make yourself

once upon a time there was a girl who always wanted to be an athlete. 
 
she participated in sports for most of her younger years, including high school basketball where put her heart and soul into the game, but never quite felt good enough.  although she had dreams of the WNBA and of playing college basketball, she never made the varsity team, so she shifted her dreams and focus elsewhere.  her last year of high school was spent without a sport and definitely left an empty space inside her. 

fast forward a few years to college.  she studied hard, she had a lot of fun, put on some weight and knew something was missing.  she started working out, spent many hours in the gym and loved this new healthy lifestyle she was living, but there was definitely something missing.

fast forward a couple more years to “real life” where she had a full time job, a commute, a husband and a home to take care of.  her time was limited and those free hours were precious.  the gym was getting boring, she didn’t have any goals or hobbies outside of work, and she didn’t feel fulfilled.  something was still missing.

in february 2008, this girl decided that something needed to change and it was time to tackle a new challenge.  she knew she needed something different… a new hobby, a new goal, a new dream, something to get her motivation sparked.

although she had never run more than 3 miles at once in her life and had always considered running to be punishment, she decided to she signed up for her first marathon.  26.2 miles of running, all at once.  she had no idea if she could do it, but she knew she was going to try.

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she started running and pretty soon after fell in love with it.  it was much different this time than it had been in the past, she actually looked forward to it!  as her long runs increased each week, she felt herself improving and she fell in love with it even more.  running made her feel powerful, strong, motivated and like an athlete again. she trained for months, and before she knew it, she was at the starting line of her first marathon with tears in her eyes.  four hours and four minutes later, she had done it, she was a marathoner.

aron  

it didn’t end there, she was hooked.  she found her next race and set a very ambitious goal, the goal of so many runners: qualifying for the boston marathon.  she knew it was going to be really hard and she had her doubts, but she knew if she set her mind to it, she could do it. 

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it didn’t come easy.  it took thousands of miles, plenty of sacrifices, countless tears, and multiple times of overcoming self doubt to truly believe that she had it in herself to fight to the finish.  after a year of 3 different attempts, that girl that never made varsity athletics in high school, that questioned calling herself an athlete, that previously hated to run, crossed the finish line of her 6th marathon in a time that qualified her to run the boston marathon.

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along her journey, this girl found what she had been missing all along.  she found something that made her feel complete, that made her feel strong, that let her truly be herself, that challenged her, that stripped her down and exposed her, while also building her up to find out what she was really made of.

she made herself a runner, an athlete, a boston qualifier, and most of all a strong, determined, persevering, fulfilled woman.

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she found out that all these things were in her all along, she just had to believe it and make it happen.  for her, it was as simple as getting out the door and putting one foot in front of the other, and not accepting anything less than her best. 

it’s in your hands… make yourself strong, powerful, athletic, determined, fulfilled, whatever you want to be.  all you have to do is believe in it and go out and do it.

i am so excited and honored to be asked to be a part of the nike women’s make yourself campaign along with a great group of other female bloggers.  this is my first contribution answering the question: how have you made yourself?

how have you made yourself

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42 Responses to make yourself

  1. twentysixandthensome.com November 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Squeaaaaaaal! I so love this story and am so glad that I met you along the way. You have become an amazing athlete that inspires me everyday and I can't wait to run Boston with you!

    Glad we are runner, friends, and Make Yourself-ers together!

  2. Amber (Girl with the red hair) November 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    Great story and post! So interesting to hear how running has changed people's lives! It's crazy for me to think that YOU (my running IDOL) have only been running for a few years!! I hope I'm half as hardcore (and fast) as you in a couple years :)

  3. The Laminator November 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    This should be required reading for all aspiring female athletes. Seriously. LOVE IT =)

  4. Jamie November 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    This is fantastic! You are such an inspiration!

  5. Tara November 15, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    You are amazing and definitely an inspiration! I'm so glad to be your friend and see all the hardwork that you put into running. You certainly have made yourself :)

  6. Christine November 16, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    What a great post, I enjoyed reading how started running and qualifying for Boston. What an inspiration!! :)

  7. Denise November 16, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    great post!! i can totally relate to how far running has brought you. here's to many more miles!

  8. Laura November 16, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    Such a great and inspiring post. I feel I have done a complete 180 with my health and life..thanks to running.

  9. Pretend this is real November 16, 2010 at 5:41 am #

    Congratulations! Beautifully written.

  10. lindsay November 16, 2010 at 5:48 am #

    Looooove this :) couldn't think of a better person for nike's campaign! Hope you get another pair of tempo shorts out of it ;)

    Oh and I looked at the ART site – can you believe the closest one is an hour away? Ugh. I was surprised there isn't one closer, my city isn't that small… If I was a health professional I know what business I'd be opening!

