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Running and Traveling: The Race Begins Here

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to attend ASTMH’s (American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) annual conference in New Orleans. I was excited to see a new part of the country that I hadn’t been before, while completely geeing out with all the other global health nerds that would be in attendance. While the main reason for this trip was to network with other students and researchers in my career field, this trip also served as a reminder of what it takes to chase after my running goals. It could have been easy to skip the early wake up that was required to get my daily miles in, but this time as I rolled out of bed I had two things on my mind:

1. This is a reminder to myself that big dreams require work and dedication, especially when it isn’t convenient, can be enough to start the process of lacing up my shoes. It’s like our UR empowerment shirt says, The Race Begins Here. It’s the work you put in months before you toe the line that makes you capable of doing great things, so it’s important to put the effort into each day.  Taking the time to acknowledge this fact can often be enough to get myself to start lacing up the shoes.

If that doesn’t do the trick, then I remind myself that:

2. Sometimes the best way to experience a new place is on foot. Getting up before the city comes alive and finding my way around the French Quarter and down to the canal ended up being one of the hi lights of my trip. Finding my way to a waterfront park that was being used by other morning runners gave me a cool sense of camaraderie while exploring this new place. I could look around and see the sun rise over the water and discover some really cool restaurants that I wanted to try later on. It gave me a different perspective on the city that I couldn’t have had any other way, making it well worth the effort to get out the door.

So good luck to all of you out there putting in the effort and chasing down dreams, you never know what you will get to experience while you are putting in the work.

Water front park I discovered about a half mile from my hotel in New Orleans
Water front park I discovered about a half mile from my hotel in New Orleans

Sarah