I remember exactly where I was when I decided to start a blog. Three summers ago, I was walking into Central Park at 72nd Street, thinking about sharing my boutique fitness adventures. As a recent graduate, I wasn’t making much money and would research fitness studios and instructors online before investing in each class. At the time, each class was a major investment. After reading reviews and later sharing my experiences with friends, I decided that other people must be searching for reviews, as well. I wanted to share my own stories, from a non-fitness professional perspective. Today, EC.com has a similar goal, but this blog has opened more doors for me than I thought possible. Each year is filled with more adventure than the last.
Let’s take a look back at some of the Year 3 highlights. Last August, I ran SeaWheeze for the first time. Right now, I’m on my way back to Vancouver to run it again. In early September, I practiced yoga in all white with thousands of other yogis in Central Park. I also visited New Balance HQ in Boston and ran my first Ragnar Relay, Reach the Beach, with their blogger team. In October, I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with Team Finish Line in San Francisco. That may be the last Nike Half Marathon ever. In early November, I ran my first Rock ‘n’ Roll race in Las Vegas. Brian made the trip with me to celebrate my final destination race (seven total) of 2016. To finish the year, I also did a month-long partnership with Puma and became a Nuun Ambassador.
In January, Mom and I ran a half marathon together in Austin. It fell on the same weekend as the major snowstorm on the East Coast. By February, I was in a major running rut and took the month off, but I also relaunched my blog. In March, I practiced yoga on the court at Madison Square Garden and spent a weekend in Montauk with Wellthily. I also found out I had a bib for the New York City Marathon. In April, I ran my second Ragnar Relay in Southern California with Team Nuun, where we ended up winning the co-ed division. I also went on a non-fitness trip to Florence and Barcelona with Brian and started my new full-time job. Because of my new job, I skipped the Brooklyn Half Marathon to work an event in San Francisco in May. In June, I spent most weekends at the Jersey Shore before moving to Brooklyn with Brian. I also celebrated International Yoga Day on a rooftop with Adidas. In July, I attended IDEA in Los Angeles and Co:Labs in New York with Propel. And I just got back from celebrating a new shoe launch with Adidas in Montauk.
It’s hard to believe that a side project I created from scratch has given me so many incredible opportunities. I may not have the most followers on Instagram. And I may not be the fastest runner on a blogger team. But I believe I’ve been successful because I’m honest about how difficult it’s been to juggle my blog, my full-time job, and my race training. Many fitness influencers can be intimidating. They like to talk about working harder, being leaner, lifting heavier, and running faster than everyone else. Whether or not their approach is healthy, it’s often unattainable for the average person. I have always tried to share my experiences from the perspective of a young, full-time professional. I aim to be relatable, not aspirational.
What’s next? I already have a few exciting announcements to share after SeaWheeze. I’ll give you a hint. I’ll be running a destination half marathon in October. And I’ll be running as part of a major brand team in the New York City Marathon in November. Find out which brand on Instagram.
Thank you all for sharing this journey with me. There are quite a few perks that come along with blogging, but the best part is meeting people with similar interests and values. Sharing my stories wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling without all of you sharing your fitness adventures with me. I can’t wait to see what Year 4 has in store!
Photography by Nick A. Urteaga