August 13th 2011 I ran my first race, a 5k in flagstaff. All of my life I’ve said I was going to do things and challenge myself, then always back out at last minute or give up. Honestly I was planning on dropping out of the race the night before or right before the race started and make up some lame excuse. While I was in a battle with myself if I should give up or go do it, and make myself proud. Giving up would have been much easier then running a 5k uphill, and with the lungs of smoking for 5 years before SRA. When it came down to it I loved running it let me get out my physical emotion in a healthy way which is a huge change from when I was at home. The drive to flagstaff pumped me up, but also I was nervous because I was afraid I’d give up in the middle and not finish, but when the race guy said 3 minutes, it all was so very real, at that exact moment when I took off running with one of my best friends, I found myself feeling so strong in my sobriety, and realizing I can change my life and do good for myself, at that moment I made the decision I would not give up, and I would do this even if it took 24 hours, because for the first time in my life I was going to accomplish something by myself. During the 5k running in the woods, with someone I trusted with my life, I felt at peace, which has only happened a couple times, and I realized when things get hard I need to trust myself that I can do something and complete it and be at peace. Let me tell you I ran that race in 21 minutes and 38 seconds. Running across the finishing line was so empowering I ran as fast as I could the last block of the race, and I knew that what I had accomplished was something I could do again, and that this was only the beginning. This has encouraged me to run more race’s and continue to improve for myself and always do my best because of the reward I get at the end, which is peace and happiness even if its for 5 minutes.
-SRA student. 2011