"Now my 2015 medal hangs as a reminder of a place I never want to return, and as a celebration of how far I've come." - Brandi Richter
I've been seeing so many "I'm not gonna make it" posts (in the Run The Year 2017 Facebook group). Many of these posts involve team members who quit or life hurdles that got in the way. Here's the story of my 2015 medal.
I joined Run The Year in 2015 with a team of 3, planning to split the miles equally. I was so sure I could not do this alone. I was also eating cookie dough for dinner, binge watching TV from the recliner, lonely in my own world, and angry at everyone because of it.
We started out strong but both teammates quit on me. As I watched all the success and milestones get posted by others, I grew more frustrated and discouraged ... so I quit, too. I set that 2015 medal aside and pretty much forgot about it. I may have made it through May but that was it and I was lost. By fall of 2015, I was really a lonely mess and had packed on the pounds.
I did some soul searching and a dear friend introduced me to backpacking and hiking. We tackled 11 trail miles that first trip out. I came home worn down and exhausted, but my heart was full and I was eager for more! And then I saw a link to register for Run The Year 2016 ...
The fire in me grew a little more. If I could go from couch to 11 miles instantly, could I go from couch to 2,016 miles in a year all by myself? I sure wanted to try.
I started out walking all my miles. By fall of 2016, my sister-in-law and I completed back-to-back half marathons in the same weekend. I ran my 2,016th solo mile on December 22, 2016. All the posts and positivity had sunk in. I was absolutely a changed person! My family was not only proud of this craziness but thankful that the me who had been lost for so long had found her way back.
Now my 2015 medal hangs as a reminder of a place I never want to return, and as a celebration of how far I've come.
Maybe you didn't do it this year, maybe that makes you frustrated or angry. Don't quit like I did. Work through to the end, start again next year. Repeat what worked and change what didn't. Maybe what needs a bit of change is your own mind. Embrace that and work on it. It's OK and all of us in the Run The Year community are cheering you on!
-Brandi Richter, Run The Year participant and community member