Since January this year, I have run over 60 miles (including a 10K race), practiced yoga for over 360 minutes, walked over 90 miles, done over 330 minutes of other exercise (like rowing, strength-training, hiking, etc.), and cycled over 250 miles. Yeah, I’m a numbers geek and, yeah, I’m really proud.
Three years ago I couldn’t walk further than a half mile without getting sick. I couldn’t run a quarter mile without passing out. I couldn’t even see myself being healthy, because I didn’t know what health was. With the auto-immune disorder I developed from Celiac Disease, my normal “healthy” day was another person’s “having a cold” day. I grew used to it and I limited myself out of fear.
So many people have encouraged me in my path toward health through supporting my diet choices, cheering me along in my exercise, and inspiring me through their words and actions.
Emilie – my best friend
You’ve been such a support to me since the very beginning of my going Vegan and later going gluten-free. You’ve heard me out when I shared about my struggles and successes. Living with you and seeing you transform into a bad-ass runner inspired me to start exercising. Our ongoing conversations about the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional aspects of exercise have helped me to see that moving my body and getting healthy is a huge part of my overall life and health in general. Thank you for the advice, encouragement, and inspiration you’ve given me.
Matt – my boyfriend
When we first met, you were very curious about my diet choices and you made it a point to learn what I could and could not eat. Beyond choosing “safe” restaurants for our dates, you even ordered dishes I could eat in order to share with me. After two years of dating, that hasn’t stopped. While you still eat your occasional chicken foot, the fact that you eat mostly Vegan and always cook VGF with me makes me feel so loved. Thank you for your support in my exercising, too. You encouraged me to enter a 5K and I snapped at you that I couldn’t do it… then shortly after we entered and completed a 10K together. Thanks for knowing I can always get better.
Gillian – my sister
You are one of my favorite running partners because whenever we run together, I am reminded that you have a similar experience. You know what it is to overcome illness, to take control of your health, and to make choices often that help you love yourself. Seeing you plan for your future career, study hard, eat well, and exercise often (even in the face of setbacks) helps me feel encouraged and inspired. Thanks for the uplifting presence you’ve been in my life.
Thanks so much for coming to my 10K race and supporting me. You have inspired me by getting into cycling. I’m glad we have that in common. Your support and encouragement in many areas of my life is greatly appreciated, and your pride in my exercise accomplishments makes me feel loved.
Olivia – my “new old friend”
I feel like I’ve known you for so long now, but it’s only been a year that we’ve been hanging out with each other. Being open with each other about our health, our struggle, our hopes, and our successes means a lot to me. I love running with you and sharing our exercise endeavors with one another. You’re always such an encouragement to me and I’m really excited to keep it up.
My Exercise Group
I thought it was a good idea to start an exercise group online and I thought using the MapMyFitness app would be a good idea, but I never realized what a big deal this group would be. You ladies inspire me continually. Angel, I love seeing your awesome yoga sessions, runs, and walks. Bri, I think it’s so great that you make the time to practice yoga and run so often even when you have kids. Chloe, it’s wonderful that you take time to run and exercise when you’re in school and have a kid. Dani, I never know what exercise I’ll see from you when I log in—I love your variety and dedication! Kitty, I haven’t talked with you about exercise since you were excelling at your squat challenge but you are still just as inspiring. Emily, I love hearing about how your walks go and seeing you getting out hiking. Tara, you always surprise me with your activity too—I didn’t know you were so into snowboarding until this group.
Thank you all so much for your continued love, support, and encouragement. You’re contributing to my life in great ways.