Today marks 365 days since I began running. It’s become a way of life for me, and I’m so incredibly glad I was introduced to Black Girls Run (BGR). I started this running thing and kept at it because of a great community of women committed to personal fitness. Most of us are mothers, working mothers, and all have the same challenges that come with a household, a husband, children, a career and abandoned, nonexistent or forgotten fitness goals. Each BGR group has run leads, and one woman named Fe, was the perfect coach for me. She has a no-nonsense style, which I needed when she would asked, “you wanna go one more mile?” knowing I was barely keeping up with her. Last year, she saw me as the runner I am today.
In the past year, I have completed amazing fitness milestones, such as running my first half marathon, losing and maintaining a twelve pound loss, reducing my resting heart rate from over 90 to 68, and increased my energy and stamina. More importantly are the intangibles: being able to better manage stress and feeling a sense of accomplishment surrounding my fitness goals.
I shared this journey with a girlfriend, and that’s been one of the best parts for me. I wasn’t alone along this journey, and at times she was more into running than I was. Her passion and consistency provided accountability which helped me tremendously. If I’ve never said thank you for that, thank you, Kosha! In addition to the BGR community, I’m now a member of the broader running and fitness community. When I’m on a run during a business trip, and pass by a stranger running on the road, we smile briefly and wave silently and that nod encourages me.
Now, a year later with my heart stronger as well as my mind, I celebrate the anniversary of a commitment to change. I went from thinking that running, let alone running long distances just weren’t for me, to yearning to join a roadside runner when I drive past them on a rest day, to looking forward to my next half in October.