This is part of the Arete Community Series leading up to our 2018 team launch.
We will be featuring Arete members from various chapters on the blog and social media in the next two weeks. Our teammates join us for various reasons: to chase personal best times, reignite their passion for running, or to lean into the challenge and satisfaction of racing. Although each of us show up for Arete for real life running community connection, each running story is different, authentic and inspiring.
In our lead up to announcing our 2018 chapter launch locations and dates, may these stories of our teammates inspire and excite us in our running and beyond.
Leslie is an Arete Santa Cruz OG, an educator, dog mom to Rosie, and has the most generous heart. She also keeps us country bumpkins in Santa Cruz in the fashion loop (check out her blog lapslungesleather.blog). Catching up with Leslie reminds us of the power of vulnerability and connecting with our running family.
Who are you?
My name is Leslie Haverstock. Growing up in a small, rural community my high school didn’t offer much in regards to running other than a very short (and often frigid) track season. As a basketball and volleyball player, my coach (a runner himself), strongly encouraged me to join the track team. I liked track, but honestly never ran more than what was required. After high school, I had a scholarship for basketball and volleyball at a small college. I played for 2 years and after that, I quit because the college experience was passing me by (or so I believed). Going from team sports to a sudden stop, I used some running to stay fit. However, this was also the time that step aerobics was on fire so, of course, I became an aerobics instructor. Cue up 6 years post step aerobics (need I mention this was also back in the day where a thong leotard over leggings was all the rage) I was teaching a Body Pump class when the ladies in class asked me to join them on a run. I did… and 18 weeks later, I ran my first marathon in Chicago. While I don’t recommend training for a marathon without a base, it was during this time that I realized the importance of a #ladygang and just how much my body was craving the good vibes from running.
Why did you join team Arete?
Once I first heard Mary and Melissa dreaming of starting this team there was never a question of would I or wouldn’t I join… I was on board from the start. When women support one another, inspiration abounds and incredible things happen. Arete has done this time after time for me and for that I’m forever grateful.
How has being a part of this team impacted your relationship with running?
I have been on other teams in the past and each has been helpful in my development as a runner. However, each has had it’s share of drama that didn’t serve in lifting anyone up. The last couple of years have been incredibly difficult suffering through infertility and miscarriage, health issues with myself and family members, and sad losses within my family. My exterior appears pretty solid, but my heart is easily broken. Arete came along at the perfect time. The women on the OG team in Santa Cruz didn’t know it at the time, but each week they motivated me to show up and through their kindness, conversation and their stories of strength, pieces of my heart were picked up and mended bit by bit. Everyone has sh*t happen in their life and this team only encourages… the drama is seriously saved for your mama.
Best Arete memory so far…
Wharf to Wharf 2017 has been THE BEST Arete moment so far. I’m 7/7 for the Top 100 in the Wharf to Wharf, but it’s honestly one of my least favorite races due to my own mental course demons. This year though… after being at the track and doing Saturday runs with the ladies leading up to the W2W, it was insane to see the stellar performances from teammates. We racked up some serious Top 100 jackets, but we racked up even bigger smiles. We set the bar pretty high this year and Arete is just getting started.
Any other tidbits you’d like to share?
Take it or leave it, but here’s my new found philosophy on running. To my knowledge, there isn’t a single Arete member that gets paid to run. It is our hobby… it is the thing that relieves stress, gives us personal goals to strive for, develops relationships, and allows for extra calorie consumption (more wine and mac & cheese, please). Therefore, don’t take it so seriously! We GET to do this and if running starts not being fun, step back for a moment and reevaluate things. Running is a privilege that many can only dream of doing. So when it’s not fun any longer, ditch the watch and head out to your most favorite place to run and remind yourself why you started to begin with.
Find out next week how you can join Arete Santa Cruz or an Arete chapter near you for the chance to share miles with many awesome women.