Elisa Kurylowicz: Running Happy

HELLO! My name is Elisa, I live in Ottawa, Canada, I am a 36-year-old social media expert and I LOVE to run!! My running story is unique and my journey from FIT to FAT to FIT has motivated me to help others discover their passion for movement. So whether you love running, biking, swimming, skiing, yoga, or even dancing, my goal is to inspire you to get moving in your everyday life, to lead by example and express my passion through social media.  I have a growing audience on Instagram (@elisakurylowicz), but for those of you who are unfamiliar, here is my long history made short:

I used to ski for Canada on the Canadian Freestyle Ski team.  Yes, I did the bumps and jumps, and was ranked 2nd in Canada and 6th in the world during my peak year.  During Olympic qualifications for the 2006 Torino Games, I choked in performance and failed to qualify.  Competing at the Olympics had been my childhood dream and I worked so hard every day of my life to represent my country in the highest honor, so watching the opportunity slip through my fingers led to a serious downward spiral.  I quit skiing immediately, vowed never to go to a gym again, went into a deep depression and over the course of the next year gained 85lbs (39kg), and pretty much gave up on life.  For the next 5 years, I lived an extremely unhealthy lifestyle filled with booze, cigarettes, and countless bowls of potato chips.  Diet and exercise were no longer part of my vocabulary.  Until one day, at 5’7”, 230lbs and miserable, I looked at myself in the mirror and the only words I could speak were, “what the hell happened to you…”

From that moment on, I sort of snapped out of my funk.  I had no idea what direction to take in my new fitness journey, so on a whim, I entered a 10km road race in my hometown thinking it was a good place to start. It’s hard to explain the impact that this tiny goal made on my life.  I’ll start by saying that the feeling I had out there among the 10,000 other runners was so profound.  It was like I was alone, in my own space, running for me, only for me and I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time.  Since that first race, almost 6 years ago, I regained my passion for movement, found something I LOVE doing, and have put myself in a position to make good decisions about my overall health.  I lost all of the weight and more, and through hard work and a commitment to myself, I live a life full of new running adventures. I enjoy the shorter distances, but I’ve also completed about 15 half marathons and 6 (soon to be 7) full marathons.  I have dabbled in trail running, triathlons, cross-fit, and I am now a certified Yoga Teacher, all of which keep me motivated and keen, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to train for and run in an ultra-marathon…  and so, I find myself in the trails more and more often. Maybe one day I will bite the bullet and run an ultra trail run or something… But I’m not holding myself to anything 😉

Elisa Kurylowicz
Trail Time!

SO, now, running has become a passion.  As a woman who works 50+ hours a week in the service industry and in social media, I constantly look forward to getting out and sweating.  Running is cheap, it’s accessible for me anywhere I go, and most of all, it makes me feel great!!  I run for fitness, to blow off steam, for FUN, to kill time, and for the love of it.  I love the highs of competing against myself, but I also love zone 2… the easy long-slow distance stuff.  In other words, if I have my shoes on and I am moving, then I am happy!

The way I see it is that there is a movement out there for everyone.  So again, whether it is running, swimming biking, walking, dancing, aerobics, CrossFit, or any other form of exercise, there is something out there for every single human being to fall in love with!  For me, it’s obviously running.  The way it makes me feel is second to none. When I have 99 problems, running solves them all! It is important for everyone to get out and find that movement that works best for them! Running is not for everyone, but I have to say that I am so grateful that I found this passion for movement and I encourage you all to do the same.

At this moment, I am training for the Philadelphia Marathon on November 19th, 2017.  I am in hard core training mode, running a ton, on a strict diet, and utilizing this training block like an Olympian because my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  This goal is exactly what I need to fuel my inner fire and is helping me to remain disciplined not only with running, but in all areas of my life.

Elisa Kurylowicz
Floating Along!

So there you have it! That is my running story.  It started as a seed from a failure and has grown into my own gold medal winning lifestyle.  I am so grateful for running, how it has changed my life, and I will continue to be the gal out there smiling along on the sidewalk!  Always. The end. Period.

Follow Elisa on Instagram @elisakurylowicz, and stay tuned because Elisa is launching her podcast in September and she promised me that it will be awesome!

Elisa Kurylowicz
Running Happy

I hope that this post and this blog helps you achieve your dreams! To receive new post notifications, newsletters, and post previews, please SUBSCRIBE!

For behind the scenes photos and comments on my training and personal life, follow me on Instagram: joe_the_runner  Strava: Joe Randene

Questions, comments, or feedback for myself or Elisa? Please leave them in the comments section BELOW and we can have a discussion!

4 Replies to “Elisa Kurylowicz: Running Happy”

  1. This light hearted but moving story of despair to triumph has me in tears. Thank you, Joe, for introducing me to Elisa. Thank you, Elisa, for triumphing and sharing. I am inspired and motivated by both of you.

    1. Rose, when I ran across Elisa on Instagram, I just loved her openness and willingness to share. She really is willing to let people in so that they can benefit from her experiences. If you haven’t started following her already, I suggest that you do! @elisakurylowicz Her podcast starts in September and I know it will be pretty awesome! PEACE Joe

    1. Beth, Elisa is an amazing young woman. She is funny, kind, and willing to share her story to help others. If you are on Instagram, I suggest that you give her a follow as she is launching a podcast shortly and I am sure it will be great. Peace. Joe

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