While completing my undergrad at ODU, I reached almost 200 lbs. and continued to gain weight despite all my efforts. Every morning was a struggle getting up, and every day felt hopeless. I always played sports in high school (including indoor track), and played rugby for a bit at ODU, but somehow, I allowed myself to fall into a cycle of negative habits. Looking for a way to relieve stress and rebuild healthy habits, I remembered how much I enjoyed running in high school. I needed a way to set goals for myself without using the scale. I started out running at least a mile before my workouts, and from there, decided to run my first 5K in October 2018, the Crawlin’ Crab 5k in Hampton. Since then I’ve ran: nine 5K’s, one 10K, one 10 Miler, and one 5 Miler. I made it my goal for 2019 to run a race (at least a 5k) every month and it’s going swell! I love sharing my love for running and the beauty of outdoor recreation to my friends, family, and anyone willing to listen. I understand the intimidation that many people feel when it comes to running, and that’s why I’m proud to be a Running Etc. Ambassador, because it gives me the opportunity to reflect the beautiful diversity of the running community. Running gave me the courage and resilience to face any challenge that may arise, because I now know that I have the endurance to withstand anything life may throw my way.