Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Running Saved My Life

Last week marked 4 years of me using Nike Plus!! 4 years, that means that for 4 years I have been a runner!! Can you believe it because I can’t. I never in a million years thought I would end up being a runner, I thought running was for crazy people because why run when you can swim!!

I have come a long way in 4 years. I remember when I first received the Nike plus chip it seemed so scary and controlling, and I had my share of scary and controlling at that point. Why did I need something to track my runs, can’t I do that myself!! I realize that the Nike Plus chip held me accountable to getting out there and getting active, it got me out there to run when I wanted to sit on my couch in my PJ’s and watch another re-run of Sex in the City and pretend I was Carrie – yes I was that girl.

I have recently gone back to look at my very first running stats on NikePlus, back when I used to think that 3 miles was a long run and ran a 10’50” mile. I really have come a long way. A short run for me is now 4 miles and I no longer run a 10’50” mile I am more a sub 8 mile these days. Nike plus just didn't help me lose weight and look better I believe that it saved my life!! Not Nike plus but running!!

Nike plus gave me the motivation to get myself out the door. These past 11 months; training for my first marathon – thank you Nike Women and Marie Purvis to opening my eyes to marathon training - training to Boston qualify has saved me from myself.

At the age of 12 I began to suffered from an eating disorder of some type - anorexia, bulimia, binge eating - and I believe that a small part of me has always suffered from body dysmorphia, even at a very young age.

Growing up aboriginal didn't help me with my body dysmorphia, if anything it made it BIGGER than it already was. I grew up in a very white community where all the girls were beautiful with blond hair and blue eyes they all looked like movie stars and Barbie dolls and I always thought I wasn't as beautiful as these girls, I thought beauty was being blonde with blue eyes. I remember approaching a group of girls at recess one day and I politely said “Can I play trolls with you” – my parents always gave me the newest toy so I would be able to fit in with my peers – they looked at me and said “we only play with girls who have hair down to their shoulders, and your hair is longer than that so we can’t play with you” – at that time my hair was down to my waist. I went home and cried for hours I was so miserable, this is the first time I actually remember looking in the mirror and thinking I was ugly and not good enough– I was in grade 2. This is the first time I can remember judging my body!! 

Growing up in this small town also had its advantages, such as everyone being super athletic!! In grade school we were learning about track and field in gym class and this got me super excited!! I often watched the Olympics and track and field was a favorite of mine. Everyone was very athletic and awesome but I have always had a drive to be the BEST!! We were running our very first 400 meter race and I remember running and winning the race!! I had never felt so awesome, I remember a few of the girls glaring at me but I also remember a few of them coming over to congratulate me. This is when I realized that being good at sports was my key to success and to surviving the means girls in school.

May will mark 12 months, 1 year, 365 days that I will have gone without cutting myself out of despair and hate for my body, purging because I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw, or starving myself in hopes of becoming thinner!! May will mark the first year of a new me a me that is learning to love her body – not because it is perfect because it is far from perfect and not because I look like a Victoria Secret model or even like a fitness model but because it can accomplish wonderful amazing feats such as running a marathon, running a sub 6 mile for 3 miles, running a 1:26 half, doing 133 high knees in 60 seconds. I have a body that loves her friends and family so much, that has so much to give and so much to learn.

Learning to love my body has been a rough journey and there have been many bumps in the road. This year I am not only learning to love my body but I am learning to love my heart and my soul, I am learning to love who I was born to be -  a wonderful aboriginal women who has so much experience to share.  

I am going to stumble, I have a few times. I have stood my in bathroom mirror and have hated on myself, I have stepped off the scale and hated on myself for the number but I have also counteracted that hate with a run because when I am running I feel free and powerful and there is nothing or nobody who can take that away from me. 

I recently saw a picture that said "Want to change your body exercise, if you want to change your life become a runner"! Running has truly changed my life, for the better.


  1. TIARA! Oh, you made me cry. The more I learn about you the closer it strikes to home. While I grew up in a pretty diverse community, my youth is definitely peppered with times where being a little, tan, dark and certainly not curvaceous Filipina made me feel as though I may as well be an alien. Running has certainly changed my life as well and the last 17 months of recovery have been amazing beyond words. Sweat therapy is a very, very real thing.

    CONGRATULATIONS on how far you have come and I will celebrate with you come May!

  2. What an amazing and inspiring story! Best of luck in qualifying for Boston <3