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“Success is the Sum of Small Efforts, Repeated Day In and Day Out.” Robert J Collier”

Tracey M. Jackson Veteran day 10K raceI live by this quote. Everything we do as we take the journey of life is the sum of small efforts. So this story is for running/walking cohorts encouraging everyone to forgive yourself quickly for the mistakes you make and have a short memory of the past because tomorrow is a new day to continue towards accomplishing your running/walking goals.

I started running in grade school because my mother read somewhere that children who are engaged in physical activity before school are more alert in school. Thus, I found myself running 1-3 miles every morning before school with my mother….soon running became a habit, then a lifestyle. I learned quickly that running helped to maintain my weight and used running as my primary tool to manage my health and fitness level.

In my teens, 20s, and early 30s, I ran in many 5Ks with my mother and friends throughout Washington, DC. I ran my first half marathon in New Jersey and I loved it. While I was in undergraduate school I used running to release stress and obtain scholastic success. I trained for the marine marathon in 2001, and while traveling with the Department of State enjoyed running with the Marines and participating in HASH runs throughout Europe! Then I changed jobs and enrolled in graduate school to earn my Master’s degree and it seemed overnight I just stopped running, but actually it was gradual….one missed run turns into two, then three, and before you know it, a bad habit has manifested into weeks, months, and then years. One day I realized I was 50lbs heavier and a coach potato!

I made many lack luster attempts to run again over the years with varying degrees of success, and for no significant reason, just tired of being tired, I committed to running again in 2013. In September I completed my first 5K in 4 years. Since then I’ve completed several 5Ks, an 8K, and a 10K and the sense of accomplishment is a reminder of how running can change your life. The benefits of running are quickly realized as the scale moves in the right direction, I have more energy, I am happier, and most important I am running to a healthier ME!

I run because Running is Golden….now that I am running again, I keep asking myself why I ever stopped. I believe I allowed life to become more important than taking care of God’s Temple. I realize now “Bad Habits are my Worst Enemies and I must starve them with the Fuel of Repetition”.