There was a point in my life when I–and I’m sure many of us–experienced that heavy walk through each day. We could not find the energy to speak to our friends and family. We lost ourselves so deeply that we felt defined only by what we accomplished or how we ate.
Running was my protector. It was the thing I looked forward to each day. Through it, I experienced the exhilaration of flying over large expanses of grass in cross country, the challenge of leaping over piles of snow on the coldest but most serene winter days, and the awe in watching the sun rise over the horizon on muggy summer mornings.
I also experienced the shooting pain of an injured knee, the ache of a stress-fractured foot, the tears over the shoulders of teammates after races when it felt more like we had raced through mud than over clouds.
The eating disorder devastated much in its path, including running. But more importantly, it took away the people and pieces of life that I began to realize mattered even more.
The eating disorder also forced me to pull everything apart and find my identity–an identity, I learned, that connects me to so many others through empathy and understanding. I was never as alone as I thought.
I have learned to test the limits of the soul rather than just the body, and to find courage when the false walls of perfection are stripped down.
I am more than running, and I have more to give to the world.
I’m ready to fly on my own. I’m ready for the next adventure ahead.
I’m ready to live.
Title changed from “Finding Peace,” and post updated to better capture the feelings of 2015 on 2/20/21.