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Carry on, it's All Good: Why I Run & A Personal Story of How Fitness Can Help Create Triumph

I am always stumped for a topic when it’s my turn to write the monthly blog post. I never really know what to do. I’m very new to this whole blogging thing. Our marketing guru, who also happens to be my first born (shameless plug for Curtis Bolton who designed our new logos, keeps our website up-to-date, and keeps us on our toes with newsletters and blog posts) is constantly telling me to just write what you know, write like you're talking to someone. So I’m gonna give that a try that this time.

Besides being a trainer at BodyNetix, one of the other parts of me is I’m a runner. Not fast, not slow, I just do what I can. Some runs are better than others, some worse. Sometimes I run alone and sometimes I run with friends, but all runs are good runs from where I’m standing. Just like a gym workout, or a bike ride, a paddle, or a hike, whatever your exercise of choice might be. I started running to get back into shape after 3 bundles of joy entered my life and sent it into chaos. Those first few miles were challenging to say the least. What I did learn in the beginning was that running not only helped my physical body, but it also helped my mental mind. During a run I could daydream, I could use it as therapy to sort out problems, or I could just run for the fun of it. Ya ya ya "run for fun" is not exactly everyone's cup of tea. What running might be for me is what a gym workout, cycling, walking, paddling etc. might be for you.

A little over 10 weeks ago I decided to commemorate a milestone birthday year. I would step up my running game and enter my first ultra marathon, 50km! This type of race and the training to get there would be something new to me. Longer distances, crazy hills, running over mountains; time consuming, a physical challenge, and mental dedication. The other reason I chose to race this race now was I needed a mental outlet again for what was to be a challenging time for me emotionally. My dad was sick, battling that horrible thing called cancer. Although his diagnosis came only a few short years ago, we were now coming towards the end of his battle. As I watched him get sicker, I found the need to become stronger – physically and mentally – to help me take on what was about to come. It would have been so much easier to just hide out, stay home, not run, but my Dad would not be happy that. Many a race he would watch me run by with a number pinned to my shirt, always a cheer (and usually a terrible sweaty picture to follow). So off I run, carrying on with my training. Some runs better than others. Some runs more of a physical challenge, some runs more of a mental challenge. Some runs alone and some with friends. Although I do have to say, a crazy BodyNetix workout filled with laughing hard working people, and a run with my crazy chatting running people, are always the better ones. On July the 9th I left my dad’s hospital room to go for one of my training runs. While out in the trails, taking in the quietness of the trees, with nothing but the sound of my steps, my dad fell into his final, most peaceful, pain free, sleep. He knew where I was going that afternoon, and what I was going to do. His way of saying 'Carry on, it’s all good.'

The moral of my story is not to make you sad, but to let you know everyone has their challenges in life (even trainers). Everyone chooses to cope differently. It’s easy during these tough times to let healthy habits slide; eating right, exercising, sleeping. It’s always so important to take the time you need to heal but remember your physical health is directly related to your mental health, and your mental health is directly related to your physical health. It might just be a walk that makes you feel better, you might just need to get lost in a fast paced gym workout for an hour or so, or like me, run a mountain AND a fast paced gym workout :) Listen to your body and your mind, and when those friends call or txt and invite you for a run, walk, ride, paddle, or crazy gym workout, go! They want to help make you feel better, let them. Do what you can, do what feels right, and listen to your body. You’ll feel so much better for it.

While I’ve got your attention, a quick, heartfelt thank you to my gym peeps and my running peeps, thanks for all the love and hugs. I couldn’t have surrounded myself with a better bunch of people.

Off I go into the next 10 weeks of my training – with my dad watching. Aren’t you all just looking forward to that “milestone birthday workout”? :)

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