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Posts Tagged ‘how i got into running’

Everyone has a story on what led them to running.  What sparks that passion.  Sparks the fire in your belly.  I’m always interested in hearing what makes you tick.  Well, here’s a little background on me.

I was not always a runner.  In fact, I revolted against running for a long time.  My dad was a big runner.  I wanted to be my own person so I played team sports – softball, basketball, etc.  I’m not a big person (weight or height) so that did offer an added challenge. (fact: my family calls me Big Lis. Ha.) I was the feisty little kid – always diving to get the basketball, stealing the ball away from the big center that only played because of height, and of course at softball I played catcher.  I think you get the drift on where I got my toughness from – let’s just say one championship softball game I was run over by a girl twice my size.  Held onto the ball. She was out.  🙂

Back to running.  High school came and I ran with the spring track team for one season, my sophomore year.  I got into fantastic shape.  I had no idea what I was doing. I showed up for practice. Ran a lot. Came back the next day.  My team was a state contender so I didn’t get much attention and since there was no such thing as a Garmin, I have no idea what I was training at in terms of pace.  I ran with the XC girls on their “easy” days.  Unfortunately, that winter the track coach said some pretty awful things to me and I came home one day to my parents and said “I’m done.”  Looking back, this is probably the only time I’ve ever “quit.”  I can’t remember what was said but I’m pretty certain it must have been pretty awful.

Fast forward. 2003. I graduated from college. I moved to the big apple to start my career. I didn’t know anyone besides the random Craigslist roommate I found. I had zero family up here. Scary.

I remember the first year and a half being very tough on me. This is not an easy place to just meet people. The first step was deciding I needed to join a gym so I didn’t get fat. That winter of 2003 I got very lonely. I was at the point I was crying myself to sleep. Now I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I was hiding all of this from work, my roommate and worse, my family! The roommate situation wasn’t helping as she got engaged and moved out in just 7 months. That’s when I found something called NYRR and running.

Running? Hmm. I went on the running personals page to find a running partner. A week later, dressed more like a ninja, I met my first running partner: Susan. We did a loop of Harlem Hills on that chilly march evening. I went home realizing something new and refreshing was entering my life.

Seven months later I ran my first marathon:the ING NYC Marathon. I crossed the finish line with Susan. Huge smiles for more reasons than the 26.2 miles covered.

A few weeks later I decided to try out a running team, the Reservoir Dogs. The president ran with me and invited me to the team holiday party that evening. I went. 5+ years later I’m still a member, not as active, but still a member.

And there you have it. I’ll be running NYC this November. Yes, it’s my hometown but it also served as the reason there’s still a Bridges Runner in NYC. It will be an exciting experience to tour NYC and see the friends I’ve made scattered around the city. I am one lucky girl.

Why share? It still amazes me that I wake up in this city everyday.  I don’t think anyone knows how close I was to being somewhere else now.  Boy am I glad I had the strength to hold on and keep fighting for another day!

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