Something different for Week 6

“When you know your ‘why’, your ‘what’ has more impact because you’re walking in or towards your purpose.”

There’s something that a short drive out for coffee, a 50 degree sunny February day & some fresh air does to you. I turned the music up, but I didn’t sing (which trust me, that’s odd) & I had a thought that I decided to run with. Instead of a weekly training recap, I want to share my “why” with you. I shared this video on my Like page on FB after watching it last night & it really spoke to me…

If you have a moment, please watch here ->> “Know Your Why” <– the man shown is an amazing singer.. & if for no other reason, you’ll want to hear him.

As I’m about to turn 27 in a couple of weeks, I never thought this would be my life. But, I’m so glad that it is. In the summer of 2013, I was promoted to supervisor at a company I had been with for about 3.5 years, & the job would bring me out to Pittsburgh. I wasn’t exactly unfamiliar with the city as my mom grew up there & I had visited my grandparents there every Christmas since I was a baby. So, in August I packed up my entire life & headed west; bright eyed & day-dreaming of the amazing life I would surely have. To say it wasn’t everything I expected was an understatement. I quickly realized the grass wasn’t always greener on the other side, & to this day I stand by that statement.

The job wasn’t anything I had imagined, & I had left the majority of my professional support system back in Central PA. My manager & I didn’t get along, & neither did I & the people I was supervising. I was constantly getting scolded for things, & for the first time in my life, I was told I was difficult to work with. I started realizing I didn’t recognize the person I was becoming. During this time, I also got involved with someone at work that I frankly should not have, & when he broke my heart, it felt my world was crashing down around me. I didn’t recognize myself, I was in a city full of people that I didn’t know, I had no one supporting me at work, & frankly I was scared. I became depressed & I used food as an anti-depressant. Food had always been a weak spot for me, but this combined with the depression I was in, was so much worse than it ever had before. In less than 4 months, I weighed 200lbs, lost my job & didn’t see a way out. Luckily, I found a new job & got back on my feet quickly.

In July of 2014, I was so tired of the way I was feeling. I was tired of the way I looked, & secretly was tired of no one noticing me. I used to get noticed! Now, I was invisible. So I downloaded the Couch to 5k app. I had downloaded it the summer before but quit after the first 3 days. Once I started, I never stopped. I cleaned up my diet A LOT & looked at it as a lifestyle change. When I started the running app, I couldn’t even run 30 seconds without stopping. I remember when I ran 8 minutes straight for the first time. I remember when I ran 20 minutes straight with no stopping. I cried that day. Tears of pure happiness that I had never felt before. I remember when I lost my first 10 lbs. I remember the first time I said no to pizza day at work & I remember the first time someone made fun of me for it. I remember the first time I decided to run a 5k. I remember getting to the finish line of that first 5k & feeling a kind of joy I thought I’d never feel in my life. I remember bawling my eyes out in an Old Navy dressing room when a size 8 pair of skinny jeans fit me perfectly. The last time I had tried anything on was in May, & I was a size 16.

In October of 2014, I was introduced to the most wonderful group of runners. It was hill repeat night (which come on lets admit, is best way to get initiated into a running group) & the coach, Matt encouraged me the whole way. After that night, I never looked back. Running had become my life, & so had the people I met through that group. To date, I have ran 2 half marathons, a 10 miler, a 15k & a number of other races.

I want to share my “why” story with the world because I want to show people that anything is possible. I know how many “old me’s” there are out there, & I want my story to speak to them. And if they’d like, I want them to let me help them.

“Food is the most widely abused anti-anxiety drug in America, and exercise is the most potent & under utilized anti-depressant.”

I never knew this was my passion until recently, & I can’t believe I ever fell into this. People who have known me for a long time knew that I had never worked out in my life, & shopping was my way of “exercising”. They will be the first ones to tell you they never expected this from me. But, I am a more positive person because of this. I want to change the world & be a shining example for everyone. I am a normal girl, with a normal life who is imperfect most of the time, but has such a burning desire to help people become the person they always dreamt of being through health & wellness.

If you’re still around & reading this til the very end, I applaud you, & thank you so much for following along & choosing to read my WHY.

What’s your ‘why’? Do you have one? If you do, I challenge you to write it down.. you don’t have to share it right away. But if you get the courage to share it, I would love to hear it.

-Ciara

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8 thoughts on “Something different for Week 6

  1. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor says:

    You have a great story, Ciara! Very inspiring! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished and for being such a positive influence. Way to go!!

  2. matt says:

    Great post Ciara. So happy that you joined us that day 18 months ago. I am better for knowing you and look forward to many more years of miles, laughs and friendship with you.

  3. Gretchen | Gretchruns says:

    I always love hearing the why of why people started running, and your story was so inspiring. One thing that I love about the sport of running is that it’s for everyone. No matter who you are or where you are physically, you can do it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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