Right Where I Needed To Be

After cheering for the NYC Marathoners in 2017 I was determined to make 2018 my Comeback Year. I was thinking about ways that I could restart and what I could do to get motivated. On cue, I opened up Instagram to see a post by Harlem Run saying, "Join us for our Harlem Run Retreat 3.0 in Costa Rica!" 

That was my sign. At first I will admit that I didn’t have the means to go, but I made it work. I knew this was the move I needed to get me inspired again.

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Fast forward to Retreat Day -- it's already 4:30AM and I'm on my way to the airport to catch my 6AM flight. The train conductor announced that there was a sick passenger on the train and I was worried I was going to be late. What a way to start the day! There were so many thoughts & feelings going through me, and I was convinced I'd miss my flight for sure. I took a deep breath and told myself that I was going to make it on time. I just put those words out to the universe.

A few minutes later the train started moving and I made it to the gate just on time. I had the whole flight to reflect on what had brought me here and prepared for my experience at the retreat. I landed in Costa Rica 6 hours later (phew!), feeling relieved and ready to get moving. Even with all the roadblocks, I finally made it to Costa Rica and was reassured that I was right where I needed to be.

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The Harlem Run Retreat was the opportunity for me to breakaway from my running hiatus, fears of judgments within the running community, and reflect on my life as as a plus-sized runner. I was also there to fuel my life's purpose of inspiring and motivating others (as well myself) when I came back to the New York.

 At the San Jose Airport, I was anxious and nervous. I met with about 12 other people, mostly strangers to me, that I had never met or interacted with through social media before ... I found almost immediately that the commonality of Harlem Run immediately started bonding us together as if we were lifelong friends. 

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Throughout the Retreat I would learn that all these people had interesting background stories, amazing lives back in the US,  and impressive reasons that they decided to come along on this trip. The bonds that we all made during our time in Costa Rica will not soon be forgotten, and I'm grateful to have met everyone. 

The Harlem Run Retreat allowed me to really step outside my comfort zone, to not let fears stop me from living my best life!  As I reflect back on my time in Costa Rica, I think of all the quotes and experiences the girls shared and how they perfectly captured what I learned while I was there and what I would bring back to the US;

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Use your time wisely!

Exercise is a privilege.

Be Fearless!

Live with No Limitations...PURA VIDA!

-Johanna

Johanna Vallejo2 Comments