After a year and a half in Spain, I recently moved home to Southern Ohio. As an Ohioan with strong family roots, I never planned on moving to Spain. Similarly, as a lifelong musician who chose arts over sports in school, I never planned on becoming a runner. Being a traveler and a runner were aspects of my life that grew from pain, baggage, and a need for control. Both are integral to my being, so leaving those behind to do some soul searching on long runs in Spain was not an easy feat.
I started running when I decided to train for my first half marathon in the middle of a body image crisis and while in the throes of an eating disorder. Admittedly, at that time I was not into the running for pleasure part. Train for this half, and you’ll be on a quick plan to being skinnier and no one will ask questions about it, was more my thinking. I trained on the country roads along the Ohio River, on an overgrown track behind my high school, and eventually moved my routes to the big(ger) city streets of Columbus. Somewhere among the water and the wild flowers, I realized that I, body and mind, deserved more than diet, exercise, and punishment. I learned to love running as soul food, not a punishment for eating food. Then, that’s when I became a runner. Read more >>