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    Your Race is Yours and Yours Only, To Run At Your Own Pace

    “When anyone tells me I can’t do anything, I’m just not listening anymore.”Florence Griffith Joyner, 3-Time Gold Olympian

    Dear Sister,

    As I lace up my running shoes and get ready to head in the cold wintery mornings; out chasing the sunrise as I like to call it, to an endless road of possibilities, I recall how I got here.

    This is a route I know, that I’m familiar with. It’s a route I often run.

    When I think of my time running I often see a metaphor for my very own life. Just like with running, sometimes in life, a road or route is most often a path we’ve either been before or it’s a new path or adventure.

    I started running over 16 years ago as a way of coping with my life as a soon to be a young mom with childhood trauma. 

    Between the ages of 8 and 12, I was sexually abused by a family of men in the neighborhood I grew up in. As a child I thought this was what life was about, people taking advantage of you rather than being responsible and protective.

    I bottled up a lot of it for many years. Luckily for me, I built up a type of resilience that I didn’t know I had, and it also enabled my healing.

    For many years I walked around in a dazed and confused state, with a lack of purpose because I thought this was normal.

    Adults failed me as a kid, but at some point I still had a chance to chose my path or the path that God had for me.

    I started running my own race when I was 15 years old. I decided at that age what I wanted my life to look like. I became an adult in a 15-year-old body running her own race, because I could choose.

    During these unfortunate times, if you’re looking at much uncertainty, remember you have choice. You can choose what that next step in your race looks like. And you can choose to TAKE IT or NOT.

    But, if you do decide to run, take these with you – Resilience, Grace, a Warrior Spirit (think King Leonidas of Sparta and how he and his men fought to death against the Persian king Xerxes), and Love.

    I promise they will help you run the best race of your life ever.

    Maya Angelou said, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” Gotta love mama Maya’s wisdom.

    This is my letter to you today.


    P.S. I also share more about running my first marathon during the pandemic. You should check it out.

    Joycelyn Francis

    Joycelyn Francis, known by her Fit Friends and family as “Joy”, is a NASM Certified Fitness Coach on a mission to change a million lives through movement. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Joy knows the power of fitness first hand. She's used fitness in her own life to prevail over the mental and emotional trauma she experienced so that she could propel herself into the life she deserves. Her effectiveness with helping other women (and men) on their healing journey, using fitness as a tool, ties into her knowing intimately just how intertwined our emotions and waistlines really are. Joy's purview on changing the world literally means "Changing one feeling at a time, with One workout at a time”. You can follow Joy on social media @joyfitworld

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