the story

It is amazing how sometimes the smallest decisions can completely change the course of your life. It happened that way for me. However, let us start at the beginning.

From the start, I was active and enjoyed doing crazy things. At the age of one, looking for excitement, I figured that my toy xylophone with wheels on it was better suited as a skateboard than as an instrument. Unfortunately, that resulted in my mom taking off the wheels because she was afraid I was going to kill myself. I sought out excitement in the world around me and it never failed to comply. I fell in love with gymnastics and figure skating and figure skated competitively through college (Go Dartmouth!). But I was never a runner. Never.

After graduating from college, I spent a year doing economics research in Finland and Monaco. It was my first time in forever that I was not training for a sport and while I missed it, there was so much to see and experience. How many people can say they had a train attendant in Budapest help them drag their huge suitcase up and down over nine sets of train tracks so that they would not miss the last train to Vienna? Or jumped into the water to swim in the Blue Grotto in Capri when all the locals were still wearing winter coats? Or woke up each day to the smell of lavender and the view of the Mediterranean? It was all an adventure.

When I came back from Europe and moved to New York City to start my first real grown-up job, I guess you could say reality hit me hard. While I loved New York City, with my two weeks of vacation, nothing I was truly passionate about, and seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel, I felt trapped. For the first time I looked at a bucket list of things people should do before they die hoping for inspiration for something that would make my life more exciting. Interestingly enough, I had completed quite a few of the things, but the obvious choice stuck out in all of its three-word glory. Run a marathon. My parents had been runners in New York City when running was just gaining popularity and while saying I was never interested in running is a bit of an understatement, for some reason at the back of my mind a marathon held a certain intrigue and glamour, mostly because it seemed insane anyone would run that far. Really it all came down to it being the right moment to try. Other than the running 26.2 miles part, it was perfect. It was athletic, training for something again sounded fun, the NYC Marathon was still over half a year away and there was always the possibility I could like running. Maybe. I even calculated if I would make the cutoff time if I had to walk the whole way. I found out about the Team for Kids charity team on the NYC Marathon webpage and the inspirational video finalized my decision. I never expected that it would have such an impact on my life.

While it may not have been love at first run, it was not long before running had placed its spell over me. A piece of my heart will always belong to figure skating, but for someone coming from the sport with its judging scandals, subjectivity and exclusivity, running seemed so pure, unencumbered and inclusive. I loved it. I loved how one can both enjoy the feeling of complete peace where things like time and other earthly constraints cease to exist during a run alone or how one can share the time with friends. I loved the challenge and the competition. I loved the sense of freedom and endless possibility that I gained. I no longer felt trapped. One marathon turned into two marathons turned into three marathons. In less than three months. I have always had slightly obsessive tendencies, but I was completely hooked. Somewhere along the way I had become a runner.

Running has opened up a whole new world for me. One of my goals is to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states and I would like to do all of the continents too. I have an incurable sense of wanderlust and combining travel and running is the ultimate combination. I am also completely entranced by the idea of running an ultramarathon. Again, the possibilities are endless. Of course, in addition, underlying running all distances is the ever-present quest for more speed. However, at the end of the day, I never want to forget why I fell in love with running in the first place. Sometimes one decision really can change everything in ways one would never expect. I am so glad for everything that has resulted from deciding to do that first marathon. I am totally loving the journey. This blog is that story.