A lot of familiar faces attend our weekly free runs, events, and grace the newsfeed of your social media. If you haven’t had the chance to get in depth knowledge of how these runners came to be…well runners, we decided to highlight a few of these faces to get everyone more acquainted and maybe inspire a few unfamiliar faces to attend in person
You may recognize Sarah Waugh modeling some of our SR tanks online, from our Facebook page, or cheering and smiling along the Wednesday route. She also happens to be one of our SR ambassadors and the perfect person to start our interview series. I think everyone has a different story, getting inspired by someone/something to set a goal, or just discovering a passion by accident. Sarah was no different in she wanted a change she could see in herself. A local running club gave her a taste of a journey into fitness, nutrition, and motivating others.
Were you athletic or play any sports when you were younger?
I was definitely the most UN-athletic kid growing up. I stayed away from team sports and athletics as much as possible. P.E. was torture. Believe it or not, I was kind of shy as a kid!
So how did you get into running?
My running journey started with lunch at Gloria’s in Montgomery Plaza one Sunday afternoon in late 2013. A friend and I were walking around after lunch and we wandered into Luke’s Locker. I happened to see the sign for their “9 to 5K” training program, so I took a brochure and didn’t think too much about it. Later that week, I decided, on a whim, to sign up for the program. 9 weeks later I was running my first Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. It was hard and I was huffing and puffing (notice this is BEFORE my Weight Watchers journey so I was much heavier). But I finished the run and felt pretty good about it. From November to the next spring I didn’t really keep up with running since I didn’t really like going by myself at that point.
Mentioning Weight Watchers, why did you go to your first meeting?
That started in March 2014. One of my dearest friends, Naomi, had started going to WW meetings and was having great success, and she finally convinced me to try it out. Even though we are in different cities, we used each other as accountability partners. I enjoyed the social aspect of meetings and the camaraderie, but have since departed from WW.
How did that change your perception of fitness, health, etc.?
I lost my first 25lbs with WW and am so grateful, I just feel like I “moved on” nutritionally, if that makes sense. I really wanted to focus on clean, whole eating, not just “if it fits in my point allowance, I’ll eat it”. So with that said, I try to keep a “eat clean, train mean” mentality, balancing an 80/20 paleo-ish template. However, I still portion my meals.
My perception of health/fitness/wellness has really evolved over the last year. I’ve tried various fitness programs, diets, etc. over the years and this last year is when I found my niche. Eating clean, running, and cross training, as well as trying to live a balanced life (taking control of my stress, sleeping better, etc), has really proven the most effective for me. I believe we all can live a healthy, well balanced life, and it may look different from someone else’s. I used to compare myself to other runners, etc., but once I quit doing that and focused on what makes me happy and healthy….that’s when things really start clicking for me and it became a lifestyle, not a struggle!
Did you try to set many goals along the way?
I’d say I didn’t really set too many until I was active with SR. My first goal was to attend three SR a month, and workout three other times during the week. I did that by working out at home with various programs like cardio and weight training and PiYo (pilates/yoga/conditioning). I have a crazy schedule and the at-home option works best for me and when I started seeing results from running and those programs, I decided to become a BeachBody coach to help others take the first step and stay motivated! That’s when I started becoming more active on social media. I quit being afraid of what people might think, and just put my story and my journey out there! I thought “if I can touch one person…just one…I will have made a difference. If one person laces up running shoes, pops in a fitness dvd, decides to eat healthier…it’s worth it”. My mission statement is now to inspire everyone to become the happiest, healthiest version of themselves!
How did you find SR?
One day in April 2014, I was visiting Clearfork Food Park and talking with my now significant other, Eliud, when he mentioned Social Running. I told him it sounded like a cool group and I’d have to check it out…especially if he’d be at the park with the pizza truck (haha). I should also mention he’s now one of my biggest supporters. That man made NINE stops along the Cowtown route during my half marathon. I would have hitched a ride back to the finish had he not been out there cheering me on! Funny how life can be serendipitous…I’m so thankful for Clearfork and all it had to offer me!!! 🙂
Were you nervous to come?
In the beginning, I was a little nervous at SR, only because I had the “I’m not a runner” mentality. But no one ever made me feel unwelcome or like I was in the wrong place. Quite the opposite. Everyone was so inviting and encouraged me to come back. It became something I looked forward to weekly! I even ran into my downstairs neighbor, Ashley! We hadn’t really talked too much before SR since we have different schedules, but that day and many, many runs later we are now good friends! I even had a slight melt down when I had to register for a Wednesday night class this upcoming semester (NOOO!). Wednesdays are a Run Day!
What keeps you motivated?
The first thing that comes to mind right now is my little sister. It goes without saying that all my SR friends and the social accountability keep me going and motivated, because I would have quit a LONG time ago without them! I’ve made some lifelong friends at SR! You guys are also the reason I ran my first half in March and am training for my second in September! That being said, my sister is one of my biggest “whys”. Why I keep this up. After Cowtown (my first half), she asked me “Sarah, how does someone start running?” I told her “well…you just start. You get a good pair of shoes, some good people around you, a goal race, and you just go”. I remember looking at her and telling her I’d do whatever it took to help her start running. And guess what….after completing a training program and a few 5ks, she’s running her first 10k with me in August. 😉
Thanks for sharing your AWESOME story with us Sarah!
I know this was a bit long-winded; I just didn’t want to leave anything out that might be helpful! All in all, SR has been a haven for me. A place where I’ve made some of my best friends, felt invincible, and been encouraged. I just want to share some of that inspiration with others!
Sarah nervously says that she will next take on a full marathon, “just saying it makes me nervous but I know that I’m surrounded by people that continue to encourage me.” You can find out more about Sarah and follow her journey by attending a Social Run, or checking out her page.
“Some days it’s not about how fast you are or the distance you ran but that you committed to get moving.”-Sarah W.
Weight Watchers and BeachBody are copyrights held by their respective owners that Social Running is not affiliated with.