things i wish i knew when i started running
1. this sport breaks your heart. over and over and over again.
2. your worth is not in how many miles you run, how fast you race, what place you finish.
3. when a dream starts to feel like a prison sentence, it is okay if you leave it.
4. step back. breathe. LITERALLY stop to smell flowers, stare at the sunrise, or talk to the squirrel gathering nuts. look around you. take the moment in. you are alive. remember that. thirty seconds of appreciation will never be a mistake.
5. you can’t weigh 100 pounds and be a size 00 forever. muscle mass is bad ass.
6. but you will still never have boobs. genetics really did a number on you.
7. you will save all of your race bibs and all of your “good luck, run fast” notes. these will be stored in a box shoved under your bed. you will come home from college, find it, and cry. do not let the bitterness overwhelm the good memories. there are so many good memories. remember those instead.
8. you will outrun your love for running. it will take you two years to admit this aloud.
9. always stop if you see a dog during your run. always.
10. you may never become the runner you thought you would. but you will become an incredible woman who knows of sacrifice and strength, commitment and perseverance. you will become a woman so many people are proud of, even when you can’t be. you will stand on the same legs that met the finish line muddy, sweaty, or bloody hundreds of times before. you will breathe with the same lungs you swore were collapsing during your conference meet of your sophomore year. when reunited on winter break, you will hug your teammates with the same arms that held them during pre-race huddles and post-race breakdowns. you will be different, but beautiful. my god, you will be beautiful. you will be who you always needed to become.