Special guest post as part of our ongoing “My Story” series by Amanda Fakhreddine.
I grew up as an active kid. I was part of soccer teams, swim teams and softball teams. I loved running around and giving everything I had during a competition. Competing became a second nature a feeling that continues to drive me today. I competed for trophies, scholarships and for bragging rights. The drive to push myself to become something better has been deeply ingrained into my mind, thanks to my family.
When I graduated from college, however, things started to change. I started working two jobs right after graduation in order to try to make ends meet. I was stressed. I had no time for myself. My weekly yoga and gym routine quickly evaporated, since I always seemed to be short on time. I swapped my mat for a sixpack of beer almost every night. I swapped my running shoes for reruns of Jersey Shore. Due to budget reasons, I was laid off from my full time job in December 2010. No job. No money. No will to compete. Oh, and did I mention my boyfriend of 5 years decided to move out?
I felt like I lost everything. I gained pounds and I lost my health, my confidence, and my drive to push myself.
In February 2012, I hit a turning point. There was a local 5K that a couple of my friends had signed up for, and they asked me if I wanted to join them. I decided that if they could run 5K, there was no reason I couldn’t… except that I hadn’t run more than a mile in over a year.
I needed to hold myself accountable, so I began to write again. I started theroadtoahealthylife.tumblr.com as a way to keep track of how I was feeling and try to make sense of what had happened in the past couple of years. The familiar feeling of pushing myself past my limit was back. It was definitely not the fastest or the prettiest 5K, but the feeling of accomplishment after made it all worth it.
I reminded myself why I compete and push boundaries. In 2012, I completed 10 races, ranging from the St. Patrick’s Day 5K (first 5K), the B.A.A. 10K (first 10K), and the Spartan Race at Fenway Park. In 2013, I will be running at least one race per month, in order to raise money for different charities around the country. I’m now competing for those who are competing for their lives. I’m just another person, who had fallen on hard times. But I’m also one that has picked themselves back up. You can do it, too. I compete every day to show people that they too can compete for their lives and make a difference. I’m just like you and I’ve chosen to compete for my life will you?