Have you ever experienced a defining moment of your life? Something that changed the way you viewed things, the way you acted, thought about yourself and the world around you? For me that moment happened to me my freshman year of college. I had all these “goals” that started when I was pretty young - I would go to Concordia University in Seward, NE - I would be far enough from home to be independent but close enough to go home for a quick weekend if I needed to (I am from Colorado). I would get my degree in education and begin my lifelong dream of being a teacher. But life did not go as I had it all planned out in my mind.
I did not make the top choir I had tried out for which was a big blow to my ego. The route I wanted to take in teaching was not actually an option so I had to shift some things around. One of the professors who had inspired me to become a middle school teacher told us she was taking another job after that school year. I did not get chosen to be a Resident Assistant. I did not make the tennis team. I think you are getting the picture. I began questioning just about everything and I needed to find an outlet for all this confusion, frustration and anger. I found that outlet in running.
I was not a runner. I got the participation ribbon whenever I tried to compete in the dash at the elementary and middle school Field Day. I was a high school athlete but I was not a runner. I was one of the slower ones when it came time to do our regular mile run in PE. I was not a runner but that first year of college, I became one. The time I spent running around the city and corn fields of Seward, NE changed me from the inside. I turned on my music and turned off my mind and just ran. My passion and drive for running developed so much that I signed up for my first half marathon during the spring of that year and I have been addicted ever since.
Running has become a HUGE part of my #wellnessjourney. I lost quite a bit of weight, became a healthier person physically and gained a whole new sense of self confidence. When I came back for sophomore year, I felt like a new person… I saw the value that God saw in me and didn’t worry so much about what others thought about me. The impact that running has had on my mental health is what has kept me running all these years.
My goals for running have changed a lot over the years - I have become faster and more competitive. I no longer consider myself a casual runner anymore… if you know me, you know that I run often, ran through both pregnancies and started back up as soon as I got cleared with one or two kids in tow (thank you, BOB Strollers). I have learned that I need to run or work out pretty much every day for my mental health - my husband would attest to this. :) When I am stressed, a run can make me feel better. When I need to clear my head, I can head out on a run and leave those thoughts on the pavement. When my kiddos are pushing every button possible, I throw them in the stroller and head out for a couple miles and return home ready to battle whatever they throw at me. Moving my body makes me a more pleasant person to be around.
This is my personal #wellnessjourney… not everyone loves running and you don’t have to. Find something that works for you - walking, at home workouts, running around with your kids, riding a bike… whatever it might be, I am confident that you will see changes in your mindset when you are moving. I would love to know what has impacted your #wellnessjourney.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3