Change. It's a way of life for a military family.

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Renee Deremiah

Change.  It's a way of life for a military family.  Moving, new schools, new neighborhoods, starting from scratch and making new friends, finding the butter in an another "new" grocery store.  I'm somewhat used to change and accept it as it is something I have chosen being married to my active duty husband for 20 years.  But of all the change I have been through, running has changed me the most.  Not just my physical appearance, but mentally, spiritually...completely.

I never thought I'd be a runner.  I can't breathe well with my exercise-induced asthma.  So what do I do?  I decide to run anyway.  Did I mention I'm stubborn too?  Lol!  I've always envied people I would see running along side the road.  I thought, I would love to be able to run like them.  But I always thought my asthma was a deal breaker until one day at the YMCA in Ga.  A new class was being offered, "Learn to run in 13 weeks with the walk/run method".  I was intrigued and signed up.  Sure enough, with the Jeff Galloway program, I went from barely running a minute to completing at least a 5k by the end.  I was amazed!!  I kept running and increasing my mileage slowly.  My goal was to run at least a half marathon one day.

Fast forward a year and we are transferred to SLC for my husband's job.  I am excited to see a Jeff Gallloway running group but am apprehensive.  Do they all run 7 minute miles?  Will I be left in the dust and not know how to get back to my car?  Will I feel comfortable running with complete strangers?  We had only moved here a couple of weeks ago!  So I mustered up my courage and showed up!  I was welcomed right away and quickly felt like I belonged.  :).

Running can be hard. I don't want  to leave my warm bed on most Saturday mornings.  Some days my feet feel like bricks, my legs don't want to move, I mentally argue with myself to go that next mile, that next step.  But also in those days I find my inner strength, my determination, the will to not quit.  The sense of accomplishment feels good when I'm done.  Running brings me happiness in the simplest forms, being outside and seeing the beautiful views, talking with friends and catching up, or being alone to sort through my day, praying, spending time with Him, and knowing that I'm doing something good for my body too (I'm about 20 pounds lighter).

I have run a full marathon, a relay race and just finished my eighth half marathon today.  Unbelievable.  What was once impossible has become possible.  The dream of being "a runner along side the road" has become a reality.  Suddenly, other goals and dreams seem possible.  I'm going to keep running as long as I can because I LOVE it.  I know I couldn't do it without the support of my husband.  He encourages me when I doubt myself.  For that, I am grateful.  He and kids were at the finish line today...it gave me the push I needed in the last few miles.  My hope is to be a good role model for my kids, to be healthy and don't give up!

Running has changed my life for the better.  My running group helps me stay accountable, knowledgeable and we encourage each other during training and races.  I couldn't imagine running without them!  I hope to inspire others around me to find something they love and have passion for it whether it's running or anything else in their life.  :).

I feel proud knowing every mile is earned, never given.