About a year ago, I decided that a change was in order. With my second girl on the way and my first girl completely taking control of the household, it’s safe to say that my physical activity had taken a severe hit.
I’ve always had great admiration for runners—people who have the discipline to get out there every day and just get lost on the road. I had tried running myself during multiple points in my life, but it just never took. It was this time though, I told myself. Time to improve for my family and ultimately for me—it was time to become a runner.
To say the process is easy is an understatement but it’s both incredibly rewarding and frustrating at the same time. I started slow, one day at a time. The distances and paces in the beginning were short and slow. In the back of mind I knew that if I could keep going and remain consistent, I would reap the rewards that running brings. Over time, I was able to increase my distances and got significantly stronger along the way—so much so that I decided to run my first 5k in New Albany on July 4th. I ran it in over 30 minutes, not the best time but just finishing it was a major accomplishment.
I had read about how addicting running could be and about people getting what’s called the ‘runner’s high’ but I thought, ‘There’s no way that’s happening to me’. Well folks, I couldn’t have been more wrong. After finishing that first 5k, running just took over. I was hungry for more—to run farther, to run faster, to get stronger, and that’s exactly what happened. I could now call myself a runner.
At that point as well, I started thinking that there’s got to be more people out there, more people like me, who just want to run. So I started talking to people at work about running and these talks gradually turned into weekend runs. We’d meet at Starbucks in New Albany, go for a run, and then have coffee and enjoy some great laughter and conversation. As more people joined the runs, we decided to make the club official—I actually think we made it official over a hilarious group text conversation!
First though, we needed a name. I wanted the name to be rooted in something people recognized, something that was part of the community. On the way to one of our runs, I drove past a ‘Sugar Run Rocky Fork Creek’ sign and thought to myself, ‘That’s perfect’! Something that was before us and something that would remain after—and thus the ‘Rocky Fork Running Club’ was born. And from the beginning it’s always been more than running, we wanted to start something that was about being healthy, being a community, and most importantly, just having a wicked good time!
So now that we are official, it’s been an incredible journey getting the club up and running (literally)! We’ve had great support from Second Sole Gahanna. They’ve been with us every step of the way—providing support, coaching, and helping us design some sweet running gear. Without them, we wouldn’t be nearly as far as we are now. I highly recommend them as the go-to running shop in Columbus. What started out as a group of like-minded individuals just getting together and running has turned into weekly scheduled runs, team races, and growing friendships.
We’ve got big plans for the future of the club and being involved in the greater Columbus community is top of mind. Currently, we run every weekend starting in the Short North and then through German Village and the Scioto Mile. Columbus’ urban running environment is off the charts so that’s where we want to be—in the heart of it all. We have plans to add a week night run in New Albany, a few miles and a beer afterwards to continue building those relationships. We’re also working on throwing our own race through downtown—hopefully more to come on that topic soon!
After our weekend downtown runs, we’ve been known to hit up Zest in the Short North. In our opinion, there’s no better way to recover after a long run than with some Zest. Whether it’s one of the incredible juices or smoothies, you’re just left feeling like you did your body some good! My personal favorite is ‘the ride’. It’s refreshing and benefits such an amazing cause. We feel strongly about Zest’s mission and the impact they have on the community!
Thanks to Zest for allowing us to share a little of what we stand for and how it all started. You can follow us on Facebook or Instagram (@rockyforkrc) or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to have you at our weekly runs or just hear what’s on your mind. Remember, leave no runner behind!