I started running cross country and track when I was a freshman in high school. I mainly started out running so I could hang out with my friends after school and be a part of a team. I had no idea that it would lead me to where I am now. I currently run cross country and track at Arizona State University. Throughout my years of running, my eyes have been opened to a lot of new information regarding health and fitness. I thought I could share with you two important lessons I have learned.

1. Listen to your body! Learn to recognize what your body needs and be sure to make those things available to it. I promise I’m not the healthiest eater… My number one rule when it comes to eating, is to eat a variety of things! This does NOT mean to eat less of anything! What I mean by variety is to eat a lot of different types of things. Different fruits, different veggies, different meats, and different carbs. Doing this will make sure that you’ve covered every area in the food pyramid and have gotten all the nutrients you’ll need. Make sure you are fueling your body. Food is like the gasoline to a car. Without it, our bodies won’t be able to efficiently work the way we want them to. After fueling up on the important things, don’t feel guilty about eating a treat! Just remember, those things are good in moderation! Lastly, always remember to hydrate! It doesn’t matter if you’re on a sports team or not. Water keeps us hydrated and helps us to not get sick! April and Rachel Price stated at last years’ Time to Blossom, “You need your body to take the test, but your body is not the test.” I just love that quote! Make sure you take care of your body so we are able to serve others and continue the Lord’s work here on earth. His work and our obedience to His commandments is the real test.

2. Learn to be uncomfortable! This is one thing that running has really taught me. Sometimes I’ll be in a race and I’ll start to settle on a pace that is too slow. If I were to keep running that slow pace, I would not achieve my goal time I had set. I begin to remember what my coach always says to me. And that is, “Learn to be uncomfortable.” What my coach means by this is to get use to coming out of your comfort zone. No one reaches their goal or learns something knew by staying in the comfort zone. So I begin to push my pace and run even faster. If your comfort zone does not include fitness, sports, or an active lifestyle, don’t be afraid to leave that comfort zone! I’m not saying you need to go and join every sports team at your school. But maybe step out of the comfort zone and try new things like yoga, bike rides, or hiking. It’s normal if it feels uncomfortable at first. Stick with it and you may learn to love a certain activity and find joy while doing it. This advice also works for those of you who include fitness, sports, and an active lifestyle in your comfort zone. For you I say, learn to push yourself. Exercising can be really tough, but don’t let yourself settle. Learn to be uncomfortable and push your limit. I know it’s uncomfortable to bear your testimony on fast Sunday or to share the Gospel with a non-member friend. But learn to love being uncomfortable. You will surprise yourself of what you can really accomplish and be blessed for your efforts. One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Rollins, and it says, “I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts.” I know that as we train our bodies, we are also training our minds.

I know that as we make our bodies and minds stronger, our capacity to be obedient increases. I know that Heavenly Father created us in his image for a divine reason. I am so thankful that I found my passion for running. It has taught me so many life lessons and how to endure to the end. I know that there is no standing still in this life, we are either moving closer or further to our Heavenly Father at all times. We have to prepare ourselves to withstand hardships and temptations in this life. Hard times will always be there, but so will Christ. Love thy God with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength. I love my Heavenly Father. I know that he loves every one of his children. I know that we are blessed when we strive to follow our Saviors example and that He recognizes our efforts to live righteously.

Bio: My name is Billie Jo Dytrt and I am from Mesa, Arizona. I currently study business marketing at Arizona State University. I also run cross country and track for ASU. I love the sport of rodeo and giving horse riding lessons for work. I’m the youngest of three, I have an older brother and sister. Us three kids have been going to church on our own ever since I can remember. We all have strong testimonies and love this gospel!


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