When Did Running Take Over My Life?

One year ago, I loved running. But that’s it. I loved it, but I wasn’t super attached or addicted to it. Running was something I did and something I enjoyed.

I ran the New York City Half Marathon in March 2010, but didn’t sign up for any races after that.

My friend Alex and me after the NYC Half

In fact, I didn’t run another race until the Turkey Trot 5K with my family on Thanksgiving.

Yes, we raced in Indian costumes. Clearly I was a very serious runner.

At this time two years ago I had just completed my first half marathon — Napa to Sonoma in the blistering July heat — and was about to start training for my second, the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.

In the MGM Grand lobby before the Las Vegas Half

Running hadn’t taken over my life. It was a hobby.

But now, running is a way of life. Running has somehow become my entire life.

It’s the only thing I think about.


A few months ago I finally accepted that I am, in fact, a runner.

My life revolves around running.

I realized just how passionate I am about all this crazy stuff while I was running this morning.

Central Park was cool, and as I approached Engineer’s Gate it started to rain.

The rainy park this morning

The rain came down hard and steady.

Coach Cane’s plan for this morning was a warm-up, followed by 3-mile repeats at my Battle of Brooklyn goal pace, plus quarter-mile cool-downs in between each mile.

The Battle of Brooklyn race is this Sunday, and I’m shooting for an 8-minute pace, though my real goal is to just enjoy the race, since I haven’t been able to do that lately.

Running I enjoy. Racing I’ve been finding difficult.

As I took off on the first mile, splashing through puddles, I was shocked at how easily I settled into an 8:00 pace. My legs were heavy during the warm-up, but once I got going, I felt like I was running above the road rather than on it.

There were tons of running groups in Central Park this morning, and it seemed like they were all tackling speedwork in the rain. Runners flew by me in both directions, and I thrived on it. I tried to take a little bit of their speed and let it rub off on me.

As I cooled down from the first mile, I knew it would be tough to pick my pace back up. But I did — and my jaw dropped when I looked at my watch after a quarter-mile to see 6:53 on my watch.


Rain doesn't bother me

My pace was solid this morning on each repeat. I ended up covering 7 miles and I felt like I was flying the entire time.

I’m not sure if the rain distracted me or helped me buckle down and focus. Either way, it worked for me.

As I ran back to my apartment, I was beaming.

Running isn’t just something I do — it’s something I love.

It’s who I am.

I went to the gym last night for some cross training.

I snapped this photo before class in an attempt to show how crowded the Chisel class was. Fail. I just look creepy. But class was crowded. Take my word for it.

The Chisel class was fine, and the spinning class was bland.

Neither gave me any kind of rush that compares to the high I was riding this morning.

I will be honest with you right now and tell you that I was thinking all these happy runner thoughts while Celine Dion was playing on my iPod. She sings “I’m Alive” and life is good. Get on board with this French Canadian songstress, people. You won’t regret it. She’s divine.

When I got back to my apartment, I looked around and sort of laughed to myself.

Running hasn’t just taken over my life — wake up at 5 am to go run, run in Central Park, surround self with runners, think about running all day at work, talk to anyone who will listen about running, go home, eat dinner that won’t irritate my stomach while I run, go to sleep to dream about running — it has taken over my apartment!

My obsession is everywhere.

Shorts that are soaked from sweat, laying out to dry (and smell) on my floor
Sneakers are in every corner of my apartment along with bags of new running clothes
Race medals hanging proudly
Bibs from every race I've done hanging on the bathroom door
Another pair of Brooks and my foam rolling corner
Wet sports bras hanging out to dry. Gross.

This marathon training lifestyle suits me.

I would rather stay in most weekend nights to rest, whether it’s because I have a long run the next morning or I’m recovering from said long run.

I would rather spend a night with runner friends than dancing at a club (most of the time).

Runner friends!

Almost all of my disposable income (which barely exists) goes toward new running shoes, running gear or Gu Chomps.

My laundry basket is filled solely with dirty running clothes.

My hero is Shalane Flanagan. (In fact, I’m on my way to spend the day at our “So You Think You Can Dance” winner photo shoot with Season 8 champ Melanie Moore, and I kind of with we were shooting Kara Goucher…or Sweaty Emily…instead.)

