Use Your Past as Fuel for the Present

As you may well know, running is a common theme in my blog posts and my life. Everybody has that “thing” they best associate with. For me, that’s running and I’m not even a great runner – I’m not ripped, I’ve been wearing the same running shoes for two years, and I couldn’t tell you the difference between Mizuno and Saucony (yes, I had to Google that). But, what I do know is running has helped shape me into the person I am today.

Where am I going with this?

I’ve made this analogy in a previous post. What helped me overcome my mental illness (actually, let’s call it “instability”) was the day I started running. I remember running on a long road (see the actual road below), and thinking to myself:


“Maria, you cannot look back. You have overcome that stretch of road [insert whatever pain you’re feeling here]. And, if you look back, you’ll be defeated and stop. Keep pushing forward.”

Thus, at that moment, I translated those thoughts into my real life. From that moment forward, I began working on overcoming everything I was struggling with at the time. I stopped dwelling on the past, and started looking forward. Needless to say, that moment changed my life.

So, I’m going to take this moment to be a hypocrite. Let’s actually take a look at the past. Your past, my past. Where were you five years ago? I’ll tell you where I was:

November 28, 2010

Oh, God, what am I doing with my life? I uprooted myself from everything I know, [and] moved to North Carolina… My life has been a whirlwind of craziness – new places, new people, new ideas.

Yes, that is, verbatim, a post from an old journal of mine. Well, not verbatim. There was some stuff in between about falling in love and confusion and an unclear stream of consciousness. Not important.

What is important though, is at that point I was lost and confused. I didn’t have a foot on the ground. What I know now, is moving to North Carolina was the absolute best decision of my life. What were you doing five years ago and where are you now? Are you better off? Have you grown? Are you dwelling on things in the past that don’t matter?

I ask these questions, because it’s so important to recognize how far you’ve come in life. I was talking to my best friend tonight (she was with me during those “confusing” moments five years ago), and she said, “Maria, I don’t mean this in a rude way, but you’ve come so far from where you used to be. I’m so proud of you. You’re so much stronger.”

You, too, should be proud of how far you’ve come. Sometimes, it’s okay to look in the past in order to propel yourself forward. You’re not the same person you were back then. You’ve grown. You’ve learned. And, you can overcome whatever obstacles you’re facing now, because, guess what… you’ve done it before.

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I overcame an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression with the help of this wonderfully amazing thing called running. And that's why I'm here - to share my story and to help those who are going through what I've already gone through. On this blog you'll find running tips, mental health tips, and lots of joy. Join me as we piece life together one run at a time.

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