Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
- August 6, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 269: Ali & the Experts with Laura Parrott, Career Coach
- August 5, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 268: Jenny Simpson
- July 29, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 267: Catching Up with Emily Halnon
- July 26, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 266: On the Record with Mario Fraioli, Host of The Morning Shakeout
- July 22, 2020 by AliAli on the Run Show Episode 265: Catching Up with Chris Heuisler
Three years ago, I found myself in a pretty bad place.
I was in a relationship that had deteriorated—though I refused to acknowledge the reality of the situation for too long. So I was blindsided when my boyfriend at the time (and, uh, roommate at the time…I had moved into his apartment just three months prior) broke up with me one random Sunday morning. I was heartbroken and terrified.
Somehow, a running store came to my rescue — the same running store where I bought my first pair of “real” running shoes after going for my first two-block run a few months after moving to New York City.
I had applied for JackRabbit Sports‘ “Run for the Rabbit” marketing campaign on a whim. A Facebook post on the store’s page said they were looking for “runners who wanted to train for a marathon while also raising money for a cause that’s important to them.” Check and check.
Out of a field of more than 300 applicants, I was chosen.
At a time when I didn’t feel very special or lovable, JackRabbit saw something special — something lovable — in me.
Being a part of that campaign changed my life so profoundly.
I met amazing people, like Coach Cane.
I got to be in the store’s commercials, which felt pretty cool.
I learned all about running dos (take rest days!) and don’ts (secretly take a spin class on those coach-mandated rest days).
I had one of the best nights of my life at JackRabbit’s Upper East Side store.
I found a tremendous support system as I documented my training and fundraising for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America here on this little blog.
I created the I Heart Sweat brand, which was a shocking success. And I purchased my first trademark!
I raised $20,000 for CCFA.
I trained for my first marathon, and that race day was the best day of my life.
I was healthy.
At a time in my life when I felt so lost and so sad, and when I didn’t really want to accept that I needed help, JackRabbit saved me.
So now here I am, three years later.
I posted back in November about how I was feeling claustrophobic. I was having panic attacks and I couldn’t find the root of my problem on my own. I needed something, but I didn’t know what it was.
Then I got sick — again — and I was temporarily distracted from my overwhelming feelings of wanderlust.
I did OK being sick at first. December wasn’t terrible since I got some time off for the holidays, and January was so cold that it made being stuck in the warm bathroom kind of tolerable. By February, though, the old feelings of depression had returned, and in full force.
I felt that there was so much I couldn’t control. Without your health, you seem to have so little. I was sick, tired, stressed, angry.
Now here we are in the burgeoning springtime. As I’m slowly feeling better (most days, at least; I still spend more time in the bathroom than you probably do, and these night sweats just keeping popping up unexpectedly), I’m relishing the warmer days and the runs I get to take.
There’s so much in life I can’t control, and accepting that over the past few years has really helped me. I’m still obsessive about making the bed every morning, but beyond that I’m doing OK learning to manage my stress and roll with most of the punches. And, I’ve learned, there are some things you can control.
Today is my last day as editor in chief of Dance Spirit magazine.
I declared this my dream job when I was just 16 and made it my life goal to move to NYC someday to make it happen. I feel so deeply lucky that I was able to make my dream come true. But after seven years, it’s time to move on and try something new. It’s time to make new dreams.
On Monday — three years exactly since I announced I was a finalist in the Run for the Rabbit campaign — I will be starting a new job as the Digital & Editorial Manager at JackRabbit Sports.
We have a good history, me and JackRabbit.
Now we’re going to make a beautiful future together.