She could totally win "SYTYCD"

I would rather sweat than…not sweat.

Fun Fact: This is getting trademarked!

I used to spend a lot of time reading “healthy living blogs.” Now almost all of the bookmarks on my computer (no, I don’t use Google Reader) are running blogs.

When did this happen?

I’m not sure when running started taking over my life, but I love it. I haven’t always been a runner. I’ve had to work really hard to run 1 mile at a time, then 4 miles, gradually building to half marathons and, most recently, a 20-mile jaunt through Washington, D.C.

I will never be the fastest runner. I will probably never be really awesome at running uphill. But I think I’ll always have a place in my heart for this little sport I’ve fallen in love with.

Every single day I picture myself crossing the finish line at the Hamptons Marathon.

I don’t know if I’ll love or hate the 26.2 distance, but I know I love putting in all the hard work to get to the start line.

Hard work. There it is.

AND YOU? Running: love it or hate it? (I assume you at least kind of like it, or want to like it, if you’re reading this, but share your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.)



0 Responses

  1. I love running! I’ve had a lot of foot problems, but a few cortisone shots later my feet are doing better and I’m training for my first marathon! I just finished week 2 of my 18 week plan but I’m super excited!
    That video is funny, every once in a while my boyfriend uses that site to make me funny videos when I’m stressed 🙂
    I like your blog a lot, I’ve been reading runner’s kitchen for a while but just found yours. I read an entry this morning to get some motivation for my 9 mile run 🙂

  2. I just discovered your blog and love it! Your home looks much like mine….stinky, sweaty running gear laying around to dry because you know if you throw that stuff right in the hamper it will stink even worse! 🙂

    I love your running medals wall hanger. Where did you find that?

  3. I only recently found your blog and came across this post through your “Ali Turns 1” post. I have to say, this post really spoke to me. I’ve run off and on for about 6 years, run regularly for about 1.5, and I recently ran my 10th race. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that it dawned on me…I love this! Up until then I just considered it something I had to do, to stay in shape. But when I decided to sign up for a 15K with my boyfriend – a distance that I never thought I could even consider (and am still pretty nervous about) that I realized that I’m super excited to wake up every morning to run. Even though I still have a long way to go (my personal distance record is only a 10K), your blog and other running blogs are already starting to get me thinking about a half marathon…I’ve got the bug! Thanks for providing so much fun, humor and motivation!

  4. I love love running! It is the one area of my life that I can control and it totally for me. It’s so funny, because my apartment looks an awful lot like yours with sweaty running clothes hung all around!

    I love your blog, you really are so motivating. 🙂

  5. I love this post. It made me really happy. I love running. I go to bed before 10 am to run, I limit my drinks, I get giddy when I ‘need’ new running shoes. I some how will easily drop $100+ to run a half or marathon but whine and moan every time I spend another dime.

  6. I’ve been a runner since 1st grade. Seriously! And over the years it has meant so many different things to me. As I am approaching my 30’s, looking back on all the fabulous years, running has always been there for me, to help me celebrate the most amazing of days, and help me process intense emotions on the worst days I have ever faced. Right now I am in at a point in my life where I just know I only have a few years left of running my fastest times, and I want to push myself through my comfort zone and see what I’m truly capable of. But nothing beats just going for a long run with no specific time goal, pace, or mile goal in mind, just running for as long as I feel! I am thrilled for you that you have found this amazing lifetime sport! I am sooo excited for you and your first marathon, you are going to rock it!

  7. i feel the same way! all i want to do is read running blogs and runners world when i get home from work, then go for a run.. issues.
    YOU SHOULD GET ON DAILYMILE ! join the rest of us runners.

  8. Speaking of Celine Dion, have you listened to her song “River Deep, Mountain High”? It always helps pump me up when I start to slow down!

  9. I was the same way when running my first marathon. It’s so funny when your blogroll starts to shift. I’ve toned it down a bit – especially now that I’m not training for a marathon but that obsession is still there. Even as I plan my mini vacay I am thinking about if I’ll be able to get a run in.

