Today we're spotlighting Taylor Gramps, a SoleMate for Girls on the Run NYC in the 2016 NYC Half Marathon.
What motivated you to run in the NYC Half Marathon this year?
I got in to the NYC Half in 2013 and was sidelined due to injury. It broke my heart - it's always been a race I've wanted to run. After running the full marathon in November 2015, I was looking for a half. I found the marathon training process to be all consuming and exhausting; I was looking to work hard and have fun with a distance that would be fun and challenging.
How has running been a part of your life?
I started running in September 2011. I signed up for a half marathon and told everyone I'd ever met about it because I would then be obligated to actually run the race. I did it primarily for vanity, just to get back into shape. But running transformed my relationship with myself. As someone who was never athletic growing up, I was astounded to find my body capable of running such long distances. Calories were no longer the enemy, they were fuel. I discovered a mental strength I didn't really know I had, particularly on the weekly long training runs; seeing a cab and knowing I could just jump in and go home at any time and no one would know, but running anyway. It started as something I did just to prove I could, and now I consider it a critical part of my own self-care. It is something I do that is just for me; my physical and emotional health.
Why did you choose to support Girls on the Run?
I have experienced firsthand the transformation that comes as a result of a commitment to running. I wish I'd had this program when I was younger! I went through Coach training in 2015 and subsequently was a running buddy. It was so clear the impact the program was having on the girls. They were smart, funny, and positive; more importantly they were self assured, kind, and so supportive or each other. It's pretty powerful to witness.
What tip do you have for other SoleMates?
It sounds simple, but don't be afraid to ask! Make it clear any amount will help, because it's true, and set deadlines. People respond to deadlines.
What is your favorite run in NYC?
Astoria Park, for sure.
Thank you, Taylor! You can support Taylor in her fundraising efforts by visiting her online fundraising campaign page here.