When I got up this morning the news (or at least my news feed) was all about our very own #SisterHero Lauren Fleshman retiring from professional running, and although I’ve been busy at work since I first read the news it has been lingering and kind of soaking in me.
I started running in 2012, just a month or so before I ended up moving to the US. To me, the world of running was all very fascinating and so very intimidating at the same time (and so was the US, honestly). Anyways, I moved to the US and I pretty soon after that created a Twitter account and.. Well, this blog. A blog about me, and running. Me running.
Soon thereafter I happened to come across Lauren Fleshman on twitter and right away when doing so, I had this feeling that she was.. Something different. Something bigger than “just” an athlete.. Now don’t get me wrong, nobody is “just” something, but I just felt this connection to Lauren, like if she had more to say. More to do. (And girl, did she ever have a lot more to say/do?!) And she made running feel a bit more human to me – something that us ‘normal people’ could also be doing although we might not be flying quite as fast as her..
When you recognize that failing doesn’t make you a failure, you give yourself permission to try all sorts of things. – Lauren Fleshman
Lauren Fleshman had turned into my first American Hero, a real Sister Hero and a role model. A woman brave enough to speak up – and not only say the truth, but also show the truth.
With #keepingitreal she was raising her voice for us to be allowed to be exactly what we are – with all that we have (or don’t have). Keeping it real, a blogpost she posted on her blog in 2013, is still inspiring me to this day. It is one of the reasons I am lately beginning to feel comfortable taking my shirt off and running in short shorts again – I am doing it for me. With newfound confidence, and thanks to Lauren and other inspiring women out there. .
Here we are, a few years later and although she’s done with her professional running journey – it definitely feels like her journey has only just begun. The power, knowledge, the inspiration and motivation she shares by being her brilliant self – by speaking her truth and following her heart.. She will help change things for the better – in the sport of running, but also for women.
I have cried a few times today because of Lauren Fleshman, but not really the sad kind of tears – just tears from a full heart, and a huge load of inspiration.
If you haven’t already you should head over to Lauren’s blog and read this:
I also recommend watching this video, because.. Yes, just watch it:
“I am retiring from professional racing, but I feel a strong sense of purpose. There’s a lot of work to do in the sport right now. Building community among women runners, making sure there is fairness and economic viability for athletes, fighting to protect clean athletes, and more. But for the moment, I just want to soak this in, this rare chance to celebrate in the space between the end of something and the beginning of something else.” – Lauren Fleshman