“What did ancient people do when they wanted to work out? There was no gym back then.”
“Just put on your shoes and go for a run!”
I have known Sara for close to 10 years. All these years she had never mentioned the word “running” until that summer of 2014. In a short span of time, she discovered her passion for running, completed a half marathon, and is now hosting a running class for more than 60 women!
Read on to learn how Sara is living her passion, and how she is making an impact in her community!
How did you discover your passion for running?
I was going through a very rough time last year. My cousin from Chicago visited me for a few days in the summer to keep me company. She is an avid runner, so I wasn’t surprised that she registered for the half marathon during her visit in Toronto. I’ve always admired her love for running, and wanted to give running a try. As I was cheering for her at the marathon, I noticed that people of all ages, shapes and sizes RUN! Wow! I was beyond inspired! With much determination, I decided to try running for a few days whether it rains or shines! By the way, it is such a refreshing feeling to run in the rain!
How did you introduce a new habit into your daily routine?
I made it my priority to run 3 days a week. I schedule running into my calendar and organize my time around running. For me, the best time to run is early evenings after work, or early mornings on the weekend.
With any new habit we’re trying to develop, there is that initial hump that you have to overcome. How did you overcome that in your learning curve?
1) I made a decision to run
At the beginning, I ran so much that my shin started hurting. This was how I learned about shin splints. It was painful but I kept trying and pushing myself through the tough times. By doing this, I noticed an increase in my endorphins which made me feel happier. That happy feeling kept me going. Within a month, I experienced “a runner’s high”.
2) Run with a purpose to train
To propel myself moving forward, I needed to set realistic short term goals. I signed up for two 5k runs in the summer – my sister’s martial arts class “Combat Science Warrior Arts of Asia” and the Journey to Conquer Cancer Run Walk supporting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. With these goals in mind, I kept on running! The summer training prepared me for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront half marathon. It was such an invigorating feeling to cross that finish line!
3) Expect More Challenges – Celebrate Victories
This may sound cliché but it is very true! You will experience more challenges as you strive to continuously improve. I was taken aback when I was bit by a dog while running at the park one weekend. My upper left thigh was severely bruised. The pain kept me at rest for at least two weeks! I was extremely upset and concerned that I would lose my momentum after all my hard work! During the time of rest, my friends encouraged me to look back on my accomplishments and celebrate my victories. I recalled the joy and the feeling that I could overcome anything thrown at me. The feeling of a conquerer! It was during this time of rest that I signed up for the half marathon!
You started a running club. How did this idea come about?
I mentioned earlier that I discovered running at a very low point in my life. During this time, I was supported by a strong network of friends who helped me overcome my hardship. One of the activities we did together was running! I wanted to encourage others just like how my friends supported me. While I was asking myself how I could live out my passion, a good friend of mine encouraged me to get ‘plugged in’ by using my gifts to make an impact in the community. So I took his advice! I looked around my community to see where I could make an impact. One day, I sent an email to The Peoples Church inquiring about their interest to start a running program. To my surprise, the person responded with great enthusiasm! After a couple of conversations, we put together a 10-week running program called Find Your Fit: Learn to Run Class! I am extremely thankful to have this opportunity to spend time with more than 60 women every Monday for the next few weeks!
Do you have a story to share? How are you living your passion every day?