Wednesday, August 29, 2012


photo I’m just over 2/3 of the way through my 5k training. For 12 weeks I’ve been slowly improving. When I began, I was alternating 1 minute of jogging and 1-1/2 minutes of walking. I thought for sure in those first few weeks that there was just no way I’d ever get to the place where I could jog an entire 5k.

Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I’m going to get dressed, lace up my sneakers, and jog for 25 minutes straight. To athletes out there and to people who have been fit at some point in their lives, this might not sound like much of an accomplishment, but as trite as it sounds, thinking about it almost brings me to tears. It feels very surreal when I get done with my run. Sometimes I just laugh out loud, into the quiet of the morning, with no one else around to hear, because it seems so unlikely that it could be possible! I jogged for 25 minutes! Unreal!

Please believe me when I commit to you that if I can do this, you can do this! Start small. Work your way through. Make sure someone is there to hold you accountable. But most of all, have at least one good reason to change your life, because in those moments when your quads are cramping, your ankle hurts, you’re out of breath, and you feel like you can’t take another step, you have got to have a reason to keep going, a reason to push through.

Honestly, before I started training, I didn’t put much thought into my reasons. But what I’ve noticed is, in those moments when I want to quit, my mind automatically wanders to those reasons. Here are a few of mine:

  1. To motivate others. If you know me personally, you know that being a good example to other people is important to me. I have always desired to be someone that people can look up to and can learn from. If I’m not taking care of myself, how can I expect others to take care of themselves?
  2. To build confidence. Visibly, my body hasn’t changed much. The most notable change so far is that my calves are really muscular now! But my shirts and pants don’t feel any looser. I don’t really look that different. But I feel so different. When I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman, a strong woman who is capable and powerful. When you respect yourself enough to take care of yourself, your eyes are opened to your strength, which is one of your most stunning attributes!
  3. To prevent health issues in the future. It is no secret that I have a blood clotting disorder. I have seen the damage this condition has done in my own immediate family, and I never want to repeat these problems in my own life. My future and the future of my family depends upon my health, so I mean to take control of it.
  4. To be the best I can be for my husband. A lot of people say that you “let yourself go” when you get into a serious relationship. To an extent, that is true—you become very comfortable around your mate, which can be a wonderful thing. But if I can’t take care of myself for my husband, my lifelong partner, for whom can I? It’s not just about looking my best, either, although I would be lying if I said that isn’t a bonus. It’s about being an inspiration to the person who inspires me. Part of our responsibility and privilege to each other is to push one another to live well.
  5. To prove to myself that I can do it! I was never in sports. I’m the kid who tripped on the kickball and got the wind knocked out of her. I’m the kid who hung helplessly on the rope, unable to move up, while the gym teacher yelled at her to climb. I’m the kid who gave up after one sprint across the basketball court, and probably faked an injury just to be done for the day. I have built this wall of impossibility around myself through all of these experiences over the course of my life, and I realize that I am the only person who can tear those walls down.

And tear them down I will!