It’s only natural that I would be OrthoCarolina’s public relations manager, because I was actually a patient for 8 years before I came to work for them. Running and I have a long history, some good, some bad and some just downright weird, but it’s a part of my life that I am grateful for and don’t take for granted.
I first got into running, as in actual continuous miles, in college as a way to stay in shape since I wasn’t playing soccer anymore. I ran a few miles on treadmills and loops through Chapel Hill that I’d run over and over again. I eventually ran my first 5K, and then in 2002, my first half-marathon. Over time, running became cathartic for me, a way to think and psychologically cleanse all the thoughts floating around in my head. I’ve come up with some of my best ideas while running in the early morning hours of the day.
While logging all of these miles over the past sixteen or so years, I’ve had many interesting experiences, including getting lost in a big city, being hit by a car, and having my head attacked by barred owls that nest in Myers Park and Dilworth on at least four occasions (no, I am not making that up). I have dealt with IT band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, broken feet and toes and more (that’s where OrthoCarolina came in). As I’ve gotten older and wiser, cross-training became a new word in my vocabulary and I now mix up the running with Flywheel, lots of yoga, and some strength training.
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But at its core, running is more than just a physical escape. For me it’s also a way to break free from the world for awhile, an empty page where I can lose myself in my own thoughts, think about nothing, or just listen to the words of a good country song. My favorite run is a 6-mile loop in the mountains of Blowing Rock, N.C. just off the Blue Ridge Parkway that winds through the woods from Bass Lake up a steady incline to the Moses Cone Manor House and back down again and it’s best when I have my sister running beside me and we just run and talk the whole way.
It can be hard to try something new. But even if running scares you, just take that first step and run a block or two. I promise it’ll take you places.
Logan Stewart is the Community Manager for OrthoCarolina and a member of Team Run Charlotte Run. She is an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.