Usually I start with my story and end with the featured song, but I feel this deserves the opposite.
Starts with a Seed - Jilian Linklater
"I want to plant my own garden // be like you taught me to be // and I want to do everything just like you // oh, and it starts with a seed"
The sweetest lyrics, ever.
This song is slower than all of them on the playlist so far - but it makes for a great warm up or slow tempo run song. I feel like any song that makes me feel good in my soul is good for running regardless of pace. Beyond the rhythm, the lyrics of this song sound simple and were meant to be heard as a child to a parent, but I've found even more meaning listening to this during my run.
When I was in middle school I wanted to play soccer. I can't recall how it happened but I got signed up for a season of track and field prior to soccer season. I hated track. I was always the slowest person. I was always running out of breath. Even still, my parents supported me and while I can remember my dad saying that my upper body was trying to run faster than my lower body, I didn't think too much about the running thing once soccer started.
High school came around and I was always playing a sport. Fall was for soccer or tennis and spring was for lacrosse. In order to stay in shape for lacrosse I spent my winters running winter track. My event was the 800 meter race, and once again I was almost always in last place. I can remember being winded long before my friends during practices, and my coach knew that I was never going to earn our team any points.
Running was always a discipline or a thing to do when I was angry or felt unhappy with myself. Then I ran a few 5Ks with friends and learned that maybe running could have a fun element to it. I still got out of breath pretty easily, but at least I felt like I was having some sort of fun.
The Color Run 5k once again, this time with the greatest, Katrina. October 2012 - Nashville
The Color Run 5k with my favorite Singaporean, Stefan. March 2013 - Nashville
By the time the third Color Run had come around I was a month away from running my first half marathon. I had gotten a text early 2013 from a mentor from high school asking if I wanted to run the Country Music Half Marathon with him in April. What? A half marathon? I could barely handle the 800 meter, why would I ever run a half marathon?
"I have been wanting one of those '13.1' magnets I see on everyone's car around Nashville." - me, confirming I would join for the half marathon.
As the months went by I would text him every few days and give an update of how many miles I had ran that week. When race day came it was a stormy day, torrential downpours the entire race, which was something I had never trained in. I chafed, I got drenched, but I had the time of my life.
And that was my Seed. Running the Country Music Half Marathon was just the first taste of running for fun, for myself. From it I met a great run-friend, Hideki Kinoshita, who introduced me to the world of the Marathon Maniacs and those crazy enough to take on three marathons in under 90 days. When I had met him at CMM he was on marathon 160 or so, he has surpassed 200 full and ultras now.
In 2014 I ran the CMM half again, and by December I ran my first full marathon in Memphis for the kids at St. Jude. Just two and a half years later, I am a Marathon Maniac with five half marathons, 8 full marathons, and plenty of distances in between. A Hot Chocolate 15k, a Ragnar Relay with a team that ran 200 ish miles from Chattanooga to Nashville in two days. Suddenly, running has grown into a fun event. From the small seed of my parents signing me up for track in middle school, even though I was horrible, this beautiful experience has blossomed into something I never could have dreamt up with people who are my best friends, and I wouldn't change it for the world.