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A Runners High

Times are tough with many things in our life distracting us and fighting us for attention. We get so distracted with work, social events, holidays, hobbies and even addictions. I grew up with amazing Mexican immigrant parents that worked in the agricultural fields in California. I had very little supervision or community involvement in sports or other healthy activities. Like many in my circumstances I got wrapped up in gangs, drugs, alcohol and pornography. 

Like many in the clutches of addiction I managed to keep my head slightly above water. Eventually, gangs, drugs and alcohol where easy to let go of when compared to pornography. What we don’t realize is that as we strive in our home, at work, and at school there is a space between us and our addictive behaviors that keeps us from achieving our full potential.  

Holly, my wife for 19 years and the mother to our 3 boys, has been a runner since 14 years old. She was preparing for a local 5k race, once, when I decided to join her. I initially did it mostly as a joke, but I was also ready to support her instead of just cheer her on. I finished second to last!  However, I finished and I could not believe the thrill and satisfaction I felt when I crossed that line. I immediately signed up for another race, this time a 10k. I would like to say that I “Trained” for it, but during the race at about mile 3 I hit a wall. People were passing me, guys my age, younger kids, older ladies! My energy was crushed, my spirit deflated and any hope of finishing 3.2 more miles was slowly disappearing. At this point was when I said something to myself that has changed my prospective and my life forever, “Run your Race Jorge, just run your race”. That’s all it took to re-energize me and ignite a fire within to finish this race. Suddenly I knew I was hooked! 

Fast forward to my first half marathon and a few full marathons (26.2 miles) distances and I had a new addiction. Through running I was able to replace one very destructive addiction with one much healthier for me. Along with my wife and a few really good friends we were able to launch a network for runners on Facebook called Wasatch.Run where you will find an amazing community of runners to join on weekly group runs and as the main page for Run Your Race (R.Y.R) Pacers support.  

The goal of the pacing group R.Y.R. is to support runners through their race. You can find us at over 15 events across the state. We run in pairs every 5-10 minute increments, pushing you, encouraging you, and cheering you on to finish strong. We see amazing transformations in each race. The human body is amazing and when you help someone connect to an ‘I CAN DO’ attitude and help them push their body to the next level or break through a mental block they sometimes didn’t know was there, this is something that is indescribable and very empowering to that runner.  

We will never ask you why you run at the beginning of any race, we know every answer to that question already. We ask you why you run in the last 2-3 miles of the race. The real You will show itself then and that real You is powerful and unstoppable. This is the transformation we see on a regular basis. This transformation is powerful and it helps many overcome adversity and self-destructive behavior.  

If you would like more information about how to get started running or if you have other questions about my story you can contact me at ryrpacers@gmail.com or visit our website at www.ryrpacers.com 

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Written by Jorge Garcia

Jorge is a native of Northern California, raised by immigrant, hard working parents. He spends every spare minute either with his family or with others - constantly encouraging them to reach their untapped potential. He has an abundance mentality and truly believes everyone is ‘destined for greatness.’

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