How I Fell in Love with Running in 2017

woman climbing an obstacle


So I have some pretty big news. It’s December 2017 and I’m happy to say that I’m in love! No, not with a man. I’m in love with running. And it’s honestly been one of the best relationships I’ve ever had.

Running and I have a rather long history together. I competed in middle school cross-country, not because it interested me, but because all my friends did it. I never came in first but I usually put up a good fight to finish just outside the top three. I’m a competitor by nature and I always finished with a crazy kick no matter how tired I felt.

In ninth grade, I left the cross-country team for what I thought would be forever. I ran in practice to keep up my conditioning for volleyball and soccer but you’d never catch me jogging on the weekends or anything like that. I did compete in track and field but I was very clear with my coaches, “Put me in a race longer than the 400 and I’m out of here!”

It wasn’t until I began working at ACTIVE that running started to float across my mind again. In our offices, it’s everywhere you look.

“Join us for our weekly run club!”

I took a hard pass on that—but I did feel guilty. Running is a culture here, and I felt strangely attracted to it. I even started to miss that feeling I’d get at the end of a race—seeing another runner in front of me and working up the energy to pass them. That’s a feeling you don’t forget.

I watch a lot of American Ninja Warrior. Anytime I scroll past those brave souls trying to get past the cliff hanger (they hardly ever do) I always have the urge to go hurdle some obstacles. So, when my friend asked if I wanted to do a Spartan Race with him, my first reaction was, “absolutely, yes, I’m in, let’s do this.” But then, in a panic, “How much running is it?!”

“It’s 22 obstacles spread out over anywhere between three to five miles,” he said.

“Oh, no. Nope. Can’t do it.”

But he wouldn’t hear it. The next day, I started with two miles. I hated it. It was the beginning of spring in Dallas and it was hot as hell. But about every other day for five weeks I’d run either two, three, four—and even one time five—miles. I didn’t like running, but my desire to overcome any embarrassment of not being able to finish the race at least at an easy pace way outweighed my distaste for running.

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About the Author

Nikki Chavanelle is one of ACTIVE's Fitness and Nutrition editors. As a former intramural rock star at SMU and current sports junkie, Nikki claims she peaked in college. Follow Nikki on Twitter for fitness and sports chatter.
Nikki Chavanelle is one of ACTIVE's Fitness and Nutrition editors. As a former intramural rock star at SMU and current sports junkie, Nikki claims she peaked in college. Follow Nikki on Twitter for fitness and sports chatter.

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