When I had my annual performance review a couple weeks ago, my boss encouraged me to start blogging. I work for a technology marketing agency, and I know that he meant for me to start blogging about something related to my work. But, the truth is, I spend 40 to 50 hours a week immersed in tech talk, and while my job is interesting and fulfilling, the thought of blogging about cloud computing, IT security, or enterprise applications just doesn’t do it for me.
So I started thinking about what motivates me, inspires me, gets my creative juices flowing, as well as about what I want to achieve in this coming year. And I kept coming back to one thing: running.
Simply put, running changed my life three years ago. My seven year marriage was ending, and I was starting over again at age 30. It was a confusing time. I was concurrently devastated and exhilarated. I made a decision to start saying “yes” to things – to start taking some chances and challenging myself. I also had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to do a sprint triathlon. But, I’m not one to jump into things, so I took a baby step and decided that I would start with running (I hadn’t run seriously since high school track) and I set a goal to run three 5k races in 2008. I started running first on my own, then with a running group, and then I ran my first 5k in May 2008. And that was it – I was completely hooked. I ran three races that year and another 16 in 2009 and 2010, including three half marathons. Through running, I have gained so much: friendships, confidence, energy, focus, motivation, and a purpose outside of my career. I am stronger in every sense of the word – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I was at a low point, and running helped me to rise up, stronger than I’ve ever been in my life. If it could do that for me, what can it do for others? And to take it one step further, how can I help spread the word about running’s power to transform?
Well, for starters, I can make a commitment. So here it is: I am going to donate a dollar for every mile I run in 2011 to organizations focused on leveraging running as a tool to create a better life. For now, I am looking at Girls on the Run (a program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running) and Back on my Feet (an organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem).
I’m not sure yet what direction this blog will take. But as of now, I plan to write about my running, service experiences, and things that inspire me. Oh – and I kicked off my 2011 running journey today – two miles and counting. I think it is going to be a great year!
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