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Sara and her husband Ryan adopted their four daughters from Ethiopia. Courtesy of Sara Hall © Provided by INSIDER Sara and her husband Ryan adopted their four daughters from Ethiopia. Courtesy of Sara Hall
  • Sara Hall is a professional runner and American record holder in the half marathon.
  • She's also a mom of four girls whom she adopted from Ethiopia.
  • This is her story, as told to Kelly Burch.

This year — like most of them — has been busy for me. In January, I set an American record, completing a half marathon at 1:07:15. In March, I finished eighth in the Tokyo marathon. After that, I turned my attention to the Boston Marathon, where I hope to be the top American athlete.

As an elite athlete, I find it tricky to know when to push and when to pull back. Day-to-day I need to listen to my body, taking care of it in all the ways I know how, from good nutrition to light recovery days.

While it's hard to make time for training and recovery while raising children, I'm happy that my daughters see me model this type of self-care in real time. I want them to know that to be strong, you need to prioritize taking care of yourself.

Building a family and relationships

My relationships are the most important thing in my life. My husband, Ryan, is a retired distance runner, and we have four daughters, who are 11, 14, 18, and 21. While my older two girls run, we don't spend too much time training together. Instead, we opt for exploring with our three mini huskies or paddleboarding near our home in Colorado. I encourage my younger daughters to do team sports, which teach life skills and character that they can draw on if they decide to take up distance running.


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While I don't know whether they'll be runners, all of my daughters have the genetics for the sport. Ethiopia, where they were born, produces some of the most gifted distance athletes.

Adoption always called to me, but bringing home four daughters at once in 2015 felt like jumping off a cliff. I thought it would be the end of the world as I knew it. I was ready to give up everything, including my career, to raise my girls.

Amazingly, I haven't had to. My daughters are resilient and adapted to their new country and culture easily. That's enabled me to push myself further and further each year.

Change through running

I've always loved running, but I never imagined myself doing this as a career. I wanted to help people in extreme poverty. My sister worked in malaria research, and I considered following in her footsteps by working in East Africa.

But God kept telling me that I could have a greater influence with my running than I ever could with my own two hands. I realized that I could combine my passions for running and helping others. My family and I founded the Hall Steps Foundation, which aims to empower women and children in Ethiopia by providing access to nutrition, education, job training, and shelter.

Operating the foundation has shown me that we all need to have an open mind and be flexible about how we use our gifts.

When I cross the finish line in Boston, my girls will be watching, as will my own mom. Whether I'm on the podium or not, we'll be celebrating the way that running has brought us together and enabled us to help others.

Read the original article on Insider

What Is Fascia? And Other Questions About This Connective Tissue, Answered .
Issues with your fascia can create problems in the saddle. Here’s how to take care of it. So what causes that tense feeling beneath your skin? It’s likely your fascia, a thin layer of connective tissue that lies beneath the skin and encases the muscles, organs, bones, nerve fibers, and blood vessels. What is fascia?This tissue, which looks similar to marble print, is present all over body: There’s superficial fascia, deep or muscular fascia which affects biomechanics, and visceral or organ fascia, explains Antonio Stecco, M.D., Ph.D.

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