Every year on the first Wednesday in June, people around the world participate in Global Running Day. This day was designated for runners to reaffirm their passion for running and for beginners to make a life-changing commitment to running. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other, whatever the distance!
We checked with some of our SparkleStars to learn more about their running journeys. Here are just a few inspirational stories!
I started running in 2013 because I realized I was too heavy and out of shape to keep up with my 2-year-old daughter! I completed my first 5k in May of 2013 and the story continues….
---Running is my mental getaway. It’s a chance for me to have time alone to process things that have been stuck in my head. I often enjoy moments of peace where I don’t even think… I simply enjoy the silence.
---It is an emotional release. When I run, I’m usually alone and I can expel frustration and emotional energy I don’t otherwise have an outlet for. I can talk through things and I often come up with solutions simply by hearing my own voice.
---Running is a physical exertion I can’t get anywhere else. When I run and walk, I am able to push myself further than even I ever thought I could!
---It is just plain fun! Sure, it sucks a lot of the time, but even when it sucks, it can be fun doing races with my friends, to push together to the finish line. It might hurt for a little bit. It might be hard for a lot of it. But without the pain, the bling and pride wouldn’t be worth it!
---Most of all, I run for my daughter! I want to be around for as much of her life as possible, and I want to be a role model; to teach her about having a healthy and active lifestyle.
Over the last six years, I’ve gone from being on the couch—unable to keep up with a toddler—to running a 5k in 50 minutes… then to a PR of 33:07. I’ve completed over 100 races, including 2 marathons and 3 triathlons.
I’ve lost 50 pounds and plan to lose more.
Although recent injuries have derailed my progress, I am determined to train my way back…and better! I thank my daughter for giving me the main reason for running!
August 2014 with my three-year-old daughter
Disney Princess 2018 5k on my daughter’s 7th birthday
I ran my first Disney races at The Princess 5k and 10k in 2014. I remember how hard it was for me. I loved the magical feeling of being at The Princess, but I recall the disgust I felt at being overweight. It was taking a toll on my knees and my overall health and I cringed when I saw the photos that were taken along the route. I had worn big sweat pants and I hated them.
At the expo, I was introduced to SparkleSkirts. My dream was to run another Disney race and actually dress up as a princess in a SparkleSkirt.
The following year, I completed the Glass Slipper Challenge and The Tinkerbell, so I obtained my Coast-to-Coast medals, but I still wished I had lost weight and trained better. Only Disney magic and my SparkleSkirts got me through!
In 2016, I did The Princess again, but I was healing from meniscus surgery and had still not lost weight, so the stress on my knees was becoming unbearable. On the flight home, I decided I would sign up for The Dopey Races and get in shape. I signed up. I didn’t get in shape.
Before The Dopey Races in 2017, I had knee injections and cortisone epidurals in my back just to help ease the pain. I ended up primarily walking the races.
A few months after The Dopey, at my annual check-up, my doctor came right out and told me I needed to lose weight or I would not be able to run anymore and I would be headed for more knee surgeries.
I was not willing to give up my Disney races!
I joined Weight Watchers and began walking. Gradually, with the help of the Galloway Method, I interjected some running. When I signed up for The Chicago Marathon, a friend asked me why I kept signing up for races when all I did was walk them and waste my money. That struck a cord with me, so I finally made a promise to myself that was achievable: Take everything just one day at a time. Add distance each day.
With that maxim, I kept training and finished the 2018 Chicago Marathon 75 pounds lighter than when I first began this crazy journey! I finally like my race photos and how I look in my SparkleSkirts! Now, I feel like a 30-year-old, instead of feeling beyond my 55 years. I am signed up for 2019 Chicago and New York Marathons (and will certainly register for more). I am finally happy and proud (maybe wishing I had figured it all out a little sooner) and ready to continue this great journey!
I started running so that I could fight a severe case of depression.
In 2010, my life blew up. I lost custody of my then four-year-old son, my job, my home and my self-esteem. I couldn’t find anything to ease the depression and the feeling of losing control.
I started walking out of desperation. That led to running!
In 2016, I ran my first half marathon! Since then, I’ve run seven half marathons (pictured below) and an 8k. In October of 2019, I will run my first marathon…The Chicago!
Running has given me confidence that I never knew I could have. It has taught me to keep going, no matter how excruciating things get. It has allowed me to develop friendships with people I might have otherwise never met.
I still battle with depression every day, but running gives me a natural way of coping with it. I truly believe I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for running and I hope others can benefit from my words!
We love our SparkleStars! ✨✨ Please keep sending inspirational stories and please…keep running! 🏃♀️
If you would like to share your SparkleStar story with us, please email Noha: firstname.lastname@example.org (include photos).