Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What inspired you to begin?

Lately it seems I have been getting asked a similar question.  Let me begin by saying that I haven't always been a runner or even into exercise for that matter. 

I have had periods of my adult life where I lost some weight and some sort of physical activity was involved... I spent the good part of my 20s working as a Horsemanship instructor/program director for children's programs at summer camps.  Some people might not think of riding horses as physical (you just sit there) but it is and there were many parts of my job that demanded I be in some sort of good physical shape.

circa 1995

But then enter the next stage of my life... I got married at 33 and then had 3 children in my late 30s.  I gained a lot of weight and basically wasn't really happy with how I felt physically.  After Baby #3 was born in 2008 I felt out of control... my weight had topped out at 254 (9 mos pregnant)... and then settled to 225 after he was born.  I looked in the mirror one day and just said enough is enough.  

 Me... about 2 months after baby #3 was born in 2008

After watching a few friends and family have great success with Weight Watchers... I joined up.  I made a goal to be to my goal weight by Baby #3's 1st birthday.  I didn't quite make it...  but then decided the goal to make it by the time I had been going to WW for one year.  In the Fall of 2009 I made goal (160 pounds) ... finally.  

Fall of 2009

But then... after about 6 months or so... a few pounds had crept back on and then a few more.  Before I knew it I had gained back about 20 pounds.  UGH!  I knew that I needed to make a physical change and not just alter my food intake.   One day when I was flipping through a magazine at the doctor's office I saw this photo...

  (photo courtesy of runDisney)

Now... everyone that knows me knows I have loved anything Disney most of my life.  I was born in Anaheim, CA... it was meant to be.  This photo in the magazine was accompanied by an advertisement for a Half Marathon at Disneyland.  It took me about 5 minutes to decide that I wanted that running girl to be me!   Who knew that there was a whole race series at Walt Disney World and Disneyland run by an arm of Disney called runDisney.   I have hated running my whole life.  I have never thought I was good at running.  It made me tired, and sweaty, and just plain not fun.  BUT... there was something about this picture that made me want to try.  As I read more about runDisney I learned they had a celebrity trainer named Jeff Galloway who was a previous Olympic Marathoner.  Jeff has a training program called the run/walk/run program that intrigued me.  It meant I would have walk breaks as I ran ...and a lot of them.  The more I read the more I thought to myself that it seemed doable for me.

Fast forward months and months... races and running... and sweat and weight loss.  In the summer of 2012 I registered for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland!   I traveled to Disneyland (with my husband) in January of 2013 and ran (walked too) my first Half Marathon!  That girl I saw in the advertisement finally WAS me!  (My legs didn't quite look as good as hers but I did it!)

I was so inspired that I kept going after I returned home from Disneyland that January.   The Tinker Bell Half Marathon was on January 20th, 2013... I returned to Disneyland in January 2014 and participated in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon again.  In fact I ran the 10K the day before too!  In the course of this past year I ran a lot of races at home too... Tinkerbell 2014 was my 6th Half Marathon in 12 months!  I also participated in 7 - 5Ks, 1 - 5 miler, 13 - 10Ks, 2 - 15Ks, in addition to my 6 Half Marathons!  Me!  The girl who hated running!  I have found this thing that I love.  Is it hard some days... YES!   All of these things fight against me to stick to it.  My schedule... my self talk... my family... lots of excuses.  But I have to remember to keep it in perspective and make it a priority!  I just do it... no excuses!

 At the Tinker Bell Race EXPO - 2014 after completing the Inaugural Tinker Bell 10K

Because of this commitment and involvement in races and running I have been so blessed.  I have met so many amazing and inspiring people!  People conquering way more obstacles then I could ever imagine!  I have NO excuses!

I would encourage anyone to pursue goals that seem out of reach or impossible. Just do it!  Don't let anyone get in your way and tell you that you can't.   Go find your life and grab it!  Do it!


What inspired you?

What inspires you to push forward when excuses are easy to fall back on?

1 comment:

  1. I love your story! I was never a runner either but my sister was. We decided to do a race because it was at disney and it would be fun! I loved the feeling of accomplishing something and that pushed me into doing more races ( even non disney ones)!


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