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Photo Credit: Nike+ Toronto/Nike Canada

Yup, that’s me, circa June 2015. It was my first 5k in months. I had finally summoned the courage to join a free run group after months of failing to run that distance on my own. I still remember that run like it was yesterday. A kilometre in, my lungs started feeling heavy. I stopped twice during the route just to catch my breath. Near the end of the run, I faked a leg cramp to make it seem like that was the reason I struggled so much. It didn’t make sense to me, I’d always been a pretty good athlete growing up but this felt different. I then developed an actual leg cramp after the run (go figure), which left me lots of time to think on my long walk home. It was all so upsetting but despite feeling discouraged, I knew I had to go back. The optimist in me knew that it could only get better from here.

There have been times over recent weeks, where working on Svveat has left me feeling as breathless as I did that day. The uncertainty has led me to stop multiple times to forcefully reflect and tread carefully through my next steps. There have been other times, where my mind feels so full that I wish I could blame my sudden reduction of productivity on a cramp (or a day-long brain fart).

What I’ve now realized is that each day is like a new 5k – full of opportunity and at times, missteps. With each day, there’s a newly drawn finish line that guides me to where I need to reach for next. Just like running in a group has pushed me to new speeds and distances, I’ve also quickly learned that in order to attain success that I won’t be able to do it on my own (more on this to come).

Half marathon photo Going on that run was the best decision I ever made. It introduced me to a new community full of like-minded individuals and gave me a new hobby – turned passion, that I can’t live without. Nearly a thousand kilometres since that day, I’ve run my fastest mile, participated in multiple 10k races, completed my first half marathon and have learned the hard way, just how important it is to change up my workouts to strengthen and prevent injury.

I know now, that there will be some days that’ll make me feel like I’ve figured it all out, and then others that bring me back to reality. But this is an all too familiar scene. Like the little voice keeps saying, it can only get bigger and better from here and with enough work, I can only imagine (and hope) that she’s right.

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