Hi! I’m Isabel Jimenez. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and played basketball and volleyball for most of my life until I moved to the United States just before middle school. That’s when I found my love for running.
I ran cross country and track for 7 years, from 6th grade until I left high school. Unfortunately, I got plantar fasciitis before cross country my junior year of high school. Sitting on the sidelines unable to be with my team and do what I loved most took its toll. But with it came a newfound love for cross training. I learned to love weightlifting and conditioning. The following year, I was able to run again and continued to cross train and run. After graduating high school, I went to James Madison University, where I combined running and lifting.
I trained solo but I wasn’t afraid to push myself. That’s when I began to run half marathons. In 2012, I ran three half marathons. In 2013, I ran two more. Constantly looking for new ways to train to improve my time, I turned to CrossFit the summer of 2013. I absolutely loved it and used it in place of summer mileage. My half marathon Personal Record is 1:33:09 as of November, 2013, and I’m convinced my summer of CrossFit had something to do with it.
I’m still on the search for the perfect balance between running, lifting, and extra conditioning. I think that’s the fun part about fitness. It works differently for everyone, and I’m still finding out what works best for me. Being Latina, I’m not genetically gifted with being tall and lean. All my life, I’ve had “fluff” and my body fat percentage was always too high. I tried calorie-counting, veganism, and vegetarianism all at different points in my life. I’m now figuring out the perks of intuitive eating and moderation as well as utilizing macronutrients appropriately.
I’m not bitter about being Latina, I’m proud of it! I’ve been blessed with this body and all it can do. Yes, there’s always room for improvement, but I think it’s important that I love myself for who I am first. Everything else will fall into place.
It’s all very exciting to me, especially now that I’ve joined the community of Strong Figure Ambassadors. Who knows where I’ll be in this fitness journey at my 6th half marathon? 7th? 8th? 50th?! 100th!! Fitness is a lifestyle and running is a lifetime sport. I’m in it for the long run. 🙂
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