How I Went From A Non-Athlete To Running Fast
When I was 7 years old, I ran faster than all the boys in my PE class. One day, leading up to the annual Mile Run Race, my gym teacher pulled me aside. He told me that he knew I was going to win. This was a big deal. The winner of the race was responsible for holding the clipboard at the finish line as all the race times were recorded. I was going to be the one to hold the clipboard, he told me.
I went home that night, and butterflies started to build.
See, I was told from a young age that I don’t come from a family of athletes. Neither one of my parents did anything physical. This was both a blessing and a curse. I never had pressure to live up to high expectations of physical performance, but I also didn’t have motivation to pursue or build a talent. I had voices telling me that girls shouldn’t run.
Instead of fueling that competitive edge, I fueled a side that was filled with excuses not to not push too hard.
I ended up walking the entire race, and I can still remember the look of disappointment and confusion on my gym teacher’s face. I never took running or athletics seriously after that — at least not for a very long time.
Almost 15 years later, I was living in NYC working as a model. It hit me how disconnected I had become from my body. Getting to and from multiple castings a day and shoots had become such a challenge. I struggled with an array of health issues, from inflammation and chronic fatigue to digestive and eating problems. I started doing yoga to try to alleviate these ailments. I began to recognize what tools I could use to help me through the hectic daily life of a world-traveling model.
Little by little, I gathered information on nutrition, exercise, and health. I started to see that what I put on my plate greatly impacted my performance.
Over the years, I had accumulated so many ingrained thoughts about my identity. I had to completely rewrite my inner dialogue. When I actually started to listen to myself, I heard that 7- year-old who ran faster than all the boys.
A funny thing happened as I started to run. I noticed that I craved more of the plant-based food that I ate. It’s a cycle: Wholesome foods make me go faster and farther. The faster and farther I go, the more I crave healthy foods. For me this means abundant greens, root veggies, squash, beans, nuts and seeds, and endless fruit. Nothing processed, nothing that doesn’t grow from the ground.
Now, I feel vibrant, alive and thriving. I feel like I did when I was a kid. I figured out that filling my body this way brought me close to the desire to run, a desire that has been with me my whole life. Or, to put it bluntly, when I cut the crap out of my diet, I also cut the crap out of my mind. I have only gotten stronger, quicker and better. Every day, my run is a testament to how I was able to change my story, and continue to become who I want to be.
Lucie Beatrix is a plant-based blogger, athlete and model in Brooklyn. For daily vlogs, check out her Youtube Channel.