A few years ago, I was the last person you would call a runner. The concept of running as a social activity and chatting throughout? I could barely make it through a 3-mile run without wanting to keel over, let alone waste any of that precious oxygen on talking!
When I told people this, they were often confused because I was a personal trainer who had no problem doing 100 heavy kettlebell snatches in five minutes. Most people think running should come easily to me, but it didn't—and I'm sure it didn't help that when I was figure skating growing up my coaches wouldn't let me run for fear that I would injure myself.
During a particularly difficult time in my life a few years ago, I found myself reaching for my running shoes and heading to the West Side Highway in New York at a friend's suggestion. It wasn't easy, but I'm so glad I did it—because those outdoor runs quickly became my safe, happy place.