Mail box to mail box…..that used to be my motto…my goal…some days it was even a frantically whispered prayer….I literally would run from one mail box to the next. I would then WALK three or four mailboxes before running ONE MAILBOX SET, again……We are not talking rural routes here people….we are not speaking of mailboxes that are set great distances apart….we are talking about CUL*DE*SACS!!!! I was so saddened and bummed…what had happened? I had just had my last child….she was only 14….YEARS AS THE DOCTOR POINTED OUT...not months….I was a NURSE….I was supposed to be a role model of health, yet I felt like someone had literally slapped me across the face with my single serving box of girl scout cookies when I saw on my chart it said “Morbidly obese, recommend diabetic and hypertension medications, patient in denial.” Denial? More like my provider was delusional….how could I be morbidly obese? Sure I was chunky….weighed a bit more than high school…but MORBIDLY OBESE….How FRICKEN RUDE!!! So ever the ICU nurse…I did a calculation to prove that my provider actually received his degree at some third world country that only required water polo and the ability to perform canine CPR to become a MD. But guess what??? That little brat, that 12 year old with eight years of college beyond mine was RIGHT! I was a fat ass time bomb. So I did the only rational thing, I bargained…I asked to be given time and promised to change. Now I am SURE that other providers had tried to gently tell me to take care of my health. I just never heard them. I HEARD this 12 year old…..I heard him tell me if I didn’t lose a significant amount of weight I was going on medications and going to be like my ICU patients (yep he actually SAID THAT!) So I started to run….from mailbox to mailbox….eventually getting all the way to marathons and now training for ultras. I remember those mailbox days….I remember when it did not matter what the brand of shorts I wore were….THEY ALL RODE UP!!!! Cute little run skirts didn’t come in my size……I very VERY much recall what it felt like to feel like my entire skinny, strong body was trapped inside…..The only way I know how to describe it, is that you are trying to RUN and all around you……these heavy fighting squirrels, are trapped in pillowcases, and they are wrestling….and you are carrying those SUCKERS strapped to every available part of your body….I still struggle, I often look at other runner and wonder how they got so strong…so fast, so amazing! Then I remind myself….we NEVER know where someone came from….where their journey started…..We never know if they experienced the raging squirrel dance, if they suffer from debilitating demons that chase them as they run, if they agonize over every piece of food that enters their mouth…..But what WE DO KNOW is that EVERYONE who moves forward….be it as a one mile fun run runner, a 5K color run participant, a marathoner, an ultra runner, or a woman chasing her vision across the country……We are all RUNNERS…….and we are all AMAZING.