My Reason to Run

When I started this blog a month ago, I don’t feel that I gave the full story on WHY I started running. I wanted something to document my running/fitness adventures over the coming months and kind of just jumped right into it.

So – why did I jump onto the running train?

Actually, let me rewind a little ways back. The day that sticks out to me the most as “Holy crap Kayla, get your butt into shape!” is the day that I got home from Italy in July 2011. It had been a long flight and I was ready to catch my layover and get home already. Our plane landed a little late and my layover was a whopping 45 minutes long. Needless to say, I never had a shot of catching that flight. But that sure didn’t stop me from trying! I vividly remember getting through security and going at a full on sprint with my cousin to try and make it to our gate. I could barely even run down that terminal. By the time we reached the gate, I was almost dry heaving and couldn’t get words out. This was a big wake up call.

definitely what i looked like running through the airport.

In the coming months, I finally joined a gym down the road and hired a personal trainer. (All thanks to my forever-awesome parents! Shout out to Mom & Dad for funding this body getting back into shape for the first time since I was say…11?) The first day I sat down with my trainer he asked me about my goals. {Mind you, this is September of 2011} I told him that over the next year, I really wanted to be able to finish a 5k. That distance seemed huge. {Another side note-I told him just how much I hated cardio and threatened to kill him if he ever made me run sprints around the gym. Sorry Rick.}

Not long after joining the gym, I downloaded the “Couch to 5k” app on my phone. I will never forget how hard those runs were. Wake up call #2 of how out of shape I was! I ultimately had no self control and the worst shoes for running, so I gave up on the app and didn’t attempt running again for months. I had myself convinced that only certain people were meant to be runners and that my bum foot {which was really just bad Nike shoes} & I were never going to run.

Which brings me to the beginning of my running love affair. In February of 2012, I was feeling extra ambitious one day and decided to run for a cause close to my heart. As you may have read, I have Crohn’s disease. I found CCFA Team Challenge and decided – why not?! I almost immediately signed myself up for 13.1 crazy miles and instantly panicked about how I would EVER run an entire half marathon. I hadn’t even run my first 5k yet! 

I couldn’t back down now. I set up a website to start fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and started training. The fundraising wasn’t going to be the hard part. The running, though? Full on panic-mode. The awesome thing about Team Challenge is that they set you up with trainers who give you an entire training plan among loads of other advice to help you make it to the finish line. I was ready to run.

Over the last few months, I have learned so much about myself through running. I have learned just how much I want to hold a more active role in the Crohn’s & Colitis community – a disease that has not only taken over my life at times, but many others close to me. I have learned just how strong I can be, and that the sky really is the limit when you put your mind to it.  I have learned to LOVE exercise, the endorphins, and the free therapy that it provides. And most importantly – I have learned just how blessed I am to have so many amazing and supportive people surrounding me in life. My reason to run started by wanting to raise $2400 for Crohn’s & Colitis research. Through the love and support of people in my life, I have far exceeded that number by raising over $3000 to date with just donations alone. That. Is. Amazing. The  majority of the people giving me donations were people whom I hadn’t talked to in months, years, and some that I had never even met.

My initial reason to run was to raise money for a great cause. There are so many people in this world with Crohn’s & Colitis who would kill to be training for a half marathon, but aren’t physically capable with where they are in their disease. I love that I am able to do this not only for myself, but for all of those who spend each day wishing for a cure so that they could get out there and run too.

I didn’t plan on getting so sappy with this post. However, running has given me a lot and I am forever grateful that I stumbled into this love affair.

Happy hump day, everyone. Get out there and run! :)


One response to “My Reason to Run

  1. Keep it up Kayla! We are so proud of you. I told you when you were 12, and I’m telling you again. You truly are an inspiration! I LOVE the picture in your post! (I still see you as that little munchkin you likened yourself to in the above picture!)

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