  11. P November 16, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Excellent post!!

  12. Morgan November 16, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    This post was beautiful Aron! Nike def picked the right girl! And I'm with Lindsay, I hope you get some more tempo shorts out of this! LOL!

  13. Mel-2nd Chances November 16, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Love this post, Aron, you're a total inspiration!

  14. J November 16, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Great post Aron! That is so exciting that you got picked by NIKE! I have loved reading/watching you grow over the past few years! You really are a great runner!

  15. Marlene November 16, 2010 at 8:04 am #

    Awesome post! I love your story. :)

    Sounds like a great movement to be involved with!

  16. Lizzy November 16, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Tears in my eyes!! Wonderful post Aron. You are seriously amazing! You've become such a fabulous runner in such a short period of time. I hope to meet you in Boston (I'll be spectating most likely). If you have any questions on the course, I've lived on it my entire life : )

  17. 2boymommy November 16, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    This is just awesome!! You are just awesome! I love how happy you are and what an amazing runner and athlete you are. It is so inspiring to me! Maybe is was making up dances to Kris Kross in your bedroom that sparked the love for running!! ;)

  18. Lisa November 16, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Very cool!! You are such an inspiration!!

  19. Mel -Tall Mom on the Run November 16, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    GREAT POST!

  20. Nitmos November 16, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I think a lot of runners are folks who were not part of the SPORTY crowd in h.s. Just my personal observation. Nice post!

  21. onelittletrigirl November 16, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Very few people deserve this as much as you do! You are an inspiration and I am so thrilled for you and this amazing new opportunity! Way to go Aron!

  22. lynette November 16, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    This is so true. No one could have made you this inspirational, motivated, powerful, athletic woman but YOU! Your Dad & I couldn't be prouder! Congrats on the nike campaign! A better candidate couldn't be found…but I'm a little prejudice :)

  23. marathonmaiden November 16, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    <3

    you have definitely made things happen. so exciting :)

  24. eatreadrun.com November 16, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Love your story!! You rock!

  25. Emz November 16, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    awesome & inspiring.

    YAY YOU!!

  26. jillwillrun.com November 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    This is a seriously great post! My "Make Yourself" story is set to post tomorrow!

  27. The Hungry Runner Girl November 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Wow! That post was absolutely amazing! What a neat journey you have made!! I too have made myself into a runner. The other thing that I have made myself is an educator and I love it!
    Really great post, I love blogs that make me think and take action!

  28. Nicole November 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I feel like i've known you for years! Your truly an inspiration Aron! I love reading about you with each post!

  29. Susan November 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    You've always been so inspiring to me…I love your story!

    I "made myself" by taking control of a life I hated and moved to a new city with a new job and an awesome running scene…and I love it!

  30. Heather November 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Awesome post!

  31. Ashalicious November 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    Kick butt post!!! Nike picked the right girl!!

  32. kilax November 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    I love this story! You're an inspiration!

  33. Lauren November 17, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I love this!! Your story is so inspirational! :) I love that you've found running and fallen in love with it. It's amazing to hear how far you've come. This campaign sounds really cool. I think Nike picked the right blogger to participate :)

  34. AmazingSusan November 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Brava!

    Congratulations on all your achievements, and this well-written post.

    I have similar inspirational stories of all kinds about women around the world on my website here:

    http://www.amazingwomenrock.com/

  35. Dave P. November 22, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Great post, Aron, and congratulations on making your goal of qualifying for Boston. I just took up running this summer after feeling much the same way about it as you did. I've got one half marathon under my belt now and am already looking forward to conquering a full at some point. Keep up the good work!

  36. Zaneta November 22, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Love this post!! You are amazing and inspiring!! :D
    Zaneta
    http://zanetaruns.blogspot.com

  37. UncleRick November 23, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    So many of us can relate to your story. I am inspired and proud of you. Thanks.

  38. Robyn January 17, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    You are fantastic.

    Thank you.

  39. Buttons Mom September 7, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Hi Aron, I’ve been reading your posts for a while now and have never commented. But after reading this actual post, I just had to say something. I have always enjoyed running but things always seem to get in the way. You know, things like…life. I’m in the midst of yet another transition in my life and my dear friend told me that I need to get back to doing what I love to center myself again. So she signed me up for a 5K. I took the hint and we started the Couch To 5K program to prepare ourselves for the Turkey Trot in Davis this year. It’s not a marathon, but it’s a start. But I just wanted to thank you for sharing your stories. You are definitely an inspiration to my running journey. Happy trails!

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