*This post is sponsored by CROSS pens for their #WriteGift campaign. I received a personalized pen and compensation to share My Long Story Short.
“Believe in Yourself”
“Believe in yourself.” It’s a quote that I carry with me all the time, especially when it comes to running. I have moments of pure bliss out on the road and moments of pure frustration, but no matter where a runs falls on that spectrum, it’s where my heart always is. I love the feeling of my feet pounding the pavement beneath me, my heart beating out of my chest, my arms pumping by my side and my legs driving me forward. But what I love most is knowing how far I’ve come in my journey of running, and it all started with simply believing in myself.
There was once a time when I could barely make it a quarter of a mile. A time when running a whole mile seemed absolutely impossible. College was a huge turning point for me; it’s when I really started become more fit and healthy, and when I discovered how much I actually loved it.
My running journey started at the gym taking group fitness classes. From cardio kickboxing and spin to step aerobics and TRX I loved classes and did them all. I love the energy from a great instructor, the inspiration from a group of hard working people and the motivation from loud feel good music blasting through the speakers. I fed off that energy back then and I feed off it now.
But one day I was forced to figure out my own workout when the class I wanted to take was cancelled, and going home just wasn’t an option. Because I wanted a good cardio workout I gave the treadmill a try, but with absolutely zero expectations from myself. Shockingly, 30 minutes later I was still running. I wasn’t running fast, but I was running, and it was the longest I had ever run in my entire life. It was then and there when I realized that group fitness was getting me into damn good shape. I stuck with what I loved, which was taking classes, but I instantly started incorporating running into my routine because for the first time I could actually do it.
In 2010 I ran my first race, a half marathon. I never in my life thought running 13.1 miles was something I’d ever be able to accomplish. But 6 years later I’ve done 7 half marathons, 1 full marathon, countless 5ks, 10ks and many other distances. I’ve almost doubled the amount of miles I’ve run this year than I did last year. With every mile I run, I love it more and more, and I will always have group fitness classes to thank for helping me get to this point.
In 2013 I was laid off from a job, very soon after finding out I was pregnant with my daughter. After interviewing at several places and just not wanting to go back to a “regular” job, I started boosting up my blog and decided I finally wanted to get certified to become a group fitness instructor. It was something I had thought about for a long time but never had the courage or motivation to do. The timing finally felt right, and more importantly, I felt ready, and I was actually at the point in my life where I believed I could do it.
If you asked me back in college if I’d be doing what I’m doing now I would have said you were crazy. I never imagined my life taking me in the direction that it has, and I certainly never imagined my legs taking me the many miles they’ve taken me. I never would have thought that I’d be a certified group fitness instructor, run coach and personal trainer, and actually working and making money doing all three things.
There’s one basic quote I always go back to when I start training for a new race or going after a new goal, and that’s “Believe in yourself.” I wouldn’t have crossed the finish line of so many races or taken a leap of faith to completely change careers without believing I could do it. I envisioned it, I believed it and I did it.
My long story short is a sponsored #WriteGift campaign by CROSS pens. The truth is, I like my story, and I like sharing it because I think most people can relate to it. I know what it’s like to be at the beginning of a journey thinking that something is impossible. But I also know what it’s like to put faith in yourself and what you love, and cross the finish line of a marathon or pass one of the hardest exams (running coach) I’ve ever taken in my life and pass it with flying colors.
It might not always come easy, in fact, most of the time the things we want take a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s all worth it in the end. I’ve created the life I wanted, a life that I dreamed about for a long time, and a life makes me so incredibly happy and proud every single day.
CROSS pens is a great personalized gift to give someone to celebrate an achievement or milestone. I know every time I look at mine I’ll smile fondly and think about my #WriteGift story and journey. A journey that all started with believing in myself.