Why Run? Why Not? What are you running for?

Hello Blitz Community,

Keeping it in the family! Chantel with her sister Christa at 'The Moose is Loose' 10k!

Keeping it in the family! Chantel with her sister Christa at ‘The Moose is Loose’ 10k!

I’m Chantel, a Blitz community member. You may know me better as the girl in the obnoxiously neon workout wear who is often telling Amy and Chris how much I “love” (insert, despise) them during HIIT classes.

My goal in writing this letter to you is to encourage you to sign up for the Halloween Howl – 3/5 km fun run or 10km competitive run on October 27, 2013 in support of diabetes research [see end of article for details]. But for me this goes beyond being just a simple race, and therefore a bit of background on why I believe you should take part is required.

About three years ago, I was an athletic individual who could play any sport and loved running as a release from the stresses of life. I was training for my first half marathon but already had my sights on full marathons and beyond. I was, admittedly, cocky. As the race date neared I started to feel a bit of aching in my back while training, but I brushed it off. A couple weeks before the race I went for a run at lunch and came back to the office to find myself completely laid out on my office floor, my back in full spasm. Despite the ordeal, I decided I could still run the race and did, but with pain. After race day the pain never went away. Instead it increased and became a constant factor in my life. Soon all activity was too painful, and the once all-able girl was knocked to her feet. I spent the next 1.5-2 years doing little to no physical activity, and my mental health took an equal beating.

Despite the best medical help, no one could pin point what was wrong with my back. I had to come to the realization that I would live with back pain for the rest of my life and believed that running was no longer an option. This was a devastating mental blow. Sometime after, I was introduced to the trainers at Blitz and, while I started slowly, I was able to strengthen my back to a level of functionality. While I still had pain, I had more control over it and the feeling was therapeutic. After 8 months of training, I decided to face my long-lost love of running, anxious as to how my body would react.

Chantel after completing her 1st 10km since her back injury!!

Chantel after completing her 1st 10km since her back injury!!

The feeling after that first 2-3 km run can only be described as pure gratitude. The girl who before would have scoffed at a short run was in tears, grateful to have a body that would allow her to experience the physical and therapeutic aspects of a run. It wasn’t about the length or speed of the run; it was about the fact I could run at all. I trained throughout the summer and ran my first 10 km race post-injury in July 2013, grateful for each step along the way.

So this brings me to the Halloween Howl. Running means something different to each person: it may be a physical goal to achieve, a mental challenge to overcome or, for me, a reminder to be grateful. Regardless of the goal, it is always more easily reached with the encouragement and support of a community. This is something I learned first-hand. If you are looking for a fitness goal, I encourage you to join Amy, Chris, Brett and other Blitz Conditioning community members (collectively, Team Blitzfit) in conquering the Halloween Howl. The cost is $40 per person, but I promise the mental and physical benefits will far outweigh that. If you have any questions or need more information I can be contacted at chantel.cabaj@wcb.ab.ca. I look forward to running alongside you on Team Blitzfit.

This could be you!! Come out and run with us!

This could be you!! Come out and run with us!

Yours in health,

Amy Coppens About Amy Coppens

I’m passionate about fitness, health and helping others achieve their goals and as a result their best life.

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