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When we toe the line of a race, everyone is about to experience the exact some route. However, the journey we take to get to that starting line is uniquely our own. These journeys are comprised of heartache, determination and a resolve to keep moving forward, regardless of the circumstances that threatened to get in the way of our training. This combination is just one aspect of our own personal stories that help breathe life into our journeys.
The beauty in this is that each and every single one of us has a story: something that makes us tick, a turning point that brought us to the running world, a moment during which we finally believed we could really accomplish a goal and the determination to keep going. We all find people along the way that share similar aspects of our stories. We runners can relate on a level that others will not understand, a level that connects us instantly. Our stories will encourage others to keep pushing forward when their lives are filled with struggle, and our stories will fill others with a sense of joy in knowing how strong we are.
The power our stories have is important to note. When we let our stories take hold of our lives, we give the impact of our circumstances power over us. But when we take hold of these stories, we take the power back in a way that launches us forward. We can find this by writing our stories down, sharing them with others and letting them help us make changes to better ourselves.
My own story includes a breakup and a strong desire to change my life. I was sick and tired of the life I was living. A few days after my sudden breakup, I started running. Running transitioned into an attempt to gain approval from my ex, but that beginning was the momentum I needed to just get started. Just over a year later, a near-death experience on a flight in a third world country caused a change of direction in my life again. I could no long live in fear of “what if” and decided that, if I was going to keep running, it needed to be for me. Next, I completed a half marathon and realized I had allowed running to change everything about me. I started writing and talking about these experiences in running, and I could not be happier with my story. It’s powerful, and it is uniquely my own.
Never forget that you have a story that is unique to you. It is strong and powerful, filled with ups and downs, triumph and determination. Your story shows that you continue fighting to be your best self, for your best life. Do not be ashamed of the story you have. Share it with others and know that your story has the power to encourage someone else as they navigate her or his own journey.