I’m a runner again

14 years ago today, I ran my first of many Marathons- the Nike 26.2 in its 1st year.

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This picture is not of that day- I have none as it was before smartphones & selfies during a race 📷

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At the time it was just me & the road & a few thousand people conquering our edges together.

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What was so life-changing that day wasn’t the miles run or the finish line crossed or even the weight I lost in the training. Rather, it was finally being able to see myself as the athlete I always knew I was- hidden deep in a body that was never the fastest in the pool, not quite the best rider & couldn’t run a mile in HS to save her life.

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You know how some kids dream of being a doctor or a pilot? I secretly dreamed of being an athlete. But my short & curvy body with Lymes Disease never shined in any sport I tried.

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But on that day 14 years ago & the grueling months of training prior allowed me to become the woman I always knew I could be & gave me the confidence to soon move across country, make massive career moves & create a life I felt I was destined to live.

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Years of more races & triathlons followed until back pain & anxiety (which fed on each other) took me out of the game. Doctor after doctor told me to stop racing- and I complied. .

Yet in hindsight I look back & see how they ignored my drinking, or weight gain, or general lethargy & instead stripped me of the one thing that was probably keeping me sane amidst the pressure of sustaining my high-ambition life.

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What I needed was coaching. And proper nutrition. And alignment. And Grace.

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Lately I’ve been mourning for that girl who had her lifeline taken away & was redirected on a path to forms of spirituality I often- truthfully- wish I hadn’t taken 🤫

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I’ve been grieving for the body who begged me for years to go back to the race yet I failed to listen. .

I’ve been raging for the woman who needed to cut the drinking & redefine her ambition.

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And I’ve been thanking God every. single. day. that I had the courage last year to run again. .

Are more marathons on the horizon? Maybe. Somedays my body is a hell yes, others a hell no. What I do know is being an athlete again feels like HOME & I’ll never leave it again 🖤

Jennifer Blackstock