FitFluential Ambassadors themselves. I have always admired them for their strength, their determination, their confidence and their perseverance. I had thought about it lots but wasn't really sure if I had what it takes to be an Ambassador too...
As a teenager I was probably about as inactive as they come. Sure I played basketball and volleyball but I think that was mostly because I was tall and felt like I should play those sports. I was always the wimp at the back of the pack, possibly even with a few tears rolling down her cheeks, trying to finish the fitness-mile run in gym class and failing miserably at it.
During and after university I became much more active and started to regularly enjoy many new-to-me activities like mountain biking, golf, going to the gym, scuba-diving, hiking and even a few sprint distance triathlons for good measure. I even dabbled in running a little bit back then, completing a bunch of 10k and 5k races around town. While I was never particularly overweight, I began to feel so much better about myself and found whole new ways of feeling confident and strong and it felt amazing. Sure, I still couldn't really catch a softball, but I was getting in shape and was loving it! I started to form all kinds of goals and plans in my head of things I might one day like to do, like someday run a half marathon.
Then, in 2005 I got hurt. I had finally become a more active and healthy person and then a serious car accident pretty much took that all away from me. I was told my body would never be the same again and that I would always be in pain. My doctor outright told me that I would never be able to run again and just wouldn't be able to be active again because of the resulting pain and weakness. It was devastating.
|I was in pretty rough shape at first but still|
trying to stay positive and smile (check out that hair!)
|At physio with the clinic puppy|
|Working out in the pool|
I'm not sure that anyone believed I would actually complete the training and finish my first half marathon. But in May 2008 I did but not without much pain and struggle and quite a few tears along the way. Crossing the finish line was amazing but what was even more incredible was that I was feeling better than I ever had since getting hurt. All of the running had helped further strengthen my legs, hips and spine and my posture had improved. I still hurt but felt my strongest yet. And not only that, but my confidence and belief in myself returned. The emotional transformation was just as significant as the physical one.
|Tears a-flowing as I neared the finish line...|
|I did it!|
|Completing the BMO Van Half in 2012|
4 years after my very first half in 2008
|Running makes me feel like I can|
be the person I want to be
So when it came down to wondering whether I had what it took to be a FitFluential Ambassador myself, I thought about where I've been and how far I have come. I thought about the challenges I've faced and the ways in which I've either tackled them or proven them wrong. I sent in my story and what do you know, I guess the good people at FitFluential believe in me a little bit too because here I am joining their ranks and I am so excited about that.
I know I'm not going to change the world just because I have that FitFluential badge on my blog but I do hope that by sharing my story, my struggles, my tears, my triumphs and my joys along the way and with the help of the FitFluential organization, that maybe I can help inspire other people to find that confidence in themselves too. Since I started blogging about my journey I have connected with some truly amazing people, runners and athletes, many of whom have struggled with their own injuries and illnesses and I am humbled every time one of them tells me that hearing my story helped them even just a little bit.
So a big "Hello!" to all of the Ambassadors I am joining and a huge thank you for welcoming me. I hope you will follow along (or continue to) as I open up this new chapter in my running and fitness journey. I will be writing more about what it means to be part of the FitFluential family in coming posts.
If you want to read more about our accident, you can read a series of posts I wrote about it here.
If you want to learn more about the FitFluential program, you can read about it here.