In September 2012, I was challenged by my cousin to do something I would never even think of trying to do… Run a half marathon.
I am the kind of girl that hated running 1 mile and the thought of training to run 13.1 made me sick. But after a couple weeks of harassment and tweets like “@ChelsieAPrince I think powerful women challenge themselves to do the unthinkable! Half-marathon, maybe?” I gave in and decided to commit to the challenge.
I trained and ran the New Year’s Race Half-Marathon in Los Angeles on January 5, 2013. I thought that would be it for my running career. Basically a one and done type of thing but running became a part of me and I started to become a better me because of it. I have had body image issues all my life and although I am a pretty confident person, I struggled to be happy with my skinny, non-muscular body. Running changed that for me.
I began to appreciate my body for what it could do rather than what it looked like. I felt strong, empowered and completely impressed with myself. It was life-changing and I haven’t felt insecure about my body since. I’ve gained so much from running. Admiration: I see new muscles even though my body hasn’t changed all that much. Drive: I love pushing myself to run harder and farther. Ambition: Now I am training for my first marathon. The long runs give me time to think about life. I have begun to enjoy alone time while I run, instead of always wanting to have people around me. I’m happier with myself and I’m looking forward to that amazing feeling of crossing the finish line and completing 26.2 miles.