Jordyn Kline, a local competitive marathoner, is overwhelmingly passionate about something most people despise. “So, on my run this morning…” she often chirps as she settles into her desk each morning, trading rain boots for pumps and taking her hair out of a ponytail. Voice full of animation, she will gladly tell you how exhilarating it is to run, no matter the weather, place, or time. The CRM Analytics Marketing Associate’s weekends are no different, with one foot in front of the other, she braves the elements, running 35-55 miles per week… And rewarding herself with a Trader Joe’s grocery shopping trip or a stop at Starbucks afterwards.
So, aside from the post-running coffee where is the appeal in such a demanding activity? Jordyn discovered the passion after having a busy swimming schedule throughout her high school and college career. Having graduated, she desired the same consistency and activity in her life. And found a suitable replacement in running. “I’ve definitely become more self-disciplined by creating and sticking to a schedule. Having a hobby that I manage for myself is a type of self-care and also experience-building for managing large-scale, long-term projects at work.”
But, of course it’s difficult, running so frequently and so intensely. As she trains for the upcoming Boston Marathon, Kline insists, “It’s really about keeping a positive attitude. Throughout the race, your legs are going to hurt so bad and you’re going to want to stop, but you just have to remind yourself how much work you’ve put into this to get to that point. And finishing the marathon is the best feeling in the world. It’s such a sense of accomplishment. And truly is a testament that hard work pays off,” the runner beams.
The Boston Marathon is the “Olympics for non-Olympians”, Kline insists. Runners must first qualify. Even after the initial screening process, there’s no guarantee that there will be space as the event is capped at a maximum of 40,000 participants. But Jordan is optimistic. “Olympians run a marathon in about 2 and a half hours and the regular recreational runner runs it in about 4 and a half or 5 hours. I’m on the more competitive end of the spectrum so I can run one in just under 3 and a half hours.”
Even more enjoyable than participating in such a huge event is the opportunity to engage with a community of runners, especially in the Philadelphia area where Jordyn calls home. “On any given weekend you could be running down Kelly Drive or the Schuylkill River Trail. And the runners that you see are just encouraging you and supporting you and high-fiving you, despite not knowing each other.” This encouragement has given her a more positive outlook and a sense of belonging. As Kline explains, “Being part of a community and tending to a hobby, regardless of what it is, is so necessary in our fast-paced world.” Wisely, she advises, “Do something that makes you feel good.”