A Year of Running…

A Year of Running

This week marks one year since I first took a chance at running.  On Monday morning, my Mom and I worked out at the gym in our hotel, much like we did this time last year.  However, the huge difference was that a year ago I could barely run on the treadmill for 5 minutes…this year, I’ve got a 5K under my belt, I can run longer an faster than ever before, and I’m in an amazing place physically.

This year of running has been nothing short of a journey though (is any part of life really?)…I went from working out regularly, running outside several times during the week, and being extremely conscience of my food choices to rarely working out, gaining back a lot of weight, and feeling like quitting.  There were knee issues along the way that forced me to not run my original 5K race, there were moments of anger, frustration, and self-hate, but I still managed to run in some way, shape or form for the entire year.  I eased back into a running routine, I accepted that my fitness level changed, and I persevered.

So, I’ve been running for a year…now what?

Things certainly don’t stop here.  I’m hoping to begin biking more frequently (if life would ever slow down!).  I want to incorporate more resistance training into my weekly workouts, and I want to keep running races!  Up next (perhaps?)…the 5K race at the Baltimore Running Festival or the 5K Komen Race for the Cure.  No matter what race I choose, I’m so excited about my progress and my commitment to a life of health and wellness.

Until next time…peace!

Lessons from the Trail!

So, this post has been on my agenda for the past week, but I’m just getting around to it right now.  To celebrate the 4th of July, we opted to go for a bike ride in the park, rather than the usual cookout.  It was a highly entertaining experience…that’s the best way to describe it.  In the moment, I was feeling some kinda way, but after the fact, I have to laugh at the crazy things I manage to do!  Up next…I think a camping and kayaking trip may be on deck!  In the meantime, here are some lessons from the trail…

Lessons 1: Go early, don’t stay late…it’s too hot for that!

Lesson 2: Don’t forget your gloves…your hands will thank you afterwards.

Lesson 3: Eat a good meal before you hit the trail and take some non-perishable snacks, you never know if you may get lost a time or two (or three or four!!!)! Prepare to be on the trail an extra 2-3 hours just in case.

Lesson 4: I know it’s not the best thing to do, but carry a match or lighter just in case you need to send out a smoke signal!

Lesson 5: Make sure you know where you’re going…if not, make sure the person you’re with knows where they are going! If neither of you have a clue, find a NEW TRAIL…no need to get lost!

Lesson 6: When you’re lost, don’t always listen to people on the trail, they don’t necessarily know where they’re going either…instead listen for cars. At least, you will be able to tell the police where you are should you need to call 911 for a helicopter airlift out of the area!

Lesson 7: For the men, don’t try to jump off of trees or over trees if you don’t know what you’re doing. Master it with your boys, then show me all the neat things you can do…watching you roll down the hill, nearly crack your head open, and begin to hemorrhage (while we’re lost…notice the theme) isn’t cute!

Lesson 8: Take an extra towel and first aid kit with you…there’s always a risk for more than sweat and tears!

Lesson 9: Avoid bike riding on trails…it’s not as fun and cool as it seems!

Lesson 10: If you just have to go since it’s so fun and cool, make sure you take a pretty awesome partner in crime with you. He/she can make or break the experience!

Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway!

Baltimore Women’s Classic 2012

Last weekend I did the seemingly impossible.  I ran (and completed!) my first 5k race, the Baltimore Women’s Classic!

For some, the idea of running a 5k means nothing, for others, it’s viewed as a bit crazy, but for me, it was freeing, and perhaps therapeutic.  I faced my fear, and did it anyway!

Here lately I’ve been more open to the notion of pushing through challenges, even when the only things I feel are fear, worry, and anxiety!  This is so challenging for me.  Despite what many think, I’m extremely shy (almost too shy) and reserved.  I often avoid trying new things, going places alone and speaking up in tough situations/environments.  In new places, I try to go unnoticed and blend in the background.  In a crowd, I’m rarely the person who will talk to a complete stranger, I’m quite content being alone.  I generally behave in this manner until an environment (or person) becomes comfortable.  I’m not completely sure why this is my nature, but I’ve been a loner for as long as I can remember…I don’t seek to surround myself by a large circle of friends, it’s always been that way.  I’ve often said to people that it’s just me in my life…me against the world.  And while, this isn’t necessarily the healthiest approach to living, it’s just the way it’s been…but increasingly I’m finding myself moving out of my comfort zone.

For the first time ever (perhaps!), I’ve spent a lot of time honoring every emotion that I’ve felt this summer…that’s tough stuff…and on two occasions along this journey, I’ve run into this statement, “Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway!”  The first time, I just read it, and put the piece of paper back in my bag.  The second time I stumbled upon this quote, I began to question how the piece of paper on which it was written got into my work bag and why I kept on randomly finding THIS piece of paper.  After sitting with this thought for a few minutes, I came to appreciate that this quote has extreme relevance in my life at this very moment!

I’m feeling pushed outside of every wall that defines my comfort zone!  In the case of work, where I would once just go with the program, I no longer feel like I have to do that…I can truly take a stand and speak up for what I think is right and what I think is wrong.  I no longer have to doubt my knowledge, my skills, or my worth!  If people don’t like me for that…oh well, I can’t change me just to fit in.  I’m who God created me to be!  From a health and wellness perspective, I’ve chosen to no longer be defined by the demons of my past who would lead me to believe I can’t be in amazing physical shape.  So, I took a leap of faith and decided to sign up for the 5k run not knowing if I was going to be able to complete it or not, but I felt like I had to prove to myself that I’m more than any naysayer says I am.  Similarly, biking 30 miles was definitely not in my plan, but I just rolled with life and did it.  With family, I’m trying to be more open to connecting with folks, sharing what’s going on in my life, letting the wall down a bit…it’s not easy, but I’m doing it.  And finally, in love…now that’s the toughest area for me…even those who know me best, can’t understand the fears and anxieties I experience when it comes to love.  I struggle to to trust that there are people who believe in genuine, unconditional love, but I’m slowly learning that I may be wrong about that.  As a result, I’m trying to be authentic and raw with my emotions, and if I get hurt along the way, at least I will have given myself an opportunity to love fully, honestly, and without restraint…that’s all I can strive for!

So, at the end of the day…I’m human, there are things that scare the life out of me, there are things that make me want to run away to a secret hiding place, there are things that make me cry, there are things that I wish I could avoid, there are things that I wish would just work themselves out without me needing to put forth a lot of effort.  But life isn’t that simple, yet I am an overcomer!  I am an OVERCOMER who has made the active decision to feel every ounce of MY FEAR and DO IT ANYWAY!

Until next time…peace!