It seems now as if running has always been a part of my life.
But just a couple of short years ago, I looked at someone in disbelief when they suggested I attend a Team In Training Info Night.
"You could run a half-marathon," she told me. And she said it with such conviction, like there wasn't a doubt in her mind.
Me? I don't run. There's no way that I could do 13.1 miles. And do it in a few short months? Never.
Of course, we all know how that turned out. I did, in fact, go from a non-runner to someone who finished the Disney Half-Marathon. And then I did another. And another. And another. And then I did a marathon.
Running is surely part of who I am now - a part that helps me to live a healthy and happy life, a part that helps me focus, be alone with my thoughts when I need to and celebrate what I can do. Everyone should have something like that in their life.
Most importantly, it's a part of my life that I like to share with others.
Many people have told me I've motivated them, inspired them or impressed them along the way. It's always funny hearing that. I'm just me - nothing special. I don't do anything that anyone else can't do. I really believe that.
That's exactly what I told the group of new team members at Info Night for a new Manchester TNT team last night.
They, too, looked skeptical. I could tell some doubted they could run a half or full marathon, let alone train for it while raising thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. But they can.
And they will.
I'm excited I made the decision to be a mentor for these new runners after taking a few months off from mentoring to concentrate on my own marathon training.
I'm perhaps even more excited that I decided to break away from my "old" team on the Seacoast and help re-start a Manchester team.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't an easy decision. I really like running with the Seacoast team. I've made some wonderful friends and our weekly runs are always full of laughs and stories. I have a sense of comfort there - I know the roads, the routine and the faces.
But sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone is exactly what I need. Just like I did when I attended that first Info Night, convinced myself I could do this and joined the team.
I'll be working with a new coach, on new roads, with new runners. And honestly, I can't wait.
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