How Becoming a Runner Changed My Life

” If you want to change your body, exercise. If you want to change your Life, become a runner”…

As far as I can remember,  I have always been into sports. It was just a way of life for me. My  parents are from the French West Indies… where soccer and track are like religion.

Growing up in Paris, I was quite miserable. Let’s just say that being 5’11 by the age of  13 years old was not the best way to NOT be insecure… but I was “gold” for some coaches. Basketball, Volleyball, Handball… So I’ve tried… but as a shy teenager, I wasn’t quite comfortable with those sport groups. I didn’t “fit” in. Ego…Jealousy…  Envy… Gossips… Parties with the males on the teams… It wasn’t for me.

imageOne day I disobeyed my coach. As a punishment, he ordered me to make 10 rounds around the track stadium (400m). My pride and ego made me do it easily..

This feeling of control, of freedom, of strength…of self-esteem… setting goals by yourself… yes running brings you all that! So, I became a  runner. A long distance runner.


Being a runner requires a lot of discipline. Like training at least 3 times a week and early running.  I’m talking about waking up at 4/5AM… a diet… sleep… meditation.
So, for a teenager it’s like monasticism. As a loner, it is was alright for me… but my parents  began to look at me as a “weirdo”.. no parties… no junk food… no boyfriends… no girly gossip.

I was ok! Lol…

I started by running half an hour. It was hard!! You have to combine your breath with your legs, feet and brain. It’s very technical. After I started running for 45 minutes, I moved to  1 hour.

imageWhen you start running 1 hour, you are on the good “tracks”. You can run for 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 hours easily! Your body is used to it.

It’s  a matter of mental issues and in this case, you have no teammates to rely on. That’s the beauty and pride of running… the glory you get is your own.

After becoming a runner,  my body changed… my way of thinking changed… my professionnal life changed…the way people were looking at me changed.

I got slim. ( I never was fat, but by with running  I get that “model” type as they say! ahahah).

I’m not a tolerant person, but running made me “easier”.

At work, the CEO was like ” I’ve heard you are a runner. I like that. Runners have discipline and never let go!”

Co-workers and friends ask me to be their coach because “I want to be like you“… Me, the insecure tall teenager slowly blossoming into a role model. I also notice when I was sad, heartbroken and worried, a good run was the best medicine.” Running is cheaper than therapy.” Yup! I’m confirmation!


Now, running is a part of me. Cold, windy and rainy days are no longer an excuse.I’m running in any circumstances. It makes me stronger!

I’m so happy when I see friends who could barely run a mile now doing 10km races, semi marathons or marathons… thanks to me.


I think its my biggest pride because when you are a runner, you can’t be selfish. You know the pain, the sacrifice, the goal to achieve and the happiness at the end of the race. Runners are like a community without speaking. We know.

Running teaches me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever imagined. Running for a good cause YOURSELF.


Last time I was heading to the US.. in Chicago transit, the stewardess asked me if I was a model. I smiled and said “Nope! I’m a runner!!!”..

– Claudia

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Matthew says:

    Very inspirational story I can relate too . I just loved reading it. I’m a runner too 🙂

  2. Chris L says:

    Very great article. Question: how would you compare walking the same amount of distances as a workout? I know running is a better idea, but we have to build up to that speed!

  3. claudiafromparis says:

    Thank you! Walking is better than running, actually… but make sure it’s a fast walk with rhythm.

  4. claudiafromparis says:

    That’s great! Thanks for reading my story!! 😀

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