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Running – It’s the Journey not the destination





As a teenager, I used to ride with my mom to high school every morning. Along the way, rain or shine, we'd see this elderly man in his bright neon outfit, jogging without fail. Watching him sparked a desire within me—I wanted to maintain that level of vitality well into my 70s and 80s. His dedication inspired me, shaping how I approached movement in my own life. Although running was always part of my fitness routine, it wasn't until the last 12 years that I truly committed to it.


During my elementary school years, I dabbled in cross-country and enjoyed track drills but never took them seriously. However, after moving out west following my first college diploma, running became a daily ritual. Living in Lake Louise, I cherished my morning runs from the village to the lake, creating unforgettable memories amidst the mountains.


Upon returning to Ontario, I pursued further education in fitness and health and embarked on my boxing journey. Boxing blended my love for running in nature with the discipline needed for consistent training. In 2016, I entered my first organized 5K race, sparking the inception of my own running community, which has thrived since 2017. Over the years, I've had the privilege of running alongside numerous individuals, many of whom embarked on their own running journeys for the first time.


As a coach, nothing brings me greater joy than witnessing my clients' victories, both big and small. From running without stopping to achieving personal bests, each accomplishment is a cause for celebration. Our team has shared countless memorable moments during events like the Oktoberfest 5K Run and Halloween Costume runs. Personally, I achieved a milestone by completing my first half marathon in Toronto in 2022, and I'm excited to participate in this year's race alongside a current member of our running group for her first time.


Running holds a special place in my heart for its ability to ground me in the present moment, focusing on breath and movement. Sometimes, it serves as an opportunity to process emotions or simply let go. Immersing myself in nature's beauty—whether it's the rustling trees, wildlife sightings, or breathtaking sunrises—adds an extra layer of fulfillment to my runs. Each morning jog sets the tone for my day, leaving me invigorated and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. It provides a physical outlet for releasing pent-up energy and offers the freedom to track progress or run without constraints. Best of all, running is accessible to all, regardless of financial means or social status. Whether I choose to run solo or with company, it's a communal activity that fosters a sense of camaraderie among fellow runners.


For me, running isn't just about reaching a destination; it's about the journey itself—the adventures and connections formed along the way. Reflecting on past runs fills me with gratitude and anticipation for the future. However, I understand that running isn't everyone's cup of tea. If high-impact activities aren't feasible, exploring alternatives like walking or hiking can provide similar benefits. Ultimately, the key is to enjoy the journey and celebrate each milestone, no matter how small.


-Melanie Richter



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