  10. These posts make me so happy! You are so in love with marathon training, it’s really awesome. Makes me re-live my first marathon and the training for it, and how amazing I felt. (I still love it and every finish line feels incredible, but nothing’s quite the same as your first one!!)
    Keep it up – you’ve become such a dedicated runner!

  11. Love, love this post. And love running! And you! I think for me too one day it just clicked, and running was way more than a hobby. It’s part of who I am, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. Love runs like you had this morning, when it feels like you’re actually flying. Not many sports can make you feel like that (ok, maybe gymnastics but that’s more literal in the flying department). See you tomorrow a.m.!

  12. I love to run, but I’ve been recovering from some very nasty shin splints for the past couple of months. So my love has taken a hiatus…hopefully it’ll return one day with zero pain!

    By the way, I was on the Yahoo today, and they had a video blurb about the two things to look for in running shoes…and then they visited a Jack Rabbit store and spoke to a knowledgable Jack Rabbit-er. Naturally, I thought of you, and will forever link you and Jack Rabbit together, forever.


    Hope all is well!

  13. glad you have found something you love so much !! i am not quite in LOVE with the actual running part, but i love how it makes me feel afterwards. i am sure once i build up my endurance a bit it will be better!

  14. I definitely LOVE running- it just doesn’t always love me back haha. 🙂 I am anxious for my knee to heel bc all I can think about now is how i’m itching to run whenever I get the urge instead of wondering if my knee is up to it or not.

  15. YAY! Welcome to the club 🙂 I surrendered to the running world long ago, but I love it when we get to recruit super-cool people. Cross Country used to be the “geek sport” when I started (soooo many years ago) and now marathon-ing is the cool thing to do. Love it!

    By the by, my husband and I will be racing it out in BK this weekend, too. We’ll look for you! Rock those Prospect Park Hills!

  16. I’m so glad you’re loving marathon training. I loved training for my first marathon and it definitely took over my life (in a good way). You will be awesome at Hamptons Marathon.

    I love running and continue to run regularly, but distance running and racing caused some burnout after awhile and I’ve cut way back recently. I’m sure I’ll return to it at some point, but I’m not ready just yet. No matter what…nothing compares to the runner’s high!

  17. Hey- Didn’t you say that you would tell us your thoughts on what finish time you are going for in the marathon once you’d done a 20 mile training run? I seem to remember you saying that you and Coach Cane had really different ideas on how fast you should try and run it. I’d be really interested to hear about that! Love the blog by the way.

  18. I love running. Or at least, I am beginning to love it. Yesterday before my chisel class, I wanted to get in a quick warm-up mile and pushed an 8:57. That’s the fastest I’ve ever gone. Sure, I wanted to die when I got off the treadmill AND I know at this point, I wouldn’t be able to run consistently at that pace, but it’s a start.

    Also – I’m SO jealous you got to meet Melanie at the SYTYCD photo shoot. She was my favorite dancer of all time on all of the SYTYCD episodes!!!

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  19. I totally understand what you mean! I think about running all the time…when my next run will be, what distance, how fast I should go…..ect., ect., ect.!!! By the way, I think your “running medals” wall hanging is SO adorable!!! By the way x2, where do you buy your sports bras and what kind are they? I’m having the hardest time finding the perfect sports bra…I think I’ve found one that I like from Victorias Secret, but it’d be nice to have more than one! Ha!
    I’m loving reading about your marathon training, and up until now we’ve kind of been on the same running schedule…I ran my first 20 miles last Wednesday and it was awesome! My marathon is August 27th though, so I’m starting to taper now! It’s crazy how addicting it can be!!!
    Keep up the good work girlie!

  20. Your post came at such an interesting time for me – I just realized recently how much I love running because I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to run like I did before. My foot problem has gotten worse – up next is the MRI – Boo 🙁 I live vicariously through your blog and have loved seeing you “become a runner.” You’re going to kill it in the Hamptons, and I relate to so many of the emotions you share here about picturing yourself at the finish line. I can remember them so clearly and miss it so much.

    Not having running in my life has definitely left a void – I miss being one of those running blogs 🙁 Here’s to hoping I can get back to being a runner again!!

  21. Isn’t it amazing when this realization occurs?! I love running. It has been my source of meditation and therapy for so many years now. Glad you are loving what you are doing rather than dreading it! You are going to rock that marathon!!!!

