The other day I got grumpy. Now in the past, that wouldn’t be a very big surprise. I was pretty well known for my grumpiness. In fact, Tom even referenced it in his wedding vows.
I was grumpy when I got up in the morning, I was grumpy during the day & I was grumpy for no reason at all. But I’m not like that anymore. Sure I still get grumpy once in a while, like when I’m hungry, but only once in a while, not daily.
I started reflecting on this and trying to figure out what changed in my life and why I had this major shift. I came to the realization that it’s from exercise and even more specifically, running.
Running gave me a purpose and a drive. There is no greater feeling than crossing the finish line of a race. You’re filled with adrenaline and such a sense of pride & accomplishment. That feeling is addictive so after my first race, I signed up for another race and then another to continue chasing that feeling. While I was doing this, I never really stopped to think about the effects it was having on my life but they are profound and go way beyond just the health benefits.
I’m an introvert, that means I recharge best with some alone time. Occasionally I run with a friend or Tom but most of my runs are done solo. It’s my time to think, be alone and reenergize myself. I don’t think I realized before how much this affects my mood. But now that I have this time to myself multiple times per week, my daily grumpiness is gone. I can’t even begin to describe how different my attitude and outlook on life is. The change was subtle and it took me a while to recognize it but I am absolutely a happier person.
From as young as the age of 8, I felt ashamed of my body. I vividly remember a time in grade 3 where the girls were measuring to see how far their thighs were from the tops of the desk. My thighs were the closest and from that point in my life on, I was aware of my body and didn’t feel comfortable.
I used to buy my clothes too big to hide my body. I hated being in a bathing suit. I used to not even be comfortable with Tom. But ever since I started running and exercising regularly, that completely changed. I haven’t lost any weight, I just feel better about myself. Now I’m proud of my body and it’s strength. I’m okay with others seeing it. It’s so empowering to feel free of the body shame and it motivates me to continue on my fitness journey.
That quote is one of my favourites because I resonate completely with it. I remember when Tom was training for his first marathon. People asked me if I was going to run the marathon too. I just laughed. Me? Never. I truly didn’t think I was capable.
But through running my confidence improved and I got up the courage to sign up for my first marathon. It was terrifying and the day of the race I wanted to puke but I got to the start and I crushed my way to the finish.
That courage has helped me in other aspects of my life as well. I’m more willing to try out new things or to work towards a goal even though I know it will be hard. I know now that I am capable of hard things.
When I moved to Calgary I was lonely for a long time. I had some friends here but nothing like my best friends I left behind. Being an introverted and shy person, I struggle to form new friendships but running and blogging gave me common interests with people. I have met some of the most incredible people who have become great real life friends to me now.
When I say exercise & running changed my life, I really mean it. I owe so, so much to running and the running community that I just want to shout from the rooftops Thank You Running!!!!
Right now Brooks is running a campaign called #ThankYouRunning. If you share your #ThankYouRunning story on Twitter or Instagram you will be entered to win a trip for 2 to Amsterdam! I am not affiliated with Brooks I just love this campaign because I truly have so much to thank running for.