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Mar 18, 2022

Encourage Yourself Part Two – The Journey Continues

“Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, love yourself, and never doubt who you are.”

– Stephanie Lahart, Author

March marks my one-year anniversary as a Digital Content Creator for the Black Girls RUN! blog! My how time flies when you’re having fun! And fun is exactly how I’d describe the past twelve months working alongside four other uber-talented Digital Content Creators!

My very first blog post was titled, Encourage Yourself: Hush The Hater in You and Silence The Self-Sabotage. It was a love letter to me, and hopefully others, to remember to allow yourself grace. Every run, walk, or workout in general, won’t be easy. Life will throw you a curve ball every now and then and you may want to give up, give in and throw in the towel. You may have bouts of self-doubt where the negative talk wins and the self-sabotage begins. It’s okay. You’re not alone and just know; this too shall pass.

A year later, I am, right at this very moment, trying to “hush the hater in me”. Over the last few months, I’ve been struggling. I haven’t been consistent with my runs, walks or hikes. I am worrying incessantly about the health and wellness of my aging parents, my mother who lives alone but near me and my father who lives alone over 900 miles away in Florida.

If that wasn’t enough, I lost my job at the end of December and I’m spinning my wheels trying to figure out what I want to do with the next chapter of my life.

I’ve distanced myself from my super supportive run crew, primarily because I don’t want to watch from the sidelines as they get in their runs while I sit moping around feeling sorry for myself.

Last year I was on fire. I was running 3-4 times a week; I ran a few 5Ks and even flexed some running muscle and ran my first 10K. I tackled some tough double-digit mile hikes in New York and across the country in Washington state. I upped my yoga and strength training game, and I even ended the year as a first-time mentor for my local running store’s 5K training program, the very same training program I completed when I started running almost three years ago. It gave me so much joy encouraging women, women who looked just like me, during the 8-week program and across the finish line at our goal race last December!

So, what happened? Life.

And just like that, I snapped out of it. By the end of January, I started walking just to get off the couch and move. Then, I started running. That’s the beautiful thing about allowing yourself grace. Grace is the permission to forgive your mistakes, lapses in judgment and hurtful behavior. Was I running at my usual pace? Not even close but I was running again, and it felt good. A few weeks later, I began hiking on my off days and slowly added in stretching, yoga and strength training.

Life happens. Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, love yourself, and never doubt who you are.

By: Danielle Barnes – @dannibsays (IG) @dannib413 (Twitter)

Danielle Barnes is a freelance writer based in Montclair, NJ. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University. Her superpower is her ability to captivate audiences with her words whether it’s in person or on paper. Danielle enjoys devouring a good book, volunteering for causes she’s passionate about, staying active, and traveling the globe to see the world in all its glory.