I’m 12 years old and I’m staring down at a chalk white line on a dirt track in the middle of a field. There’s a feeling in my stomach, it’s not nerves, it’s not a feeling of tightness that often accompanies doubt - It’s a stirring. It’s pure excitement. I’m not sure what will happen once I cross that line, but in the midst of the pause between the “on your mark” and the pop of the starting gun, all I can think about is how I can’t wait to find out.
Sometimes in the middle of a hard training session, a group run, or race, I have to laugh at the improbability of running becoming such a central part of my life. For years it was something I dreaded and was certain I would never be able to do. In my early running years I had trouble believing in myself, but after many thousands of miles I've finally given myself permission to flourish and succeed as a runner (and otherwise). Running has become a key source of happiness, achievement, and fulfillment. But as far as I've come, I often look back to pivotal moments on the road to finding fierce.