It was mid-2011 and at age 29 I felt out of shape, soft, and worst of all – when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see an athlete staring back at me.
Only a decade earlier, I was at the top of my game – what I’d consider “a real athlete,” winning high school Florida state championships, setting school records, and being recruited by NCAA Division 1 universities all over the country to run!
But now, about to turn 30, those days were just a memory. Everyone ages. Their priorities and responsibilities change. And I guess typically they adjust either their habits or their mindset. But for me, this person I had become just didn’t feel right. I didn’t approve of her, I wasn’t happy with things as they were, and I wasn’t ready to adjust. For me, the need to run, to be competitive and maybe even set a personal record or two was still there. I decided a change needed to be made ASAP. My response? I quit my 50-hour plus a week corporate job (that I had worked at for seven years) and I started my own business: a South Florida-based Public Relations & Communications agency called BlueIvy Communications. While this move was called “courageous” and “gutsy” by some…for me it was the only choice if I wanted to achieve the life I wanted.
By owning my own company I was now able to design my working hours and choose my place of work – all of which conveniently allowed me to make time for running. It took me a full summer of intense running and focus to change my mindset and body.
Three or four months later and finally back in running shape, I found myself wanted more running in my life. I now wanted to surround myself with others that shared my love for running and competition. I reached out to my former high school coach (Rick Rothman of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton) and asked if he could use an extra hand with the Cross Country and Track Teams. He offered me the assistant coaching job immediately and I happily accepted. And just like that – my return to running, and my introduction to coaching, had begun.
As the assistant coach, I not only helped coach the girls and boys Cross Country and Track teams, I mentored the student-athletes and I ran with them. Naturally – running five to six days a week with teenagers quickly got me into pretty good shape. Good enough shape that I started competing myself – locally in 5K races and internationally in half marathon races (more on that to come!).
Returning to my running roots quickly brought more joy and opportunities into my life than I ever expected, including:
Needless to say and even though it sounds pretty cliché, running has brought life back into my life. When people ask me today how I do it all (run a successful PR business, compete in races around the world, coach a high school cross country and track team, and travel the country with Run Republic Running Camp), I always think back to my decision five years ago.
I took control of my life and made my days revolve around my own priorities! My advice to others? Whatever is missing from your life – a new hobby, a person, a goal, a dream, and/or an activity that you gave up years ago – sometimes it’s just about reintroducing yourself and making the time!