• Benjamin Olsen

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Jazmyn & I just before the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon

Jazmyn & I just before the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon

A year and a half ago, my WONDERFUL daughter, Jazmyn, called me from college. Because of the time difference, I was already asleep and she was very awake…and obviously thinking up grand ideas!

“Mom, I have a great idea! There is this cool Disney race at Disney where we can dress up like princesses and we should do it!” My midnight, trying to be pleasant response was, “Yes, yes, that sounds like fun.”

As I awoke the next morning, I stretched and then this odd sense of confusion came over me…WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I JUST AGREE TO???? As I considered the phone call to my lovely daughter that I was getting ready to make to gracefully bow out and explain, I decided to check out my FaceBook. I did have a few hours before she would wake and we could discuss this “plan” like adults.

Now, let’s back up…I was NOT a runner – never had been and had NO plans of becoming! In addition, NEITHER WAS SHE! In fact, I had been a competitive bodybuilder in high school and college. In my sense of reason, throwing iron around at the gym was a way I could keep in shape WITHOUT running long distances! In mid school I remember considering cross country with my closest friend…that was until mid-way on the first day of practice when I realized that my perfect place in cross country was waiting and cheering for her at the finish line!

So, as I took a look at my FaceBook wall, I discovered one of the most frightful, yet ingenious, tactic of my daughter – she had posted my acceptance of the challenge the night before and there were already 30+ “likes”, kudos, and “Good Job! Your mom is so cool” comments! Oh my, there was no turning back then. My next step was to search out my first pair of real running shoes and a Pinterest search for training options!

Over this past year and a half I have made a journey that has allowed me to TRULY LOVE and embrace distance running. For me it is so much more than running. I’m not fast – but that doesn’t matter. I walk, run, run/walk, waddle, and anything in between. I have finished many 5Ks, and couple of 10Ks, a 15K, several 4 Milers, a 10 Miler, a Quarter Marathon and even a Half Marathon! I have met some incredible people who have become sincere friends. I have laughed, cried and talked aloud to myself through these runs. I have had private conversations with my friends and family members who have passed and prayed some of my most focused and free prayers as I pound out the courses.

I have grown through my running in ways that have let me heal from hurt, discover next steps, forgive my ex, forgive myself, and LOVE MYSELF! Running has been a very powerful tool in my transition.

Until the next mile…

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

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