I have been preparing with my Nike crew for a few weeks for the big 10KM PARIS CENTRE race. To me, this race meant a lot because it was my second race ever and we had less time to prepare so it was really a push- but I will come back to that. This race was also significant and special to me because it marked my one year anniversary in the Nike family. I had the honor of DJIng last years race & party.

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For a long time I have been talking about how doing sports has transcended so much in my life. I am not ashamed I am a quite emotional person and being far away from my family and country has it’s sacrifices. When I work out and have that place of mental focus it is truly a break of relief for me. Some people use drugs or alcohol for this, but being active has become my small survival addiction.

We started the weekend out arriving at the beautiful W hotel, Paris OPERA care of Nike. The thing I love so much about all my Nike trips is meeting new people. Many people from all over europe and spain came to run this race. It always takes a minute for the groups to mix, but after people find “their people” you almost make international friends for life and I love this.

We had a dinner the first night at a beautiful parisienne restaurant and then I had to get away quite quick to DJ my friend Dirty Swifts 40th birthday at Les Etoiles with my buddy Jay Smith. We had what was described as a “90’s love r&b” duo and began the night with amazing r&b tunes. Was the most fun I have had in a while DJing.

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The next morning we woke up fresh and had a nice breakfast and then headed to train with Gwen, our trainer. If you had asked me a year and a half ago if I would enjoy running long distances I would have said a big fat “hell no”, but there is something really to running that has saved me. I am not competitive like most runners, and I care about improving but I care more about showing up. In a recent study and Ted talk I watched, running and cardio activity has been proven and linked with beating the blues. Being overworked and alone in a forgeign country isn’t always easy and sometimes I can really be in a mood, but when I am active I feel like I can handle most things.

I love to run with my friends too, I think that getting started with other people provides so much motivation. Like I said before half the battle is showing up and it’s much easier to show up with people you like to be around. I will get more into the solo benefits of running alone in PT 2 because I actually had quite a different experience during my second race.

After we got showered and cleaned up, Nike had a great surprise for us. We had lunch and got to walk around the infamous Fondation Louis Vuitton, to be honest in my almost two years of Paris I have to make it more of a mission to get out to museums, having an art history background I am so mad at myself for that. I was so excited to be there. I saw Basquiat in person for the first time, and Warhol… and the food was SO YUMMY!!!

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After that, some of the daredevils in the group did a speedboat and we took nice rides around Paris on a TUK TUK (in america I am not sure what we would call this, but it was fun nonetheless and such a beautiful day too).

We ended the afternoon enjoying a nice touristic boat ride on the Paris Seine. This view never gets old to me. As hard as it is to be living here sometimes, I am as in love with it as I was when I arrived the very first time. I can only say that about one place, and that’s home in Atlanta. I find myself these days referring to Paris as home now. In my adult life it really has become that.

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I think I really needed this weekend. I have been really homesick and lost in the changes of fall and an approaching new year. I can be quite the scared crab sometimes so being in fresh, positive environments with good and new people helps me so much.

Last but not least we ended the night at an amazing restaurant called – DERSOU for a healthy 5 course meal. I have to mention this place because it was the best dining experience I have had in Paris, hands down. I will be making a separate visit and blog post about Dersou soon to share the intimate and exciting dining experience we had. We all got to bed early (even though it’s almost impossible for me to sleep when I have so much excitement) and rested for the next exciting day!!!

stay tuned for Part 2 later this week and check out my instagram for fun pictures from the race weekend!

Big thanks as usual to NIKE FRANCE and mags for being such a big inspiring part of my life and always treating me like a Nike Princess!

photos courtesy Nike, Studio White, and Aurielle Sayeh.