Why am I here?
For most of my life, I've been a person who quits everything I start, plagued by self-doubt and a "never good at anything" internal narrative playing on repeat.
Where did this come from? Who knows. That's for a future therapy session. This all began to change roughly three years ago. I was sitting in my living room, months after having my third baby and felt mentally and physically out of shape. In a moment of desperation, I put on my old shoes (with holes in the sides) and baggy maternity clothes, then set out for a run. This was groundbreaking for someone like me who despised running and never felt “good” at it whenever I tried in the past. Although I barely made it one mile, I felt the tiniest bit of relief that made me want to continue running at least for that month. What I didn't realize at the time was that running would become a big part of my mental health toolbox and I'd build an amazing community of over a million keep-it-real individuals who I share my daily struggles (and sometimes wins) with.
All of this happened after falling short in my search for relatable running content. I was so desperate to find someone posting about their imperfect struggle-filled life that I decided to do it myself. I thought I was just sharing my experience, but as I was running the NYC Marathon and meeting hundreds of people from my audience, it dawned on me that I'm actually inspiring and motivating people. It turns out that some people (myself included) are more inspired by people who look like they do and are accomplishing things they thought were unattainable as opposed to people who look like professional athletes doing fast runny things.
After running three marathons, I decided to take this past year to dial down the miles and focus on basics like strength (still lacking), flexibility, and run form. Also during this time I fell into the role of Official Hype Woman of USATF and tried all the events of a Heptathlon. Millions of people got to see what an average person looks like trying these track and field events compared to the actual pros, and I can’t wait to see what we do next season!
As a person who vehemently despised running ever since my gym teacher forced me to run a mile in second grade, how did I get here? How did I go from being Erin Azar, nobody mom of three to Mrs. Space Cadet, full time running content creator internet famous enough to get awkwardly recognized by the teachers at my kid’s back to school night? From a mess who quits everything to someone who completed not just one, but three marathons? To someone who 4.4 million people have watched run the 800 meter against an Olympic athlete, even though I can barely run faster than most people walk? From the antithesis of an Instagram model to The Gram’s resident expert on which running shorts your thighs won’t gobble? Maybe I’ll fit all the answers in a book someday, but for now, I hope you join me on this wild ride of over-sharing, trying new things, and awkward self improvement. Who’s in?!
The Good, The Bad, The Awesome
Signed up for 1st marathon
Ran first mile
Signed up for 2nd marathon
Ran NYC Marathon
Ran a mile a day for 30 days
Ran virtual marathon
Ran LBI 18-miler
Kicking ass, taking names