  22. LOVE everything about this, Ali. My favorite line: “running isn’t something I do – it’s something I love.” SO SO SO agree!! You are my running idol – esp with that sub 7 min mile pace of yours, damn girl!

  23. I love to run, playing competetive sports when i was younger, running races is a way to keep me competetive, against myself especially. I did get burnt out after marathon training last year and didn’t want to run for a while, but this summer i’ve picked it back up and have fallen even more in love with it.

  24. This is a great post – I think it sums up how many of us feel about running!
    Congrats on the speedy day. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “6.” Exciting!

  25. I love running! I always hated it because I was forced to do it at swim practice but now that I am allowed to run at my own pace I have completely fallen in love. It has definitely taken over my life too.

  26. OH!! I want a gym with great classes!! My budget for now has me at a no thrills gym but it is okay because I am slowly making friends with all the machines and it is a good intro to the gym for me.

  27. It was when I moved work clothes into my second bedroom’s closet to make room for more running clothes and noticed that my hydration bottles and gizmos were reproducing like bunnies that I knew I was a runner. And that I was addicted to it.

  28. I love to run, but I am fighting the battle with myself about “not being fast enough”. It’s hard. Some days I fly – today someone had poured lead into my legs overnight. But at the end – I still am out and moving and am excited to run and race! Two+ weeks until Disneyland half!

  29. I want to be a runner. I really can’t call myself that…yet! In my bootcamp class this morning, the instructor said “Okay, let’s warm up with a 1 mile run.” I thought: I hope I can run a mile. Well, what do you know, I can! I was pretty excited about that. I have a goal to run a half marathon next year in May. I really enjoy reading your blog and it gives me hope that I will be where you are someday…well, not New York, but the running part. 🙂

  30. Ha I can totally relate to this! Sometimes I feel like running is all I can talk about. My apartment always looks like Runner’s World threw up all over it. I’m the same way about running blogs vs. healthy living blogs– most “healthy living” blogs seem to have a diet focus lurking behind the content, which really bugs me. (I run to feel strong, to be healthy, and for the sense of accomplishment– NOT to be skinny!)

  31. I love this. At first I started running to lose weight, then I started to simply love it. Hamptons Marathon is an EXCELLENT choice, I did the half two years ago and it is beautiful! I may go this year, still undecided. I’m doing NYC, so nervous! Your blog is great.Good luck on your first marathon, I’ll be joining your ranks November 6.

  32. I used to have a love/hate relationship with running, but now it’s just love. Some days I don’t feel like it, but I never, ever “hate” it because I’ve come full circle in realizing how important it is to me, how much it does for me and how good it makes me feel! I have a large drawer in our dresser completely full of running clothes and it’s overflowing – I used to only have about 2 pairs of shorts and ran in cotton T-shirts. Now I scour runningwarehouse.com and my favorite store is a running store. It’s taken over! Love it.

  33. I hang my sweaty sports bra’s from my dresser too haha

    You say you’ll never be the “fastest” runner or good at uphills, but I bet at some point you may have thought “I can never run a marathon” (or maybe not!) — and I have to say from the sounds of your morning run, you ARE a fast runner!

  34. I’ve noticed the same thing–about reading more running blogs than healthy living blogs. I’ve also noticed that during training months my blog is way more running blog than healthy living blog. And I love it.

  35. I love running. I have a hard time getting out there and starting, but once I’m out running, I generally love it. I have my bad days, like everyone, but running can give me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I don’t get from many things. It’s weird that something that really is such a solitary activity can also create such a community. I love being able to say I’m a runner and jump into a race or join a running group or just go out to Central Park and be part of the activity out there (which sometimes cursing cyclists and tourists).
    Shalane Flanagan rocks and I love that she mainstreamed compression socks. My favorite, though, is Kara Goucher.
    Since you’re not running the NYC marathon this year and the Hamptons Marathon will be in the history books by then, you may want to go out to CP West on marathon morning to check out the elites coming through. It’s exhilerating. You can try to take photos, but it’s hard to time it just right because they run so fast.

  36. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I had to comment for the first time because I had the exact same experience as you this morning, only in Prospect Park. Three 8-minute mile repeats in the rain and it was glorious! I’m riding the same high!

