Meet 30 year old Sara Cantrell from Huntsville, Alabama…..
Why I run? The simple answer would be, well I love it. I love the extraordinary highs and the crushing lows of it all. But, there is so much more to the equation. I was always the 2-3 mile warrior, I ran to keep the college weight gain off and because it just left me feeling accomplished. I always wanted to be that girl out racing, but was not confident enough to register for a 5k. When I met my now husband he was running races on the weekend and I finally decided to bite the bullet. What an experience! Why did I wait so long to do this? Since that first race I have raced everything from a 5k to 60k, road and trails.
I love the fact that running is so realistic, one day its great and the next is a steaming pile of pooh! C’mon we’ve all have those days. But, the days where you lace up, run out the door and every step is magical and on point, are the days that make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also run with my running girlfriend the Lady Lemmings, and this makes running our social hour so why wouldn’t I lace up and run out the door?
There is a deeper side to my running as well. I use running to preserve my health, growing up my father was a 2 pack a day smoker. I remember he smoked Lucky Strikes and they didn’t even have a filter. He wasn’t athletic at all and constantly coughed and hacked. He later died at the young age of 61, far too soon and for such a preventable reason. I have seen the effects of emphysema and lung cancer and I am thankful for everyday that I can take a deep breath and run miles and miles while breathing normally. My dad has never and will never see me cross the finish line of a race but knowing that makes me live fuller and seek out adventure every day.
Running has given me so much, and I forever feel indebted to the sport for making me the confident and crazy person that I am today. I have a simple mantra that keeps me going. Dory in Finding Nemo said it best “just keep swimming”.