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Get Some Perspective: My Running Story

If you dislike running or another form of exercise, GIVE IT A TRY! Get over the dramatics of it all and get some PERSPECTIVE!

“Do I HAVE to run?”



Okay, so many years back, this short, dramatic dialogue was between myself and my swim coach. Just thinking about running made me sweat (and that was before the workout began). Imagine what happened when I actually ran! NOT PRETTY, but that wasn’t to say that I had terrible running form because honestly, I didn’t. I ran quite well in fact. I was smooth and efficient, practical in my pacing, and very willing to commit to the distance (despite hating it the entire time). I had lots of speed, too, and in the eighth grade, held the mile record for my middle school.


Well, I wasn’t! No amount of running success made me like it ANY better and no sum of compliments made me willing to race around a track over and OVER again either.

Random people would say, “You need to get THAT GIRL on a track team!”

My mom would respond, “Well, I really don’t think Kristin enjoys running that much.”

And I would counter, “THANK YOU MOMMY!” (Of course with a huge smile on my face)

WHERE AM I GOING WITH THIS (I’m glad you asked)?

What I’m TRYING to explain is that my first experiences with running were intense; therefore, I adopted the idea (at a very young age) that running was TORTURE: I didn’t run because I wanted to, I ran because I HAD to. Growing up as a swimmer, gymnast, and dancer, running was a means to staying in shape, something that my coaches made me do EVEN during the off-season (usually during summer on VERY hot days). This did not sit well with me, so the more I was forced to run, the more I hated it.

I remember running around and around… AND around and around my gymnastic gym’s pebbly parking lot in a hundred degree weather thinking WHAT A WASTE OF TIME it was to be running in circles versus running across a fun, bouncy floor into a round-off, back handspring, layout. I mean REALLY! What could be better than bouncing WHILE running? That just makes running worthwhile! Okay, so it’s NOT quite as fun as running on a trampoline, but still it’s way (WAY) more interesting than running on hard, little rocks. OUCH!

Another NOT so fond memory of running is thinking about all the aches and pains I had: Trust me; switch leaping across a hard dance floor, then running three miles on rigid, uneven pavement is definitely NOT something you want to try. It hurts, plus, is very bad on your knees (yet another reason running was not my number one). There were many moments while growing up I wondered whether my knees would make it and let me just say, to my dismay, I found out the hard way in college.

So as I grew up and into a young college going lady, I saw lots of students running around campus. These images of non student-athletes running on their own free will made me question, “WHY???!!!” I didn’t understand what it was about running that made it SO appealing to people. I came to the conclusion that they MUST be running (on their own free will nonetheless) because of its calorie burning benefits, you know, so that they COULD eat that huge piece of good old dining hall pizza. RIGHT?

Well, not necessarily… Some of my friends begged to differ, so I decided to give running another chance, you know, the college try. The same day that my friends scorned me, THEN informed me about the benefits of running (and NOT for its pizza eating rights), I decided to go for a run: I threw on my chic running clothes, wrapped a dark, blue watch around my wrist, double knotted my neon yellow shoe laces, then raced out the door. I ran four miles UP and DOWN the long, hilly road I lived on, but to my dismay was uncomfortable the ENTIRE time: I was tensed and groggy, uninspired and unwilling to commit to any more miles.

A few months later during dance practice, having danced in a few college shows already, my right knee cap popped out and rotated all the way to the right. Frantic with the uncertainty of WHY, I blamed the entire thing on running. I was angry and mad and NEVER willing to run again (well, so I thought). The fact of the matter was that running did not do that to my knee, well not entirely; it was a culmination of swimming breaststroke, pounding the floor in gymnastics and dance, and also from over stretching.

Time past and YOGA set in: My first year out of college I taught High School; the stresses of the year weakened my mind. I was overwhelmed and in dire need of a mental tune up, so I began practicing yoga. Yoga re-centered my soul and gave me the incentive to open my heart to running for the first time: After my knee recovered I decided to give running another chance. I applied the yogic principles to my daily life and to my runs: the breathing, the calmness, the meditation; my life FINALLY began to fall in rhythm with my breath.

No longer was running something that uncomfortably got me from Point A to Point B; it became something magical, like watching fireworks explode for the VERY first time. My new found connection with nature (thanks to yoga) was a truly endearing experience; the sway of the trees, the sounds of the animals, the little drops of rain that fell inspired each and every run. Not to mention FINALLY my body relaxed, my breathe smoothed, and my eyes opened to my surroundings. Truthfully, perspective is EVERYTHING! Without it we are merely scrambling creatures indulging in our own demise.


You see, when I analyzed myself from the inside out (for a change), I realized my mind was poisoning my body: My hatred for running never matured; therefore, my body kept rejecting the miles. When you allow negativity to infiltrate your mind, there is NO way to cross the finish line (at least not with a good attitude). Each step nags a little bit more than the one prior to and before you know it, you’re either injured (because you’re tense) or quitting (because you hate it). This is NOT the best way to live; trust me, I KNOW!

I am NOT telling you that opening your mind equates to ultimate pleasure; I doubt you will enjoy each and every activity you try, even if you approach them with the best attitude.

I AM telling you that with the right mindset, exercising can be soothing. Staying fit is all about perspective: Open your heart, listen to your body, and enjoy the movement.

Currently, I am training to run under a twenty minute 5k. Without PERSPECTIVE I NEVER would have fully understood my talent as a runner. Now with my new-found ability, I’m living life and LOVING my runs!



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Committed to Health and Wellness

It was May of 2013 when I realized my fitness and health aha moment!

I had weighed the most I had ever weighed at 155-160 lbs and was fighting depression, knee and back pain, and anxiety.  I am petite at five foot so you can imagine this extra weight was a contributing factor to some of my other symptoms. You would find me in the bed or the couch for the majority of the day. I would constantly munch on things that were not good for me. Potato chips and ice cream were my weakness.

I went to the doctor to find that my B -12 levels were very low and was prescribed weekly shots and medicines to help fight my depression and energy levels. Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes runs in my family. I got scared that I was heading down that same path. I knew I had to make a change with myself both on the inside and the outside.

No prescription drugs were going to fix that.  The change had to come from me. I committed myself to eating better and joining a gym.

One year later and I have lost thirty pounds and feel so much better both on the inside and out. I am active, as I make it a point to jog or walk daily. I have also incorporated these changes with my family as well. We strive to live healthier and more fit lifestyles. I want to be around for my children when they get older.

Today, I am committed and passionate about helping others with their health and wellness goals.

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Losing the Weight for Good!

My aha moment came after my husband and I got married in October of 2008. I saw the pictures and knew I needed to do something. I decided it was time to get healthy and lose the weight for good! I joined Weight Watchers in November of 2008 and lost 60 pounds. It took me about a year and a half to lose the weight and I have kept it off since then. I should note that my husband lost 40 pounds and has also kept off his weight.

Since losing the weight, I became a runner. And my husband is now a runner as well. On July 12 of this year (2014), we participated in our 100th race! We’ve been running for about four years. We have completed three half-marathons and will be running our fourth half-marathon on October 19, 2014 in Denver, CO.

Running is something I never imagined I would ever do. And here am I now. I am a runner!

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