Embarking on a transformative endurance journey, Kristen Tippit’s story goes beyond the finish line. Her journey weaves a narrative of growth and resilience through the miles she’s covered. In a world where running extends beyond a mere physical activity, Kristen’s experiences reveal a holistic approach to wellness. Kristen’s pursuit, from half marathons to a daring 40-mile goal, becomes a testament to the enduring power of perseverance. We explore how each stride becomes a tool for self-discovery and self-love, shedding light on the richness that lies beyond the finish line.
From Half Marathons to 40 Miles: A Daring Goal
The story that Kristen tells and wants told is of transformation, of growth, of overcoming obstacles. It’s not just about the physical aspect of running; it’s about the mental, emotional, and even spiritual growth that comes with it. Kristen’s journey, from running half marathons to setting a goal of running 40 miles by the end of the year, is a testament to the power of perseverance and the impact of endurance sports on one’s life. Kristen exemplifies the everyday athlete. Through the journey of running she discovers the untapped potential within and the profound impact it has on every facet of life.
Overcoming Obstacles: Kristen’s Resilient Journey
I have always been sort of obsessed with wellness and growth. My favorite books to read are self-help and if there is a free or easy opportunity to learn more about an area of wellness I don’t know much about, I jump every time!
The Unexpected Impact of Running
But running has taken my wellness to a new level. It affects every aspect of my life. Though I first started running as a young person and continued as a teenager, running cross country in highschool, I viewed it as a means to lose weight or at the very least, allow me to eat how I wanted without gaining more. And I never considered myself an athlete because even though I played soccer and basketball and ran, I did it out of obligation to my PE teacher father, and I never thought of myself as particularly good at any of it.
My running journey continued as a young adult when I decided I wanted to try a half marathon. My boyfriend, at the time, and I followed a schedule we found online. This lead to us completing our first half in 2009. Nothing about it was enjoyable. As a matter of fact I would say that I hated it! I pushed too hard and my competitive streak made it feel hard and overwhelming.
Do This Again?
I said I would never run another half marathon again.
But then later that year, I got the itch again. I couldn’t explain it but it felt like all the pain and suffering I had endured sort of just faded away and I wanted more. I also wanted to bring my dad into it, as he had always been a runner, so we decided to set the goal of running a half in every state.
Two kids, job changes, and health issues later, we completed 9 or so half marathons in different states. It was a fun ride but getting harder each year logistically. And then I was diagnosed with MS and had my 3rd baby.
I didn’t think I would run again. I convinced myself it wasn’t for me and that I was too heavy now, so it would be bad for my knees. My legs had gone numb during my pregnancy from my MS and even walking was a challenge. Running felt so distant. And it made me sad.
Empowering Moms: Community and Wellness
Then in 2019, my whole life changed, dramatically. I got divorced, fell in love with someone new, moved houses, lost my job, got pregnant, and a pandemic struck. After a harrowing experience with my 4th baby in the NICU for 21 days in May 2020, I needed a new outlet. I needed to process my grief and stress and life changes. And before I knew it, I was out running again.
This time, it was completely intentional and with specific goals. I wanted to encourage moms to run – not just for exercise or health, but for community and overall wellness. Creating an Instagram micro blog called “mom life is hard, let’s run” was my first step. Every day I wrote about my experiences of being a mom of 4 young kids and how running helped. I posted silly pictures and talked about real life. My goal was to help moms feel less alone and encourage them to take care of themselves and feel good again.
The Wild Goal: 40 Miles on the 40th Birthday
But the biggest surprise about running came at the beginning of this year. Though I was a die hard “I will NEVER run a marathon” person, I got a thought I just couldn’t shake after my 39th birthday in January – I want to run 40 miles on my 40th birthday.
It was a wild goal. I had no idea where it had come from or why it wouldn’t go away. And for some reason, I decided it was true, I DID want to run 40 miles. But how? I knew I needed help.
Journey with a Running Coach: Breaking Barriers
I had never thought of getting a running coach before. I am a smart and capable person and I have determination and grit, I can figure my running schedule out all by myself! But not this time. It felt too big and important to try and do alone. I remembered that a woman I knew in high school was a running coach. She had posted about it sometimes on Facebook. I went to check her out and to my great excitement, she had JUST posted about taking new clients! Despite not knowing what the cost would be or how I would manage it, I sent her a message.
Her enthusiastic response, “I absolutely have room for you and I’d love to work with you!” was all I needed to sign up and it has been the most important thing I have done for my running and my life.
And here’s where it gets really interesting. Training for my 40 mile run over the past 9 months has changed literally every aspect of my life for the better.
Consistency, Discipline, and Self-Trust Unveiled
The first thing that happened is I got to let go of worrying whether each run was the right length or time or challenge, my coach was in charge of that and took the decision fatigue away completely. She told me what to do at the beginning of each week, and my responsibility was to make each run happen each day. I scheduled my life around my runs and ensured they made the cut every single day. This was the first time I began to understand what consistency, self-discipline, and self-trust truly looked like. I showed up for myself with each run and then reported my results to my coach, every single day.
Accountability: A Constant Cheerleader
Which brings me to the second thing that happened – creating and sustaining a sense of accountability. Knowing I had to report to my coach each day with a screenshot of my apple watch data and a description of how it went meant I was much more connected to staying consistent. It also meant I had a constant supporter and cheerleader. My coach is one of the most kind, supportive, and excited people I know. She tells me every day how much I kickass and how strong I am. As a woman, mom, and athlete, I need that kind of feedback and it has started to replace old stories and limiting beliefs I have held about who I am and what I am capable of.
Infiltrating Everyday Life: Running’s Profound Influence
The third thing that happened is that everything I was learning about myself and all the new traits I was cultivating around goal-setting, consistency, and self-discipline started to infiltrate my everyday life, my relationships, and my business.
Flourishing in Business and Relationships
I have been an entrepreneur for the last 3 years and it is definitely a tough road. Every goal I set or dream I envision is solely dependent on me. Sometimes this is freeing but often it is intense. I am the only one truly holding myself back from success and greatness. But through my running journey this year, I have created incredibly important habits and routines that have allowed me to flourish and grow like never before. I show up for myself, my clients, my business, my relationships, and my family in a way I could have never imagined. And, I am now helping others find these same revelations and huge transformations using running as the catalyst!
Becoming the Everyday Athlete: A Personal Mission
Though even a year ago, I wouldn’t have claimed the title “athlete”, I am now proud and excited to embody being an “everyday athlete” and I’m on a mission to change lives and encourage others to find it for themselves! My path of self-discovery and self-love through endurance running has been nothing short of amazing. This can be your path as well.