I have never been a runner. I always thought that the “running gene” had skipped over me and that I was destined to grumble, complain, and make excuses when it came time to lace up my shoes. For as long as I can remember, my dad had run. One of my earliest memories is meeting at my abuela's house after one of his marathons to him covered in a heat blanket and smiling from ear to ear at his race. My mom caught the running bug later in life, deciding that when she turned 50 she was going to run her first marathon. Ten years later and she is always training for that next 26.2 miles.
My experiences with running had never been as positive. Beyond the mandatory track practice in high school or the occasional run through UVA Grounds, my closest connection to running had been sitting on the Downtown Mall thinking, “wow, there are a lot of runners in Charlottesville,” as each new wave ran past. Having always considered myself in decent shape (“I walk to all my classes,” I would tell myself), I never thought more about it than that.
Once I graduated, that all changed. Replacing the walks to class or late-night dancing with a desk job quickly began to take its toll. My back hurt from sitting all day; and most of all, I saw myself gaining weight for the first time in my life. I knew that I had to take a more active role in my health but nothing stuck - group classes at local gyms felt impersonal, training on my own was no fun, and, while running along Charlottesville’s trails had its appeal, I just wasn’t a runner.
That’s when I tried Formula for the first time. It was intense. It was hard! I thought to myself during my first class, “How am I going to finish?” I was exhausted; I had asked my body to do more than I thought it could. I was hooked.
Since meeting Ann and Jason last year, I have discovered that I too can love running. This year, I ran my second race and completed my first Tough Mudder - both things that were out of the question a few years ago. I feel stronger, and more confident in what my body is capable of. Most of all, I have energy. I am up at 5:00am to make it to class (a wonder in and of itself, for me!) and feel energized and ready for the day afterwards. On the days I don’t make it to Formula, I never shake that groggy just-woke-up feeling. Formula has transformed me in and out.
I have finally found my running gene.