Sole Stories

We have some truly amazing and inspiring customers and trainees that generously share their journey's with us. 

Meet Karen! She has done our training programs and is now a Mentor for our Nike Women San Francisco training group! Great job Karen! Your journey is an inspiration to us all. 

Big life changes For all of my life I have fought my weight. I remember sitting in a weight loss meeting hearing two women talking about running the San Francisco Nike 1/2 marathon, listening to them talk about their training with Fleet Feet and wishing to be them. But at almost 300 pounds, and very out of shape there was no possible way or so I thought. Two years later still fighting the weight, I was now also looking at some big medical issues, it was time to make some major changes in my life and get healthy. I made the life changing decision to have a weight loss surgery known as the vertical gastric sleeve, join the gym and work on me. I spent six months learning about nutrition and working out in the gym before I had my surgery on April 1, 2014. Using surgery as a tool, changing the way I looked at food and focusing on exercise helped me to drop over a hundred and thirty pounds. As I became lighter in my body, and let's face it aware of what my body is capable of doing, I decided to try running one day while I was out walking. I couldn't go far but I could do it! So in January of 2015, I signed up for a local 10k, the "She is Beautiful" race. Remembering how much the the ladies loved Fleet Feet I looked into their training program, and I signed up for my first training program. Scared and unsure if I could do it, I went to the first workout nervous and unsure. I remember running side by side with Amie, one of the coaches, feeling so out of breath and like I was going to pass out after just a short distance. But I did it, I ran! Still feeling so unsure of what my body was able to do, with the help of coach Katie, we came up with the plan for me to do intervals. Run two minutes, then walk one minute. This was doable. Each week I began to feel more sure of my abilities to run and aware of what my body is capable of doing; finding an inner strength that I did not know I had. As the distance increased I kept increasing the time I was running to the time I was walking till I got to 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking. This is how I ran my first race in March 2015, as I was running I could hear the coaches voices in my head. Reminding me that this was my race and to believe in my training. Their encouragement and belief in me helped to carry me across the finish line. Oh the feeling of accomplishment and pure joy of running my first race, I will never forget it! I was on such a high, that I signed up for my next race right away, a half marathon. Never in my life did I think I would run a half. I continued training with Fleet Feet, working closely with coach Katie and coach Joy, but also forming connection with my fellow training partners. The positive encouragement for each other made the increasing miles seem doable. When it came time to do our longest run of 12 miles I was unable to run with the group, but I made the commitment to do it the next morning on my own. I think that was the tuning point for me personally, I overcame the self doubt, stopped listening to my inner voice that was telling me to stop and pushed on. I took a photo of my 12 miles compete and posted it for all to see, and oh, the wonderful feed back I received! That's the day I know I had become a runner! Two weeks later I ran my first 1/2 marathon, never did I think that I would do this! Mile 10 was very emotional for me, thinking about where I had been just a year earlier and where I was now. I looked at my before photo (I carried her in my hydration pack) cried a few tears and then pulled myself together and finished my run. Receiving my finish medal at the end was the biggest gift I could ever give myself. I want all the coaches to know just how much the positive encouragement and belief in me meant. It made it possible for me to complete this amazing accomplishment. The biggest thing for me is with all the coaches help, I began to believe in myself,my ability to run and to love the body I have. I am a runner! I am a strong and healthy runner! Training with Fleet Feet ,building friendships, sharing laughs and running are now a big part of my life. Everyday I wake up and remember how far I have come. Oh, and in August I will start training with Fleet Feet to run my first San Francisco Nike 1/2 marathon with one of those woman from that meeting years ago, my friend and running buddy!


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