  37. I love this!! And it’s funny how that inevitably happens. When I first started running, I did it because I was supposed to, and after awhile it became part of who I was…but only because it was something I had always done, not necessarily because I was running for the sheer love of it. It wasn’t until college (and then even more so after graduation) that I realized just how much I loved running – and that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. Plus, it helps when you surround yourself with runners both in life and in the blog-world. It’s hard NOT to have it take over your life when you are training, hanging out with runners, and reading about runners every single day. 🙂 But that’s all fine with me!

    On another note – I continue to be jealous of your job. I don’t know much about dancing, but I do know that Melanie is awesome – she was my favorite to watch all season. Have fun at the photo shoot! (even if you’d rather be running! :))

  38. I used to hate it, right now I’m in the tolerance phase. I hope someday to be where you are – maybe if I stick with it long enough to make some decent progress. The Las Vegas Marathon is penciled in for me in 2012; I feel like I HAVE to run a marathon for CCFA!!!!!! (Won’t be ready this year though)

  39. I <3 this post! I'm noticing running taking over my life too – from my Gu-filled cabinets water-filled refrigerator to the drying rack full of running clothes and the fact that I only seem to do laundry when I need running clothes washed.

  40. Awww Ali, this is seriously so precious. I love it!!! I love being a runner too- it’s been a huge part of my life for so long and I can’t imagine a week going by without running, thinking about running, reading about running… etc.

    Okay truth, I tried to convince my husband that our first dance song should be “Because you loved me” – best Celine Dion song ever. And have you seen the movie? Up Close and Personal was the reason I thought I wanted to be in Broadcast Journalism. I ended up with Video stuff in part because of that movie. hehe.

    Also Shalane Flanagan was a Sr when I was a jr in High School in MA. I’ll never forget how insane it was watching her at State Track meets break 2 mile record after 2 mile record. It’s amazing to see how far she’s come.

    Cannot wait to see how awesome you do at your marathon.

    Running is an amazing sport. I have a lot of ups and downs with it but it’s been there for me through so much in my life and I cannot imagine my life without it.

    XO Ali!!! And lets plan another {short} blogger race!

    1. Same for me! Although I was a freshman (geez Lizzy, you’re so old! ;)). We only saw her at the big meets, but she was amazing even then. And I sometimes like to pretend a tiny bit of her greatness rubbed off on me. Because we both raced for high school teams in MA…and obviously that’s the way this whole thing works…

  41. i am in the exacttt same boat…only my boat does not move quite as fast as yours (6:53? um amazing!) i’m just hoping by the time i hit my first 20 mile run (while also training for my first marathon) i’m as pumped about it as you were! it is so crazy how running a mile can seem like so much, but then youre doing 3, then 7, then half marathons and then working toward 26.2. im still not quite sure how it all happened!
    p.s. saw an “i <3 sweat" shirt on a fellow runner who passed by in the park this a.m. and knew it was yours! haha

  42. I didn’t love it when I first started – it frustrated the hell out of me. I was trying to run a 9:30 mile on the treadmill and figured that since it was too tough, I “must not be a runner”. Once I realized I didn’t have to go that fast to actually be running (duh), it actually became enjoyable. I’m now training for my first marathon!

  43. I was literally just talking about this topic yesterday! Its funny, when I first started to “run” (read: trot? Saunter?) it was more to push myself, improve some cardiovascularly, and prove to myself that I could do it. I’d feel great and proud when I’d finish, but was pretty miserable during and would often think “how do people actually like this?!?!” And then one day in the past year (about a year and a half after I started though I took some recovery breaks for a few months…) it just clicked. I realized I really do enjoy (even maybe love) running. I looked forward to early am solo runs, I wanted a garmin, I started to mentally consider new goals. My how things change.

  44. Love, love, love, love, love it. I was never a long-distance runner before. Ever. Totally the sprint girl that dominated speed races, but running more than a mile was always SO tough for me. I’m so glad I forced myself to sign up for a half-marathon this year. Training my body to go long-distance has been amazing and I love the confidence boost I’ve gotten from running. I love the way I feel now when I go out for a morning run. I’m not fast, but I put my heart and soul into it whenever I pound that pavement.

