I started running cross country in high school as a way to stay in shape for soccer season. That was my singular goal and purpose. Not to race competitively, or to smash PRs, or to lose weight, or for any other reason. So, it was as much a surprise to myself as it was to anyone else when I discovered that I genuinely loved the sport. I adored my teammates and found that meeting up to cover 6 miles after school was fun. We bonded over long runs where we had nothing else to do but talk. And of course, team dinners and getting out of school early to head to meets only added to my newfound enthusiasm for the sport.
Even after graduating, I continued to run. Just for the heck of it. Throughout college and into my early 20s, I signed up (and sometimes even trained!) for half marathons. I appreciated the time that running allotted me, to think, destress, and reach endorphin fueled highs. Continue reading