I was standing there, scared and soaking wet, surrounded by hundreds of people I had never before seen in my life. As I looked around at my competition, the rain began to come down even harder. As I was waiting for the gun, I began to wonder what I was even doing there, and what had ever possessed me to want to do this in the first place. Then…..the gun. All hell broke loose. I knew then in that moment, as I ran from all the things that were holding me down, I had found the one thing in this world that was mine……so I kept running from it all…..
That first race I ran, the Midnight Flight in 2002, started a fire in me that I held on to all through high school. Running was the one thing that I knew was for me, and the only way I got through those years. On the outside, I was an excellent student…straight A’s, president of the NHS, involved with my church….and I could go on for days. But inside I was a train wreck. Growing up with alcoholism, drugs, a broken home, going from school to school, and again I could go on for days about all my problems…..I raised myself, and think I did a pretty damn good job. Now, don’t get me wrong, my father means the world to me, but there were years in my childhood that alcohol was his priority and I was on my own. So basically, every emotion I had, every ounce of hatred, or anger was all bottled up inside this perfect little girl who had to put on a show for the world.
I owe my uncle all the credit for me even starting cross country because I wanted to be like him so bad growing up! He is like the brother I never had, so of course I wanted to be like my all-state cross country champion of an uncle! But as I ran my first race I found so much more than what I had expected. It unleashed years of anger, frustration, hatred, self-doubt, and any other depressed thought I had ever had in my life. I was able to breath again and it felt so good!
This blog will be my journey to breath again, as I have lost touch with what running really meant to me. In seven weeks I will run a half marathon, and this is my journey as I run from it all!