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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?