  45. Loved the video! I obviously love. When my friend wanted to get a book at the library I went to the magazine room to read the latest issue of Runners World. What she thought when she came back in…yeah not sure how I have non-runner friends still. And more recently waiting in line at my hotel to ask the front desk woman where the best running routes are.

  46. The more I run, the more I want it to take over my life! In high school, and gery muh so freshman year, it was my life. Especially since my best friend and my older sister were on the cross country and track teams too, we spent our afternoons running, our evenings at the Y lifting weights or going to step classes, and our weekends travelling to meets. Now I am finally making a lot of time for it again. Not as much as back then, but I wish I could. Happy training!!!

    1. it isn’t always that crowded in Chisel? i was there and it was a little intimidating. . I thought i recognized you from the blog but i wasn’t sure that was you.

  47. You say you were not always a runner, but I think you have that natural talent for it that not many do. So I would actually say you have always been a runner, and just didn’t realize it! I love racing more than running, and that tends to be my biggest motivation. I also only like running in nice weather, so I guess you can call me a “fair weather runner” — hehe.

  48. Love it! I kind of know what you mean…I feel like I think about running all the time. My room always smells like dirty running clothes. I google tempo run tips in my spare time. My Garmin is my favorite purchase I’ve made all year….but if I’m going to get obsessed with anything, I’m glad it’s something that’s good for me!

    Also, not to sound creepy, but if you need a motivating Monday night Crunch spin class, I’m a MASSIVE fan of Tim B’s 6:45 class at Union Square. It’s amazing, his music is amazing, and I schedule my training around being able to go to it as much as I can. Plus, he’s easy on the eyes 🙂

  49. I love the way a good run feels. I’m struggling with running right now, but I’m hoping once it cools down some I’ll fall back in love. I can’t get on board with running out side in this heat & humidity. ugh.

  50. Um, my post yesterday is all about being a RUNNER and not a RACER. I realized after this weekend’s half marathon that I just don’t like the racing aspect. It isn’t for me, it gives me anxiety and I run poorly. Running, however, is something I have grown to love and taking the race aspect out of it feels like a weight off my shoulders, an epiphany of sorts. Reading your posts on loving to run makes me excited to get out there with no goal or mileage in mind again. Finally. But for YOUR race? I am looking forward to reading all about it. You’ll kill it! 🙂

  51. I’m still trying to be able to be ok with calling myself a runner, but I guess if I have a running coach, I should own up to it. 🙂 But, yes, I need more friends who think its cool to eat and rest the night before long runs, recover from long runs, think Run by Matt Fitzgerald is essential reading, etc – bc most of my friends don’t understand me! ha! But, yeah, becoming a better runner occupies a lot of my thoughts 🙂

  52. I love running! It’s not easy for me, and I haven’t been doing it for very long, but I love it. I like to run in the rain (I wish I had yesterday but I also needed a day off) and I like to run when there’s snow on the ground. The only thing I don’t like is my compulsion to compare myself to other runners. My 5k PR is just under 33 minutes and I usually run 12:00 min/miles or slower on long runs.

    Luckily my family also runs – my mom just beat my 5k PR (I need to catch up!) and she’ll talk running with me when other people don’t care. We talk about boring things like running socks. Not sure when running took over my life, but I read a lot and I think a 1/4 of the books I’ve read so far this year were about running (or nutrition/health/diet).

  53. Great post this morning. And I absolutely LOVE the video!!! LMAO
    I too am a runner. When I am not running, I am thinking about when I can run next and how what I am doing will affect my running. And I love the Jack Rabbit bag. I wish I had gotten a few extras. It might be my new beach bag. lol
    Didn’t know you were running the Battle of Brooklyn this weekend. What is your goal pace?

  54. Love it. Love, love, love, love, love it.

    When I first started running, I ran because I liked the way I felt after the run. Now I run because I just love running — from laying out my clothes and nutrition the night before a run all the way to the runner’s high afterwards. I’m even on a mission to get my husband to love running with me. 🙂

    And I can totally relate to the massive piles of running laundry and all of your disposable income going towards running — new gear, race entries, food. The things we do for love.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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