Lindsey’s CHAARG Journey: Running Saved Me

Growing up I had always played sports [dance, softball, basketball, soccer — you name it], but even with that I was always… chubby. ++ like so many others, I got made fun of well into my teens.

When I was about 16, I begged my parents for a gym membership for Christmas. I was so excited when they bought it for me + I started going right away. I had a trainer + went twice a day [multiple times a week] — however, nothing was happening. That can do a lot of harm on your body image//self esteem, especially at that age, [+ especially when weight has been an issue your entire life].

I’m sure you can guess: I was discouraged. I have done everything from starving myself to working out obsessively just to see results. None of it worked + none of it was okay. After that, there were times I felt *okay* with my body – but it never really felt good enough + at one point I definitely let myself go…

Fast forward to the beginning of 2014, I finally had the courage to chase my dream of joining the military. I couldn’t have been more excited when I went to talk to the recruiters — until my excitement was cut short. I was told that I weighed [significantly] too much. THAT, right there, was my *ah-ha* moment.

I realized at that moment that even though I told myself I wanted to lose weight all those years, I was never really serious — until now. No one was going to tell me I couldn’t do something, especially when it was my dream [+ especially when it was because of something I could control].

I was so embarrassed. This was really the first time in my life I had ever been told no + I didn’t take it lightly. Instantly, I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to give up that easy.

Here’s where running comes in… After that, I came home + I ran [+ ran + ran + ran some more]. I was determined. In less than a year I completed more races than I can even count [including a half marathon]. During that time, I came to realize: I LOVE RUNNING! Running was my thing [+ I lost enough weight to fulfill my dream — which I am so proud of].

Recently, I have been doing more weight training + cross training + I sort of pushed running aside. #runCHAARG was EXACTLY what I needed to help remind me of my love for running.

Sure, I could have done more miles or done them a little faster, but that’s not the point. The point is: this challenge helped me ignite the flame again + reminded me how good I feel after a run + what getting out + running has really done for me. Running saved me. I could not be more proud of myself + all the other CHAARG girls who ran this month.

linds

[FROM INSTA] FOR THE LAST 6 MONTHS I HAVE BEEN BASICALLY STALKING THE #CHAARG + #INCHAARG HASHTAGS…

Waiting for January 1st ++ now I am so happy//excited//proud to say I have FINALLY [and officially] become a part of this amazing group! I cannot wait to see what this year brings. I am ready + determined! Thank you CHAARG!

+Lindsey [@koehn_inchaarg], Virt CHAARG

#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Lindsey was one of the five winners of the #runCHAARG 31 miles in 31 days challenge. We could not be more proud of all of her + cannot wait to continue following her journey through CHAARG + the military. [side note: Lindsey leaves for Basic Training on Tues so make sure to send her positive vibes!]

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