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February 06, 2017

What is (run) love?

Heather Stephens

It’s complicated. My affair with running started when I was in sixth grade. As with any early life dating experience, it was awkward. Gangly limbs, suited up in Soffe Shorts and an oversized cotton tee, I took on the middle school mile in my Adidas All Stars. And I ran away from the one boy who was brave enough to compete with me. I crossed the line in 6:17, one second ahead of him. My first, little win and I was mildly intrigued. 

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Insert, the hard to get phase. The middle school track coach chased me down to join the team and I spent the next three years resisting his offer. You want me? Eh, I’m not really into it any more. After all the pursuit is the most intriguing part. Basic laws of attraction, am I right? So I dabbled in soccer, a sport that didn’t come easy for me. It turned out that I could run fast, but I couldn’t score a goal. So I flirted with running again and decided to give it a chance. 

It was my very first love. Little did I know, I was locking in with a relationship that would go the distance. 

It has been a soul shaking, 

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heart breaking,

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complicated

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rock solid love affair. 

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The sport has carried me to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I broke up with it. Got back together. And recognized the meaning of putting in the work to make it work. 

It’s not about being all in or all out. With any commitment, it’s a vow to patience and love. A willingness to grow and change. Sometimes it's training for a race, and other times it's just running for the pure joy and transcendence of it. It’s who I am. It’s in my blood. It lives in my heart. And it makes me the very best version of me. This transformation in mindset came when I joined Oiselle. Powering up in O makes me feel strong on the challenging days. It’s a spark when the fire isn’t burning bright. 

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So… what is (run) love? For me, it’s the stories, support, and successes of our community. For Oiselle, it’s the passion we pour into products that love you back. But for you… what is (run) love?

Show us, tell us, shout it from the rooftops. Get down on one knee and propose to it. Or give it some space so you can come back to it with a clear head and open heart. We’re dedicating a whole week to the question, and can’t wait to hear what you have to share. Use #RunLove and get in on the fun.

xo

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Comments

Donna Stephens | February 9, 2017 at 8:06am

For the long run

Running for me is a joy I wish I could do more often. Instead I work out everyday and it's my love. Working out feeds my body and my soul. For me, it's about looking ahead and knowing there's one constant in life that keeps things in perspective. It's running, working out, sweating up a storm...it's my way of working through challenging life obstacles. Love, life challenges and finding ways to learn from setbacks...through all of these issues....there's one thing I can always rely on to help me through-it's my workout. It heals, invigorates, encourages, strengthens the soul and heart and I know it's always there for me no matter what. So for the long run, our relationship will be rock solid because we have been there for each other and aways will.

Kristen | February 12, 2017 at 9:29am

#RunLove

As I reflect back now, at age 42, on all my years of running, I can honestly say “I love running.” It is now my source of therapy. I can say it wasn’t always that way. I started running in high school in ninth grade on the junior varsity cross-country team; my father was also the track coach. I ran because it was another notch to add to my resumé of the many athletics I did in high school. I found nothing fun about it—and needless to say, I found nothing therapeutic either. However, as the years went on, I continued to run. As problems and stress increased, so did my running. I began to find that running helped me manage a great deal of the stress. I was able to clear my mind and work out the problems as I hit the road alone. By the time I finished running, I emerged stronger, and even better I was maintaining a great physique! Running has gotten me through some of my darkest times. Recently, I lost my brother to suicide. Now, I run for him, and I carry an engraved penny with me on each run. Without running I don’t know how I could have gotten through this. I’m what you would call a “lone jogger.” I run early, at 4 a.m., before the sun rises and the streets get busy, while everything is still lit by the moonlight. Some days my miles are filled with tears, and other days they are just filled with the joy of running and my mind is empty. I wish I could pass this free therapy on to others, and to anyone struggling. For me, the long miles and any pain associated with it isn’t any harder than some of the pain or struggles I’ve endured in my life over the years.

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