As a child, I was very sheltered. I attended church every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday; I attended a small school run by the church Monday through Friday; and revival occurred multiple times through the year.
This meant that I attended church every single day. I was surrounded by the same people every day — day in and day out. I was not allowed to participate in any organized sports. Television and secular music were a sin. I longed for friendship and connection, but I never found it with this group of people. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. How can I be normal?
Finding Where I Belong
As I grew up, I left the church. I continued to search for a place where I belonged. I turned to alcohol, men, and partying. I traveled that road for 20 years with more blackouts than I can count. I still longed for friendship and connection, but I never found it with this group of people either.
Eventually, I discovered that I cannot belong anywhere until I belong to myself first. I got sober and I got help. I accepted the fact that I needed medication for anxiety and depression. I found the Still I Run Community and found that I belonged with this group of people.
Creating a Place of Belonging
Then I saw an ad for Still I Run Chapter Captains and I thought: What if I could create a place of belonging here, in my own city?
Now, I have been the Still I Run Chapter Captain for over a year. I strive to create a place of belonging, because I know what it is like to not belong. One of the things I say to our chapter is “Showing up is half the battle.”
What it Means to Belong
I recently joined a local running group for long-run training. It was so hard for me. I had to quiet the voices that said "I do not belong." I cannot expect people to show up to Still I Run Grove City if I do not take my own advice. I felt the same fear showing up to that local running group that others might feel by showing up to Still I Run Grove City for the first time.
As the Still I Run Grove City Chapter continues to grow, I am inspired by every single person who has ever showed up to Still I Run Grove City Ohio.
Day 932 of continuous sobriety thanks to self-love and belonging, Still I Run, and Lexapro.
You have a place here.
You belong here.