One year ago today, I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. Looking back at these pictures makes me emotional all over again. Little did I know that was just the beginning of a year that has changed me in so many ways. I've learned a lot about myself over the course of those first 26.2 miles and the two marathons since then. I learned that I was stronger than I had ever dared to believe before. I have no doubt that running that first marathon has given me courage over this past year to face hard things in all areas of my life. I've stepped out of my comfort zone more than ever before, I've used my voice in situations where I was silenced for too long, and I've become passionate about things I was afraid to stand for before. I've dared to dream some really big dreams, and I've pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do more times than I can count. I've made mistakes and fallen on my face numerous times as well, but I've learned a lot of lessons in the process of getting back up.
I've told pieces of my story before and don't mean to be repetitive, but 3 years ago today I was very much in the middle of a 13 year battle with bulimia, depression, and a vicious cycle of self-destruction. If you had told the girl I was then that she was capable of being free and healthy, much less running marathons, she would have never believed you. At that time I was nearly convinced I would struggle with my demons forever. Thank God for grace, for the never ending second chances I've been given, and the people who have loved me through it all.
I don't say all this to say "look what I've done", but to say that there truly is nothing that can't be overcome. Anything, and I mean anything, is possible when you decide to take that first step and refuse to stop getting back up. My first step was deciding that I really wanted to live, even though I didn't know what that looked like at the time. Running has become an amazing part of that journey and I can't wait to see where the next year takes me. Two places I know for sure: Boston and then California next December! 🙌🏻