I found running back in high school when I used to run before crew practice. It was common for us to have to run from boathouse row in Philadelphia to “The Three Angels” and back as a warm-up before getting into our shells for the real workout. Someone once called me “gazelle” during one of these runs perhaps because of my ridiculously awkward, skinny long legs but perhaps more so because they could see how freeing running could be for me. I continued on in my athletic journey as a rower through college and after college using running as a tool for gaining aerobic fitness and endurance. I LOVED rowing! It was my identity. I also really enjoyed running however it was not my focus. Then, I met my husband through rowing and ended up moving to the North Country of New Hampshire right along the scenic Connecticut River near a perfect stretch of water for rowing. We moved here so my husband could join the family business, an organic egg farm. And so a new adventure began.
As time passed, I was finding the need for a community of people just as crazy as my teammates at Colby who I spent countless mornings with rowing through the fog on Lake Messalonskee. I still loved rowing but the solitude of being in a single shell was becoming too lonely. One day I just happened upon a friend (who is now one of my favorite training partners) and discovered a unique group of people dedicated to running for the purpose of meeting personal goals, achieving the endorphin rush (the one that all athletes crave), and also for the camaraderie of feeling like a part of a group. The added bonus was the amazing scenery that was a part of the group runs. If you have never spent time running on the Kingdom Trails (http://www.kingdomtrails.com/) you are missing out. Running on the trails is an added rush . . .painted skies, emerald green pastures, lush ferns, rolling trails, the smell of mud, pine, and fresh crispness. It is on these trails that I claimed my new identity.
I am a runner.