I used to despise running. Don't get me wrong, I was a multiple-sport athlete, but outside of that I never ran for fun. I viewed running as a form of punishment when at the end of practice the coach would make you run. Nowadays, I couldn't imagine life without running. If I don't run in the morning I genuinely have a bad day.

For me, running was a way to get out my anxiety and frustration. After my surgery and shoulder injury, I never quite figured out how to cope with the loss of no longer being an athlete.

Running was my way out of a dark place. Running was my salvation.

No matter how good or bad the day is, I knew that I could do this one thing right. It was a daily accomplishment that allowed me to be proud of myself, to give myself a break.

Running freed me.

Nothing compares to the feeling of running. The ability to just forget the world and even in a sense, run away from your problems. For me, running was a distraction more than anything. There is no better feeling than running as fast as you can and as far as you can. That burning in your lungs that you hate is what makes me feel alive. I love pushing my body to its limits. Pushing faster and farther than the day before. Going until I physically can't go any farther. Call me crazy, but there is a beautiful pain that comes with running. A pain that makes you feel so alive you feel like you can accomplish anything.

You become unbeatable, unbreakable, and unstoppable.

I've become the girl that gets up early to run and I'm more than OK with that.