Inside the heart of a runner, a reflection of passion

Have you ever had an experience that caused you to take a step back and review your life, your thoughts, your passions and dreams?  Or, have you ever met someone that made you stop dead in your tracks and do a total self evaluation?
Last week while I was working on the Mezamashii Run Project in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people while I was there. Every time I turned around, there was something new to see and something new to learn. I have to say that the experience of filming with a professional production crew is totally amazing. It is kind of just like you see on TV or the movies… all the equipment, and all the hubbub that goes along with it. Very busy, and crazy at times, but in a controlled sort of way.
While I was doing my part of the filming process, I became acutely aware of someone that I was working with.  His persona and the grace at which he did his job stood out to me greatly. I could see the passionate devotion in his work, and could tell that there was something totally different about this man. The more I studied him while trying to figure him out, the more I realized that passion not only comes from deep within, but also from a higher source of power around us. Being a Christian, I have a very strong faith in God, and I could see this resonating from this person in every task, conversation, and thought process.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time, thinking about how someone could find that fervor within themselves, if they didn’t already have it, or if they had it and it had left. Many times in my life I had set goals and been very focused about things that I wanted to do. Some of these I followed through on, and others I let go by the wayside. Studying someone who had it “all together” caused me to take a look inside myself, to find out what I really want in life now that I have turned age 50+.  When I was younger, my focused passions in life were sports, and music. Growing up, that was all I did. I never felt like I fit in with the rest of the people I was with, so I fully immersed myself into both of those, hoping I would find some gratification with what I was doing. I was lucky enough to have had wonderful loving parents who supported me with everything I did, and that certainly helped, but it never really filled the void.
I stop and think about where I was a couple of years ago. I hated how I looked, I hated how I felt, and I felt like my job was going nowhere. I was sick of how people were looking at me; I could just read “Fatty” on their faces, with every glance in my direction. Luckily for me, I had my “ahah” moment and changed my life around. I once again became very focused, and that was on losing the weight, no matter what cost. I joined Weight Watchers at my work, and found a very supportive group of people there. Within a couple of months the weight was coming off and staying off.  Obesity is a very scary thing. It brainwashes you into thinking that you can’t do anything because you are “too heavy”. Lots of things in life have weight limits, and unless you are a big person, you probably have never given it a thought. Rides at the fair or theme parks, ziplines, medical equipment at the hospital, bathroom scales, regular sized chairs, airplane seats and seatbelts… the list goes on and on.  Many obese people avoid these things altogether as a safety net against the internal hurt these items can cause.
Reflection this past week has brought me a renewed sense of self. That strong emotion  and zeal  for life in general is blooming once again, and I have to believe that God used this person as an avenue to open my eyes once again to all of the beauty that there is around me. I feel like I kind of shut down after my father died last summer, and my senses had truly become dull and blurred. Once in a while, on a run I could feel my passion for running come through in those Mezamashii, out of mind/body experiences, but I was having a hard time to carry it through to everyday life.


The hardest step to take is the first one, the one that will ultimately lead back to being healthy, happy and passionate about life. When I started back on the road to running, I couldn’t walk a quarter of a mile. My knees would hurt. My back would hurt. My feet hurt. I kept telling myself that I was fooling myself into thinking I could do this. But… the runner in me from years before, kept saying. DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T GIVE UP.  And so.. baby steps were taken  which ultimately led me to where I am now.  Was it hard? Yes. Slow? Yes. Is it worth it? YES!
I have to say a great big thank you to the people at Mizuno and McKinney who took a chance on me and invited me to Atlanta last week. As much as I was there doing something for them, they were all ministering to me in their own separate ways. I could name every single one of them here, and how each person touched my life, but the list would go on and on. I am so grateful for a renewed sense of purpose.
Running has truly been the avenue to which I have responded with earnest. I will certainly try to carry that passion forward and give it freely to others, hoping to inspire them to find those deep emotions within themselves. If this post has touched you in some way, feel free to let me know. If you are wanting to start your journey back to running and need help, please contact me. I will do my best to help get you started.
This article was originally posted by Louise Cunningham on

2 responses to “Inside the heart of a runner, a reflection of passion”

  1. Jen says:

    I think it’s pretty amazing you picked up on passion. There are those amazing people out there that just simply emit passion out of all their pores….it’s amazing. You’ve set an amazing goal and you are doing a fabulous job!!!!