#runstory // JANNA

#runstory // JANNA

"I grew up playing competitive sports and running was always one of my strengths. I played soccer in first year University but after getting cut in second year, I joined the cross country running team and I’ve been running ever since. Over the years I’ve been dabbling in road races and I recently found a love for trail running with the NER crew.

While one of my strengths in sports growing up was my running ability, leading and inspiring others was always important to me as well. I got to be team captain a lot, and teaching yoga is a way to keep doing this in my adult life.

I've been practicing yoga for over 10 years, but it wasn't until I went through some emotional hardships that I really connected with it on another level.

We went through years of unsuccessfully trying to have children and it just sucked. Up to that point with everything else in life, if you wanted it, you just worked harder for it and you could make it happen eventually. But on those long days of dwelling and not being able to get out of my own head about it, I could get on my yoga mat and just feel so much better.

Yoga helped me heal by accepting what’s in my life, but also accepting what’s not in my life. I just had to say ‘maybe this isn’t my path’ – and when I finally got to that point, I got so much happier again.

I don’t think you can fully get there unless you take the time to actually ask yourself those tough questions, and be with the emotions and with the feelings. That doesn’t have to be yoga for everybody, but for me it was yoga.

Yoga and running are more than ways to feel good physically – for me, they’re a release. The road or the mat are where I can go and take time out of my day to unwind, reconnect and clear my head. Whether it’s by myself, when I can really let go and get into the music, or with someone – and get that social aspect with the crew. Those conversations are a way to tune out from every other chaotic part of your day.

I heard a quote the other day; ‘it’s not about whether you can touch your toes, it’s about the journey on the way down’.

I just want to continue to grow."

Janna teaches yoga at Shanti and MEC in downtown Halifax

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#runstory // DAMIAN

#runstory // DAMIAN

"I needed something. I needed to do something that was both a mental break and a physical motivation. Maybe it was age or just wanting more solitary time, but I found my way back to running.

I hadn’t run for years after sprinting a lot in high school – I was active, playing squash and basketball – but I’d just got into in other stuff and I didn’t have anyone around me who was running, which made a huge difference. It was just me. 

But last year running became social. It became emotional. Last year was the first year I had a run goal. I wanted to run 1000K - I ran 1300. Every other year of my life I don’t think I’ve run more than 100, maybe 150K. I went from 150 to 1300K in 2016.

It’s so hard to describe the joy that I get from coming out every Wednesday. It was really intimidating at first, but now I look forward to it. It’s the motivation. There are just so many positive vibes going through the crew. I can talk to anyone. Everyone’s so open and not competitive and humble, it’s amazing. It’s really hard to describe to people. It’s something I look forward to the most every week, because it’s positive physically, socially and mentally – it’s uplifting in every way.

This year I want to go sub 45 at the Fredricton 10K, and sub 20 for at the Bluenose 5K. I’ll run Cabot with the crew too, and the Natal Day Road Race 2 Miler in Dartmouth - it’s probably my favourite race. And hopefully I’ll run 1000 miles, which is a sub goal for the year.

I don’t do this because I’m trying to be the fastest, I’m doing it for myself. It’s become part of my life. Whether people run or not, people have their own things that motivate them, that make them feel good and that they value. Running is that thing for me."