SARAH VERBIEST

Looking Forward , Sarah Verbiest, founder of Every Woman Southeast, reflects on the new year and what it holds.

I was not athletic during the first few decades of my life. However, as I embraced my fourth decade I discovered that I love to run. It helps get rid of stress, gets me outside, gives me time to think and keeps me healthy. Over the past year, I’ve worked on running faster and further. In that process, I have learned that what I love most about this sport is running with other people. For a sport that is often perceived as solitary, there is actually a lot of solidarity and community among runners. Whether you are a beginner runner working up to a 10 minute jog or someone who can run for hours, we are all more likely to put on those sneakers if we have a friend waiting to go with us. My world has wonderfully expanded to include the amazing women I’ve met on this journey. This support is magnified during races – from one mile fun runs to full marathons – fans made up of family, friends and kind strangers create the adreneline to push oneself beyond expectations. Really, how many times in life do you have people clapping for you, cheering and telling you “You Have This….Looking Strong!”? As I, like so many others, have struggled to understand what happened in Boston earlier this week, I’ve decided that the message that I want to perpetuate is that of community. Belonging is essential. Being together is necessary. Finding our common hopes and dreams creates understanding. Having gratitude for those who cheer us on and bring water to keep us safe is a blessing. Running…is beautiful.   **  Sarah Verbiest

My “Cape Girls” Running Group Finishing our 200th Mile of the Palmetto200 in South Carolina.

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