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CHICAGO IS FOR RUNNERS - AMY AMATO

 
For most of my life I considered myself a dancer. Growing up, I had dance classes multiple times a week and rehearsals almost every weekend. It was a lot to keep up with, especially through high school, but one of the main reasons I stuck with it for so long was the people. Some of my best friends today are girls I met in the dressing room of a dance studio over 20 years ago. It was never competitive, but we always pushed ourselves to stay at the same level as one another.

Fast forward to the spring of my senior year of college when I decided to run a half marathon for no particular reason other than, why not? I trained enough to get through the race and I had fun. After that, running remained my preferred form of exercise but I never considered myself a “runner” until I started running with the crew.

For someone who relishes their alone time, I never realized how much of a motivator social relationships have been for me. When I was younger, I excelled in dance because I looked forward to going to class and seeing my friends. Today, I’m becoming a better runner because I get to run with a group of people whose enthusiasm and love for running is unmatched. I’m lucky to have found another community that encourages me to improve myself and do things I never thought I could.
— Amy Amato