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Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Maybe I’ll even throw in a few deep, thought-provoking quotes for good measure along the way to break things up. Plus, I will add links to external content wherever I see fit.

Now that you can’t say I didn’t warn you, let’s begin. Read on at your own discretion.

As I mentioned on my last post, this past Lenten season has been by far one of the most incredible and life-changing of my twenty-one years of existence, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. While I don’t want to go into details about it, I will say that it got me thinking about all of the ways in which maybe I sell myself short out of fear or because doing something new would give me that, “Oh man, somebody bring me the trash can, I’m going to stress-vom my almond butter sandwich, here” feeling, and let’s be real: I loathe that feeling. So, for the sake of keeping my lunch in my stomach (among other reasons), I’ve opted out. But is that what I really want for myself? And, to put a more spiritual twist on it, as it was Lent when all of this came to me, is that what God wants for me? To hide my talents and gifts and my true super-happy self from the world because I’m too afraid of how others might respond to that girl?


Every year in the spring, I do the Busy Person’s Retreat, put on by Campus Ministry (side note: I’m now on the CM team for next year…SUPER EXCITED.). This year, my spiritual director asked me who had hurt me in the past. After all, this is likely where my insecurities and anxieties stem from. And as I was thinking about it these past few days, it finally hit me: ballet. My time as a ballet dancer is largely to blame for a lot of the negative feelings I get in my gut before I go and do something new. Let me explain.

During my freshman year of college, I made myself take classes at one of the hardest, best ballet schools in St. Louis. Behind as I was, I was put in the class with the twelve-year-olds, who often asked me if I really was in college. I remember one such conversation with this little red-headed prima. I told her my age/year in school. Her response?


True story.

Anyhow, this place was awful. The girls were so, so, so talented. And they knew it. And they had money. (Okay, their parents did.) And they knew it. I, on the other hand, was the college girl who not only was not going to be attending ABT’s summer intensive in NYC, but was also the one who clearly had nothing better to do than hang around with twelve-year-olds in tights every Saturday. They talked bad about me. They exchanged weird looks when they thought I wasn’t looking. I wanted to disappear. I did the next best thing and left at the end of the semester, as dancing was no longer fun at that point.

So I suppose what I’m getting at here is that I’ve been burned. And, as much as I hate to say it, I’ve never let those wounds completely heal, and instead have been anxiously awaiting the next time when somebody else, like some fancy Lululemon clad, Boston-qualifier decides to give me the dreaded once-over. And, as a result, those anxieties have kept me exactly where they want to keep me: somewhere safe, where I can’t get hurt or embarrassed by somebody I know in my heart I’m bigger than.

But that’s no way to live: letting past experiences keep you from being whom you want to be now, or letting people who are probably actually intimidated by you let you believe that you should in fact be afraid of them.

So this evening I did something I was scared to do. My digestive system hated me all day. But this evening, for the first time, I went and joined a running group. I wanted to turn around and go back to my car. Confession: I did. But then I told my Kayanos that they’d be sorry if they carried me anywhere but to where the other runners were. So I walked over to them. And we ran.

And you know what? I was so, so, so glad I did. The running community, unlike the hateful, competitive world of ballet, has been nothing but welcoming of me. I may not have the best splits (HA! Get it…we’re talking about dance and running here!). I may not run every day because of my foot (that’s another thing I have ballet to thank for. Thanks, pointe, thanks.). I may not be Scott Jurek in all of his awesomeness. But you know what? I’m still a runner! And everyone I’ve met thus far has told me nothing less.

Sure, I’ve been hurt in the past. But I don’t want to let that hold me back anymore, because, as I’ve come to discover through running, nobody wants to humiliate me or make me feel bad anymore. And if they do? They’re not the people I need in my life anyway.

So! What are you waiting for? Me to give you a quote? Okay!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

So eloquently said, Mark.


“All of Me” by Tanlines (I swear the number of times I play this album rivals the number of times my little sis plays T-Swift’s new one, whatever it’s called (which I should know considering how much we hear it)).

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You Know You’re a Runner When…

1.)  You can devour a whole stack of pancakes (and the side of bacon you requested, too) from Crepes Etc. without feeling like a total fatty because, hey, you just ran 13.1 miles and need to “restore your glycogen reserves.”

2.)  Hills don’t intimidate you whatsoever.

3.)  Your runs are so long that your mother purchased a Road ID bracelet for you which has all of your emergency contact information on it, should you suddenly collapse during a workout.

4.)  You think hydration belts are cool (if only one would actually fit you…).

5.)  You can eat and eat and nothing seems to stick to you.

Yes, today was a big day for me: after months of training and running up monstrous hills in my neighborhood so steep that I feel like I’m not even running and that my lungs are going to explode, I finally took to the streets of St. Louis for my first half-marathon: the Go! St. Louis. Originally, my brother was supposed to run the full (which I totally respect him for!), but since his knees have recently been giving him trouble, he decided to drop out a few weeks ago. So, with my mom, who normally races, out of town and my brother out of the picture, I was alone at the starting line!

I like to say that after you’ve been running for such a long time during those really long training runs, you start to have weird, out-of-body experiences and you kind of forget that you’re even still moving. Here are some of the weird things that came to my mind at various mile-markers:

1.)  “Soulard would be such an awesome place to live! The houses are so cool and it kind of smells like pancakes with maple syrup around here.” (That may have been the pancake craving speaking to me.)

2.)  “Labradoodles seem to be a popular breed of dog in St. Louis.” (After passing three different people with Labradoodles in a row on the sidelines.)

I was super excited to see that I was maintaining a nine-minute, thirty-second mile pace during the first half of the race. Once I got to the hill by The Firebird (where I went to see Youth Lagoon in concert a couple of weeks ago), though, I started to slow down and never really regained my speed as I began to fatigue.

As I was about four minutes away from the finish line, I really began to think I was losing it. My legs were saying, “Okay, we’ve had enough, thank you,” when to my left, two Wash. U-esque guys started cheering, “Yeah, Carly! You can do it!” And then, being the super awkward individual that I am, I turned to these guys, flashed them a huge smile and waved, like I actually knew them or something.


I think my embarrassment motivated me to keep going, seeing as I wanted to run far, far away from them after my geeky response to their cheering.

*Big, exasperated sigh.*

And while the start of the race wasn’t totally exciting like my mom and dad said it is, the finish was pretty awesome. I can finally say I’m a real runner now! This is most definitely the first of many half-marathons for me, and who knows, maybe I will be able to do a full someday. For now though, I’m going to focus on training for my next event: my dad and I are taking on our first triathlon on June the 10th, and my swimming needs some help…

Well, I suppose I better start on my homework (as if I can focus on that now!).

Have a great week, everybody!


“Jam for Jerry” by Holy Ghost!

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