Saturday Spotlight- Saniyyah Shanette Greene

Name: Saniyyah Shanette Greene

Age: 40

Birthdate: August 4, 1978

Marital Status: Single

Current Town: Lindenhurst

Pet(s): Goldendoodle named Ardis currently 2 1/2 years old #puppystatus#alwaysintosomething #butilovehim

Education: Masters of Management/Human Resources Management

Occupation: Bankruptcy Paralegal

Like everyone else, who is chosen to be WOTW, I am sitting here wondering, “who wants to know about my boring life…” lol.

After reading the previous #WOTW posts I hope I can do it justice. 🤷🏽‍♀️

So here goes…..

Gosh, where do I begin…….Welp, since this is a running platform, it’s best to start here.

Running is one of those things that pretty much found me instead of me finding it. I never ran track in high school or college. In fact, my only history with sports was the one season of basketball in middle school, I played. After that season was over, I hung up my sports shoes for good. Or so I thought…..

There I was 37 years old and at a pseudo reunion with two of my high school roll dawgs. Whom I haven’t seen in a really long time. One of them said, “let’s do a race together.”

You see, she had just come off of running a 5k and caught the “bug” (picture me rolling my eyes here, lol). It was comical, she had her argument all ready when we met up in Orlando, Florida that November. All because she knew, I love a good argument, hence, my legal background. Suffice it to say, she won me over by speaking my language. My other friend was “retired” from running, she was only coming along because her arm was being twisted and it was a bet that I clearly won 😜.

We, well I, trained for the entire year with the good ol’ trusty Nike App for my first half marathon. Looking back, training for a year seems like overkill, but, for someone who hasn’t done so much as, run around the block, since a teenager, I knew I needed to get myself all the way together. Because the way my ego is set up…….lolol. So, I started with the 5k, then the 10k, then the big kahuna, (I thought, at the time) the 1/2. By the time, we got to the end of the summer, both of my friends backed out. So I wound up running the Diva Half marathon, instead of the Key West half, that fall. I finished that race in 2 hours and 45 minutes.

What I think led me to running, as an adult, was not the push from a friend, but my childhood. My childhood had it’s ups and downs. My parents were married, living the “white picket fence life,” until they weren’t. This was my first lesson in, “Not everything is what it seems.”

I was basically raised by a single mom, who held down two, sometimes three jobs, to provide for my sister and I. Although my mom was not around much, she managed to make all of our school functions and the important dates in a typical child’s life. On the days she was out working all late hours, she left us in the care of a woman, I absolutely adore , since I was 2 weeks old. She protected my sister and I. She made sure my mom did not have to worry about us while she worked. They sure do not make babysitters like her anymore 🤗. We were under her care until I was about 12. Then we had to move in with my grandmother. Because, well, it is hard “outchea in deez skreets” for a mom with two kids……I know this now.

Throughout my childhood, I would spend a lot of my time outside. In the rain, the snow, and my favorite, the Sun. I mean, it is no coincidence that the Sun would be my favorite, my Zodiac sign is Leo. We are heavily influenced by the Sun. For you religious buffs, the Sun/Son symbolizes Jesus Christ. I feel my life has mirrored JC at various points, as well. When I realized this, through one of my runs my mind was #blown, It all works together……IT ALL WORKS TOGETHER….trust and believe that it does (picture my hands of praise and my church “foot shuffle here) 🙌🏾💃🏽

Most of the arguments between my mom and I were about being outside. IDK. It was just something about being out there that made me feel free. I would think up games to play, make mud pies or just do whatever my imagination thought up. At the end of the day, I would come inside dirty, which meant I had a good day outside….but my mom, well, she didn’t like it…something about all the cleaning…..IDK…..lolol.

So when running found me about three years ago, the familiarness of being outside for an extended period of time gave me back what I didn’t realize I had “lost.” It brought me back to a simpler time, when all was “right” in my world. When I was most innocent.

You see, when you are a child of divorce, you see the struggle of your parents, along with the abuse that comes with that. I won’t bore you with the details, just know, “hurt people hurt people…PERIODT.” 😏You tend to lose your innocence, and grow up really quickly. It is a given, it comes with the territory. No one can protect you from it. It is a part of the journey. It is not personal, or necessarily a bad thing, it is just the road I was supposed to take in this life, titled “Saniyyah Shanette Greene.” The God in me wanted this experience. I do not fault my parents, if it wasn’t them it would’ve been another set of parents with possibly “worse” issues than this set. The God in me chose them. It is part if the mystery of life, they did the best they could with the circumstances set before them….I know this now.

I am grateful for the life I have lived (so far) and the lessons I have learned (so far). I am most grateful for being ready, open and available, when running found me just 3 years ago. I look forward to what it helps me to uncover, learn and re-learn about myself as I grow in the sport, I never knew was on my radar, until it was.

My philosophy for getting through tough times is this:

“The Universe will always give me what I need….it bypasses what I want because what I need is so much better and more beneficial to my journey.”

This philosophy has never failed me. It has always kept me from going down the barrel of depression and anxiety, and addiction over the trials of life. It keeps me centered and open to what is in store. It is my closest friend.