She’s Going The Distance
by: Yalina
● March 14, 2024

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
– Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

If you told me years ago that I’d become a running enthusiast, I probably would’ve laughed to your face. Back then, the mere idea of voluntarily pounding the pavement for miles on end seemed like pure torture. But let me tell you, something magical happened as I approached my mid-teens – I discovered the incredible mental and physical benefits of running.

It became my therapy, my stress reliever, and my time to disconnect from the chaos of everyday life. Now, lacing up my shoes and hitting the open road is not only a habit but a true passion of mine. So yeah, if you had told me back then that I would become a runner, I never would’ve believed you… but here I am, living proof that people can surprise themselves with what they’re capable of when they give something new a chance.

I have lived in Los Angeles all of my life (insert Tupac’s “To Live and Die in L.A.” as a soundtrack to get the vibe). The only running activity in L.A. is lateness… to everything… because of traffic… or because the wings on my eyeliner weren’t even. Don’t judge me unless you know the struggle. There was never a desire to run around in my concrete jungle.

Throwing it back to my teenage years to where it all began…

As a teen, gym class was basically a form of torture. Especially during 1st period. Who else used every excuse in the book to avoid breaking a sweat and feeling like a sticky mess all day? Let’s just say sports and running weren’t my forte, and working showers were definitely not part of the deal.

At 15, this city slicker got the shock of her life trading honking horns for chirping crickets – I moved to Ojai, California to attend a co-ed boarding school. Talk about a plot twist! I lived in a VERY beautiful, secluded area full of lush nature that consisted of dirt trails, mountains, and endless hills – it was foreign to me and quite the… adjustment AND adventure. Let’s just say my urban survival skills didn’t exactly prepare me for encounters with mountain lions… or overly friendly deer. Going from class to class even involved hiking up some hills. I felt like I was a star in a wilderness reality show. I had to fit in to survive.

Like many of my fellow peers, missing home hit differently on the weekends because we couldn’t go back home to visit our loved ones and activities were scarce. Not gonna lie, it got depressing at times. I was feeling down one Saturday and some of the girls encouraged me to go for a run with them. I didn’t want to be in that depressed funk, so without any hesitation, I grabbed my clean sneakers and bit the bullet to run on one of the campus trails called “Pi” (3.14 miles – in case you needed a reminder).  It was a very warm and sunny day, so the huffing, puffing, and sweat doubled in quantity… and the struggle was real.

After completing “Pi” –  Wooooooo!!!… let me tell ya… I’ve never felt better physically, mentally, and spiritually. The benefits that I gained felt amazing. There’s just something about running outside in nature that makes me feel peaceful… even though I was gasping for air and feeling like I was going to die. It made me closer to Jesus, y’all! Just when I thought homesickness was about to win the battle, the thing that I tried to avoid doing the most became one of best (and one of my favorite) things to do! From that point forward, that feeling became an addiction. It also became my therapist and 1 on 1 time with God.

Studies have shown that running can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and even improve cognitive function. Yay me! I also really like food, so… that helps too.

Who would have thought that running away from your problems could be so literal? Despite all of the sweating and heavy breathing… running could actually be a savior. As I aged like fine wine, my perspective on running shifted from punishment to precious me-time. Now you can catch me pounding the pavement, waving at neighbors who probably think I’ve lost it (and they’re not wrong), but hey, this girl is living their best stress-free life… or at least for the time being! Time to trade in excuses for running shoes, so lace them up and join me in the wild world of running therapy – it’s cheaper than actual therapy sessions anyway!


K.I.T (keep in touch)

(because we make kits, DUH)



A Barbie girl living in a Disney world where she can showcase her extravagant costumes, where extra EXTRA is never enough, where her obnoxious shower singing sounds like Beyoncé, and where she can hug random collared dogs because that most likely indicates they don’t have rabies. A hopeless romantic who binges rom-com marathons, yet despises dating and dating apps. Yalina lives, laughs, and loves on her people – her big, scattered Mexican family, and framily, who remain super close to her heart. But as an avid runner, if you can’t find her, chances are she’s running like Forrest – far, far away… from her problems… and dating.