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Running for Empowerment: Lisa DeLugo’s Journey of Healing and Transformation

Running for Empowerment Lisa DeLugo How It All Started Run Tri Bike
Lisa DeLugo
Year started: 2015
Next race: March 30, 2024 / Run 4 Your Life / Albany, NY
Favorite gear:
  • Asics Running Shoes

In endurance sports, there’s a prevailing belief that athletes are often groomed from a young age, honing their skills through years of dedication and training. However, Lisa DeLugo’s story defies this narrative. She wasn’t a natural-born runner; in fact, she quit the jogging club in high school on its inaugural day. But it was during a tumultuous period in her life, amidst a divorce, that Lisa found peace in running. She would embark on a journey that would ultimately lead to her running for empowerment, healing, and transformation.

A Journey of Rediscovery: Finding Peace in Running

For Lisa, running wasn’t merely a physical activity; it became a lifeline—a means to navigate through the stormy waters of her emotions. “I wanted that feeling of being free,” she recalls, reflecting on her initial steps into the world of running. With nothing to lose, she ventured outdoors, uncertain yet hopeful. As she jogged, surrounded by the tranquil scenery, she found joy in the simple pleasures—a chipmunk scurrying by, birds chirping, and fellow runners exchanging greetings. What started as a tentative venture around the corner evolved into a three-mile run, which brought moments of clarity and introspection. “I noticed my mood change,” Lisa reflects, realizing the therapeutic potential of running as a companion to her therapy sessions.

Despite the absence of concrete goals, Lisa’s running journey began to yield tangible results—not just for herself but for those around her. Friends and family noticed a shift in her demeanor, prompting inquiries about her newfound passion. Encouraged by their interest, Lisa began sharing her running exploits on social media, inadvertently inspiring others to embark on their own wellness journeys. “It was then when I decided to become a certified running coach,” she shares, recognizing an opportunity to pay forward the joy and empowerment she derived from running.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lisa’s coaching endeavors took on a new dimension. Through free meet-up groups, she introduced fellow women to the therapeutic potential of running for empowerment. She created a safe space for shared experiences and emotional release. “As we ran, we talked about our challenges and concerns,” Lisa recounts. “By the end of each session, they expressed feeling better, more grounded.” It was this profound impact that solidified Lisa’s belief in the transformative power of running beyond mere physical exertion.


From Struggle to Strength: Empowering Others Through Running

For Lisa, running is a holistic practice that nurtures the mind-body connection. “The more I ran, the better I felt about myself,” she explains. “And with that gratitude came a desire to nourish my body in a healthy way.” Balancing the physical and mental aspects of running, Lisa emphasizes the importance of listening to one’s body while embracing the potential of each stride.

In a recorded voice message, Lisa explains what running does for her and the women she coaches. The phrase was simple yet powerful. She said, ‘Running is everything for me.’ She went on to explain that during runs she is able to get ideas for her personal life but also her business life. There are moments during runs where she is able to create conflict resolutions which helps ease stress in her life.

Advice from a Running Coach: Embracing Your Unique Journey

Aspiring runners seeking guidance often approach Lisa, drawn to her enthusiasm and support. To them, she offers a simple yet profound piece of advice: “Don’t compare yourself to others. Enjoy the experience.” Achievements are often measured against external benchmarks. Lisa’s words serve as a reminder of the value in one’s journey. Regardless of pace or distance, she reminds us “You are doing something amazing.” Those words will urge others to embrace their unique path with pride and grace.

Lisa DeLugo’s journey is a powerful example of what running can do for a person. Running for empowerment is a journey marked by resilience, self-discovery, and determination. Through her coaching and personal experiences, she continues to inspire individuals to utilize the therapeutic potential of running. Her group is a community built on empowerment, healing, and collective growth. In a world filled with challenges, Lisa’s story reminds us that the path to new heights often begins with a single step.