|First "real" race - a Race for the Cure 5k with friends in Central Park|
I signed up for my first race because of the encouragement of those friends. These amazing ladies showed me that running is more than just a way to get some exercise. They showed me that it can be a way to challenge yourself, to build community with others, and to unwind and reflect on life. Over time, they've taught me that it's ok to not be fast as long as you continue to race against yourself. They've taught me that it's ok to set lofty goals because you just might surprise yourself with what you are able to accomplish when you put your mind and body to the test. They've taught me that it's ok to enjoy running, but even when you do, sometimes, you just have to make yourself get out there and go.
Four years after that first race, I completed the NYC Marathon. Not very fast, but smiling