It was the summer of '04. I had just broken up with my first serious boyfriend. I was 19 and didn't know too much about relationships, love and the like. But nevertheless, my heart was shattered.
A few days later, I went to the gym. I was always an elliptical kind of girl, but burning in pain, I decided to hit the track. Now, back up to sixth grade. Every year, the gym teacher would make us run a mile. We had to complete the mile in less than 10 minutes to receive an 'A'. Those days were the pits. I was petrified. I can't run a mile… let alone in less than 10 minutes.
But that day, I wasn't that scared 12-year-old girl. I was fierce. I went out and ran .6 miles in less than five minutes. Shocking myself I knew there was something there. The next day, I went out and ran a mile in less than nine minutes. The progression continued. Every week, I'd add anywhere between a quarter mile to a half mile to my run.
I spent the summer making myself better physically, emotionally and spiritually. When sophomore year came around, I saw him for the first time. Even though my heart began racing, I held my head up high as we passed.
Was I five pounds lighter? Not that I recall. Was I prettier? No. Nothing on the outside had changed. But that summer, I found confidence.
It didn't come from my faith. I've always been tuned into that. It didn't come from my parents. They've always gone above and beyond the call of duty. It was discovering that I can do anything if I believe in myself.
I was holding back to conserve when I should have been picking up my pace. I was so close to the end but didn't realize. I finished four minutes slower than my last race – 1 hour 38 minutes – because I didn't have time left to meet my goal.More >>