Growing up I was the husky kid. I loved sports but my passion greatly outweighed my own physical abilities. I never really let that detour me, and I pursued athletics through high school and even managed to play Division III lacrosse (team mascot the Huskies—go figure). After college I was left with this void in my day where I had grown accustomed to being somewhere and active for an hour and a half. I was also around 185 pounds on an intimidating 5’7” frame.
A very close friend of mine convinced me to sign up for a biathlon where you run-bike-run. I thought how hard could that be? I had an old Cannondale I bought off of eBay and I knew how to run (or at least I thought I did), albeit for very short distances. The race was a 10K followed by a 23-mile bike, then a run up a local ski mountain. By the turn around point in the first part of the race I was soon realizing what I had gotten into. This was going to hurt. I was not prepared.
I finished the race, which was a great accomplishment at the time, and I still feel that way looking back on the experience. I had reached that point where you want to lay down and quit but decided to push past that to see what was on the other side. What ended up being there was a stronger version of myself. I had this new desire to learn why I blew up in the beginning of the race, to explore new challenges, and to continue to find the other side of what I thought I was capable of.
It’s been nine years since that race, which is hard to believe. Since then I have 40 less pounds to carry on that intimidating 5’7” frame and I have raced in deserts, jungles, and over mountain passes. I have seen and experienced places I never thought possible. Running has helped me continually improve not only physically but also as a person – and I am better for it. It has taught me not to believe in limits but believe in possibilities and myself. It has taught me not to fear failure, as failure is ultimately a subjective term. It has taught me that taking that step into what you think is impossible is the only way to determine what really is possible. It has taught me to dare to endure.