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Today I felt strong. I only ran for 30 minutes, but during those 30 minutes I thought a lot about the past year. I thought about the decisions I’ve made, the hard ones, the easy ones, the happy moments and the sad moments. I thought about what I want to do, all the things I want to change and how I want to do life better. I thought about getting more involved in projects I’m passionate about, about not just living for this family, about growing our coaching business, running marathon PRs, having babies, being a better friend, being a better mom and wife…. being better. Doing life better. I want to be part of the happy, I want to inspire and be inspired and take action on what I’m inspired by. And this is what running gives you. Motivation to do those things. Motivation to be a better person far beyond running.

I thought about how last year at this time, I was in between marathons, coming off a really hard race that shook my confidence. No matter how hard you try, being totally prepared for a marathon so soon after having a baby is really hard. I don’t care who you are. It’s hard. Your body is physically and emotionally on a roller coaster. But we all have races like that- not just coming back post baby, there are a million reasons for having a race like that. Every race can shake your confidence or blow it up to making you feel super human.

I thought about how last year at this very time in my life, I was scared daily about something that is almost behind me. I kid you not, after having Marshall, I walked out of the hospital with my boobs filling of milk, freaking out, thinking what if I have breast cancer and I can’t tell because I get clogged milk ducts and I can’t handle this and oh my gosh breast feeding had to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. (Minus the last 10 miles of said race I mentioned above..)

I tried hard to embrace the bounding experience with my first child, but a big part of me was frantically worrying about the what ifs. Now knowing I won’t ever have that experience again, I am so thankful I had it with him. Last year at this time I wouldn’t have even typed the words cancer, because I would have been too scared to. My genetic fate was haunting me. And now it’s not. Now I know. There are things I can’t control, but the things I can control, I will.

It was when I was on the bike trainer, training for my first 70.3 this summer that I decided to make an appointment to get the blood test to see if I had the BRCA 2 gene. I mentioned this in my original post-

I remember swimming laps thinking about it and I can guarantee that my thoughts were a lot more positive in the pool, on the bike or out running than they would have been sitting around feeling sorry for myself. “

This is why I love running, or really you can categorize this into sport or exercise in general- whatever it is that gives you what it gives me. This is why we become addicted to it. It drives us to be stronger, not only in physical aspects of life, but emotionally as well. It helps us to make tough decisions. I know, like any hobby or activity you spend excess amounts of time doing, running can be a very selfish thing. But it’s a selfish thing that makes me a better person. And it probably makes you a better person too.

There are days when I wake up and it’s the last thing I want to think about but everyday I finish up, I know I will be happier, stronger, more independent and BETTER if the I’ve given myself the gift of endorphins.

And I’ll close this with a piece of an email (an email that had me tearful) I received from one of the athletes we coach, Belle, who finished her first half marathon this weekend:

“Lindsey, in short, running has given me a new way to look at life, a new way to prioritize, a new way to live with dignity and grace.” 

Preach on Belle. Go be the best self you can be and if running or rowing or playing tennis, whatever it is helps you do that… do more of that.

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