Running and Writing: Anjuna Spotlight on Holly

Running and Writing: Anjuna Spotlight on Holly

As the Editor-in-Chief of Anjuna’s content marketing team, most of my time is spent behind the scenes, working with our writers, practitioners, and managers to produce content our audience will find valuable. It occurred to us some time ago, though, that one of the best ways to connect with people and provide value is to make sure our audience knows who we are, the people behind the stories, behind the scenes- the people who make up the heart of Anjuna. So, in the spirit of sharing and relationship building, here’s a bit more about my life and what makes me the person I am today!

Currently, I work two jobs. Part of the time, I’m editing and writing articles and collaborating with the amazing team at Anjuna. The rest of my time is spent designing the customer service department at a small, tech start-up in Atlanta. Almost polar opposites, right? Though, the two are tied in more ways than even I knew when I started, and I love the learning opportunities each job provides. When I’m not working, I’m either running, reading, or spending time with my family.

Running is an incredibly important part of my life, and I consider it as one of the foundations upon which my personality, happiness and soul all rely. These days, I run 20-30 miles a week, and I actually enjoy it. Incorporating this type of exercise routine into my life gives me balance, purpose, control and stress-relief. However, the path I took to get here was all but smooth.

In all honesty, I don’t think I was built for running. I’m neither tall, nor am I short. I was never a thin child; I was average in both shape and size. And, I never felt like a natural athlete. As a child, I dabbled in almost every activity: karate, cheerleading, soccer, piano, dance, swimming, etc. But, up until high school, I never excelled at any activity. Then, I found volleyball. And from volleyball, I found running. Volleyball allowed me to discover talents I never knew I had, and it gave me confidence. In the off-seasons, I was determined to stay in shape and keep myself at peak performance levels, so I started jogging, and I was happy.

Enter college. College years are supposed to be “the best” years, but my college years were actually pretty tough. During my junior and senior year, I experienced my first taste of real stress, and I did not handle it well. I turned to something that had once brought me joy and kept me fit, running, but I turned to it too hard. I became obsessed with working out and running, as it was the only thing I thought I could control in my stressful life at the time. I started going to the gym for 1.5-2 hours every day, foregoing friendships, time spent with family, and time spent on my schoolwork. Then, as everything else kept falling apart, I felt like I had to control my body even more, so I decided to start dieting as well. Though, dieting might not be the right word. Really, I was starving myself. I was worried that eating would undo all the hard work I was doing at the gym, so I barely ate.

To cut a long story short, I hit rock bottom. I was too thin, I was working out too much, and I was incredibly depressed. It took a long time for me to accept the support my family and friends were offering, and it took me even longer to get back to a healthy mindset in which I could think about food and exercise as things that were meant to enhance my life, not ruin it.

I am actually very thankful for the struggles I experienced surrounding my body image and my idea of health, fitness, and wellness because they’ve helped me understand, truly, what makes a person healthy and happy. I’m so lucky to be where I am in life now, working with people who value health and wellness as much as I do and doing my best to help others achieve wellness in their lives.