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RADJournals: Fuensanta Cue shares how running saved her life

I’ve always dealt with my anxiety by running. It’s something I have loved since I was a child. I would purposely arrive late to sports class in order to be "punished" with a 15 minute run around the football field. Unfortunately, when the PE teacher caught me doing this, he told me that running was something very mediocre to do as a sport and at that age I believed him. I grew up to be a very insecure girl around sports and I convinced myself that I was never going be good at any sport. It took me many years to realize how stupid and hurtful his comments were. I came back to love running during my college years and forgot the misleading sayings by my childhood PE teacher. Whenever anxiety walked in, I went running for 20 minutes in order to relieve stress.

Those 20 minute runs reminded me how much I loved running as a child and soon I began to make each run longer and longer. The more I ran, the better I felt and even did better in school. But, on September 19th, 2017, Mexico City and three other towns near the capital, were hit by an earthquake. I was on a train in the UK when I received a message from my mom telling me that our home was severly damaged. Even though I was not able to help my parents after the earthquake (it took me 5 more days to be able to fly home to Mexico), I was devastated. It’s hard to describe the sadness and the devistation I felt the day I came back to Cuernavaca, my hometown, to see how badly destroyed my beautiful childhood home was. We all, as a family, felt like someone had died. The earthquake incident hit me as hard as it struck my home and I stumbled upon deep anxiety, I stopped running and eventually, a bad depression set in for a couple months. 

But life goes on and we all had to start over. With the rebuilding of the house, half a year later, I also started to lift myself up. Running was, without a doubt, my best therapist. Ijoined a running team in Mexico City and soon decided to train for my first marathon, Miami 2019. This new training cycle and being a part of an amateur running team gave me a new outlook on running and changed my entire life, pulling me out of the depression I had fallen into. I could not believe how well I was doing, physically and mentally, within a couple weeks. I was ready to run my first marathon. What I experienced crossing the finish line in Miami will always be one of my favorite feelings and moments. The tears were pure happiness. I felt redemption for all the sadness, anxiety, and harmful things I heard about running when I was a girl. Running, my teammates and marathon training, gave me purpose, happiness, life-changing lessons, true friendships, amazing experiences and most importantly, gave me peace.

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