Acknowledge where you came from, this is the place where you took your first steps as a runner, it is where you still get the chills as your run the familiar box around the park and the route that you take some nights as a humble reminder of how far you have come.

Remember that you are resilient because of every experience that you have endured and committed to both on and off the pavement, that resiliency sparked as a result of pushing yourself outside of the 9 to 5pm. Every human that you have crossed paths with on this journey has taught you something, many of them becoming a second family who have been by your side through thick and thin.

Remember life before the pavement, how you would attempt to channel and suppress your emotions of stress, discomfort, loneliness, anger, guilt, hurt and shame by working too hard, ignoring the bullies and knowing that you would prove them wrong by becoming better looking one day.

You laced up on a whim, new to the city and finding the evenings lonely and isolating, you were looking to meet new people and explore the new jungle you had decided to call home.

A 3 month commitment, failure wasn’t an option but continuing this long term was not the plan. You never expected to meet a group of people, a community, a tribe where for the first time in along time you felt like you belonged.

The emotions and thoughts pounded out on the pavement week after week started as one of the most difficult things you may have ever endured, slowly as you found your footing it became therapy, it became home.

You’ve learned the importance of patience, being patient with yourself and being patient with the journey.

Lacing up with the community you call a second family has been the one constant throughout this and a solace to any day where your mind is constantly racing to figure out what is next. What is next is simply a matter of placing one foot in front of the other, running has taught you that.

This community is a vibrant collective of experiences, this community is one that I know that it will continue to allow you to flourish at being your best self.

Continue to surround yourself with women who are the relentless type – the movers, shakers, shit makers who standup for themselves, are selfless in supporting one another and continue to blaze a path of their own kind.

You know that being ‘sexy’ is not the goal, being strong and confident in this body that has carried you kilometer after kilometer and appreciating what it is capable of will forever be the mantra you remind yourself of.

You’ve become comfortable with being on your own, it’s not a scary place after spending over 20km by yourself in silence, with a quiet mind and a loud heart. I hope this peace is still something you can find ease in.

You are more resilient than you know, if you’ve learned one thing from becoming a runner it is that you are capable of anything you pour your heart, soul and mind into. It is all possible. It’s the countless kilometers behind you that have proved you wrong and it’s the endless kilometers that lie ahead of you which will continue to prove to you that are will push forward and rise above.

 I’d repeat the words said to you early in this journey, the words that made it all ‘click’, “we are all runners, you are a runner, you can do this.”

Here’s to forever being fearless in your pursuit of chasing your next finish line,

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