch my breath and another runner came running up by me.

I decided to give him a few seconds to get a head start.

And in my head it was a race.

I pushed myself a little more, to try and get him.

I had no idea who he was or why he was running.

But for this moment, he was my motivation.

You see, I’m easily motivated by chasing people or things.

If I have this goal that I can see, I want to do everything in my power to get it.

When I was younger and running club track, I use to get so excited by medals or t shirts.

If the top finishers of a race got a medal or t shirt I would push myself harder than I thought I could, just to get that prize.

Things.

They give me a reason to try hard, something to try and obtain.

Growing up I had this built in competition.

Even though I can only count on one hand how many times I’ve beaten her head to head, she’s my motivation.

Most of the time I don’t beat her.

And that’s ok.

I would be in the middle of the race and I could see her in front of me.

It would help me keep my eyes up and focused.

I wanted nothing more than to get her.

People.

Giving me someone to chase down, a reason to push myself.

I realized on my run today that I am easily motivated by people or things.

By the art of chasing them down.

Pushing myself harder than imaginable to try and get them.

It’s a challenge.

And I love that.

Maybe that’s why I love running.

It’s a challenge every time.

Even when you’re running by yourself, if you come up on some innocent runners, try to pass them.

It might sound mean, but it’s not intended to be.

It’s just a form of motivation.

In anything you do, it’s important to find something that motivates you.

A person, thing, or goal, anything that will make you want to push yourself that much more.

Motivation is key if you want to get anything done.

It’s that simple.

If you want to lose 10 pounds but have zero motivation to go to the gym or start eating healthy, it just won’t happen.

That might be harsh but it won’t.

It’s so important to find one thing that motivates you, just one thing to get yourself that much closer to your goal.

For me, it’s people or things.

Something that can get me instant satisfaction.

That’s how I am, I have to get things instantly.

Zero patience.

But I’m working on that. 

It’ll be different for everyone.

Free t shirts and passing people motivates me when it comes to running but it might not do the trick for you.

That’s when you need to sit and think.

What do I want from this?

What will make me run that much faster?

What is my goal?

It can be something so simple as you just want to be better.

That’s how I see it.

Pushing myself to catch people or things, will make me better in the end.

If I pushed myself to get top three in a race so that I could get a medal, I usually ran a fast time.

If I focused on beating my sister in a race but didn’t end up catching her, I usually still had a great race because I focused on moving up and running faster.

Find that thing that motivates you.

Or if you know what it is, embrace it.

I realized on my run today that I love chasing people.

I love actually having something in front of me to try and get.

A person.

A thing.

Something that pushes me that much harder.

That ignites the fire inside of me.

That time I started to believe in myself.

Let’s go back to 2008 shall we?

I was 18 and about to compete in my 3000 meter run at the district track meet.

Ya see..I was fast.

My freshman year in high school I was one of the fastest freshman in our district, not to mention one of the fastest overall for distance running in my town.

Sophomore year I surprised myself.

I got second at our district meet in the 3000 when I came in ranked in the bottom half of the top ten.

I got to go to the state track meet as a sophomore which was a big deal.

Junior year I was awful.

I’m just going to say it.

I went from running an 11:02 in the 3000 to an 11:37 the very next year, from 2nd place to 7th at the district meet in one years time.

I wasn’t myself.

I spent most of my time with someone who told me I wasn’t that good.

That my sister was better than me.

That track was a waste of time.

That I wasn’t going to go to college for it so why try.

I started to believe all of those things.

I made excuses.

I gave up.

I didn’t believe in myself.

But lets not dwell too much on that, that person isn’t worth any more words on this post.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2007 when I got rid of that person in my life and decided to get myself back.

I looked forward to every single practice.

I was motivated to be better.

I had a hard cross country season in the fall but arguably my best throughout my four years.

I worked my butt off to get back to where I was at the end of my sophomore year.

Back to when I was excited.

Eager.

Fierce.

I wanted nothing more than to find this girl and get her back.

To show her that she was the fire she needed to spark this desire to be better.

That winter was full of training, and so was the spring,  leading up to my last season of running for my high school.

I felt like I wanted it more than anyone.

That I had something to prove.

To show girls who laughed at me the previous year that I was back and better than ever.

Every 3000 meter race I had run that season was faster than any 3000 I ran the year before.

I would sit on the bus on the way to meets and close my eyes.

Picturing the exact moment where I threw my hands up in success after my win.

I could see the headlines, Everetts wins district title.

That’s how bad I wanted it.

I loved getting pumped up before meets, that’s when I discovered my love for rap music.

Lil’ Wayne to be exact.

I would completely zone out and lose myself in the music.

Never show it on the outside.

It became a ritual I would end up using the rest of my racing career.

I would look at myself in the mirror and repeat out loud, it’s mine, I can do it.

I had so much confidence as we neared the end of that track season, until the day finally came.

The day I dreamed about.

The district meet.

I was coming into the meet ranked third I believe, maybe second in the 3000.

My event.

There were three of us who were competing for that title, the rest of the pack was about 15-20 seconds behind us.

I remember shaking when I was putting on my bib number.

Not because I was nervous.

But because I wanted it.

So bad.

I stood on the starting line, my foot twitching like it always did.

I was ready to go.

Then the gun went off.

I ended up getting out to a quick start with one of the girls, we left the other one, and that was the last we saw of her.

We ran the first two laps of the seven and a half lap race toe to toe, and I had no intentions of letting her go.

It wasn’t until the 5th lap when we passed the crowd.

I knew there wasn’t much of the race left and one of us had to make a move.

I whispered to her, let’s do this, and we were off.

We were running faster than I ever thought possible.

Next thing I know it’s the final lap and I have the lead.

I can hear my family cheering.

My mom.

My dad.

My sister.

Everyone was screaming as loud as they could.

I was on the last 100 meter stretch.

I could hear my friends in the stands cheering.

I pushed myself as hard as I possibly could.

And in that moment I had it.

I threw my hands up over my head in complete disbelief.

It was mine.

That moment that I had dreamed of was mine.

I ran over to my sister and gave her the biggest hug imaginable.

I ran a 10:48 and won the district title, I was off to the state meet for a second time.

10:48 was almost a whole minute faster than the year before, and quite the improvement from seventh place.

I’ll never forget how happy I was in that moment.

What I had been working for all season, all four years of high school, was here.

It’s so crazy to me how you can manifest something so much that it becomes attainable.

That if you want something so badly, along with some hard work, you can achieve it.

That’s what I did that year.

I wanted it.

More than anything.

I thought about it.

Dreamed about it.

Pictured it.

That moment was all I thought about and it was mine.

That day I decided to believe in myself changed everything.

It allowed me to see my full potential.

To see that I was worth it.

That I could literally do anything that I wanted to do.

I can honestly say that was the moment.

The moment that I realized what I could do.

The moment I truly started to believe in myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You fall, you get back up.

Oh how I love Sunday’s.

Mine are usually very simple.

I don’t set my alarm and let Ian decide when it’s time to get up.

Make a cup of coffee.

Or two.

Ian eats.

We plan dinners for the week.

I tidy up the house.

We do laundry.

Get stuff ready for lunches during the week.

And watch football if it’s on.

But my absolute favorite part about Sunday’s are my runs.

Jason is a champ and always volunteers to take Ian with him to go grocery shopping so I can get a run in.

I drive to my favorite spot and lace up my shoes for a run.

I’ve been doing Sunday runs every Sunday for a few months straight and it’s something I really look forward to.

It’s my little bit of time that I get to just do what I love doing.

However today was different.

It was unlike any Sunday run I’ve had.

I ran at my usual spot and decided to take a different route.

I was cruising down the pavement about a mile in when I saw a familiar looking path.

It wasn’t too muddy so I decided to venture towards it.

After a few minutes I quickly realized that I was wrong about the “wasn’t too muddy” part.

I kept having to switch to different sides of the path.

Whichever side seemed to have less mud.

Every step I took I went deeper and deeper into this little mud pit.

I had to shorten my stride to limit my risk of falling.

Every new path I approached I had to ask myself..

Will this path be easier?

Will this lead me back to the pavement I wanted so badly to reach?

Finally I got to this spot that looked like it was going to clear up.

I came up on a friendly man and his dog, and as I passed him he told me to have fun.

I didn’t really think anything of it but thanked him for his advice,

Next thing I know I’m taking this extremely sharp turn and land flat on my right side.

Phone in hand.

Hand straight in a pile of the thickest mud.

I just sat there in the mud for a moment to take in my embarrassment when I realized where my phone was.

I grabbed it and jumped right up.

Don’t worry it was fine.

I stood there and just looked at myself.

I could have been mad at myself, or sad that I just fell full speed in the biggest mud pit I’ve ever seen.

Not literally but you try falling in mud and not thinking it’s the biggest mud pile ever.

As I paused my watch I noticed my friend with the dog from earlier was taking the turn.

He asked if I was alright.

I just kind of laughed and answered with a yes.

I told him I didn’t do a very good job of avoiding the mud and was off.

I still killed my run.

I wasn’t bleeding and nothing hurt.

Yes I was covered in mud.

But it was kind of funny.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

Falling in the mud is hilarious.

And when it happens to you, you can’t help but to pull a tswift and shake it off.

If you fall, you get back up.

It’s as simple as that.

I’m taking this lesson and bringing it into my week.

I know it’s going to be a busy week for me at work, and that’s ok.

If anything goes wrong.

If anything is hard.

If anything just brings me down.

I’m going to put a big fat smile on my face and get back up.

I go on a run every Sunday.

This has never happened so far.

But it did today, and that’s ok.

I fell but I got back up.

I’ve found that I’m a creature of habit.

I can hear my husbands laugh from here as he reads this.

If something goes wrong or doesn’t happen the way it’s supposed to, I’ve been known to let it get to me.

But today I didn’t.

And I was so proud of myself.

It’s those small wins.

So take this as a reminder that whatever might happen this week, if you fall, get back up.

Keep on going and don’t let it get to you.

Shake it off.