At the beginning of the year I made a list of my hopes for the year. One of those was to start some sort of exercise. I kind of laughed as I typed it because I'm just really not the exercise type. I'd much rather just sit on the couch and drink coffee versus actually getting up and doing something. However, this year has been different.In January I started going to Zumba once a week. One of the moms from my class at school taught a Zumba class and I began going every Monday evening. I loved it. It was so much fun and my kind of exercising. It's like exercising, but you don't feel like you're exercising. Right up my alley.
A few weeks after I started that, I decided that I needed to do something else. I needed to add a little more exercise into my week. Zumba once a week wasn't going to cut it.
I don't like DVDs or workouts that are the same every.single.time. Being outside with the ever changing scenery is more me. So, I decided I would give running a try. Now, let me be clear. I am not a runner, no matter what I might have told one of my neighbors the first time I met them (story for another post). Running is hard and it sometimes it hurts. Actually, it hurts most of the time. When I was in high school I played softball and we had to run laps before every practice. I dreaded every single lap. Running made my chest hurt and my head pound and my heart beat out of my chest. I hated it. Awful.
As much as I thought I hated it, I wanted to give running another try. I started with just once a week, then twice and occasionally three times a week. Some days I'd run for two minutes, then walk three. Other days I'd run for ten minutes and then walk twenty. One day, one very special day (nothing in particular made it special), I pulled a Forrest Gump and just kept runnin'. I ran for twenty-five minutes straight. I have no clue the distance, but the time meant something to me. For twenty-five minutes I had been able to run and run and run some more. And it felt good.
My inspiration you ask? One, I want to be healthy for me and for my little family. Two, rap music. It keeps me going. When I feel like giving up, I just turn up the music and I keep going. If I ever met Jay-Z in person I'd have to hug his neck because he keeps me going even when all I want to do is stop. (Owens, I know you are cringing right now. It's okay, little buddy. It's okay.)
Just weeks before summer started my exercising was interrupted a little and it took me a while to get going again. Summer was full of all sorts of excuses not to go to Zumba. And running in the South during the summer is just brutal. So, needless to say, my exercising came to a halt.
Shortly before school started back friends at work mentioned doing the Color Me Rad 5K. And, well, it was all the motivation I needed. It looked like fun and it was something Travis and I could do together, so we signed up for it and began training. I started by running a mile without stopping, then a mile and a half, then two and a half.
I also learned a lot about my running style. For starters, I have to have music. I can't stand listening to myself breath or my feet hit the pavement. I also like to "think" about things, because when I can think about other things, then I forget that I'm running. I need breaks between my runs, at least two days. And I also need gum. While I'm running I breath through my mouth and then it gets dry and I feel like I'm going to choke. Gum helps with that.
One night, a night I will always remember (I don't care how dorky that sounds), I decided that I was going to do it - I was going to run the entire 3.1 miles and not stop. I turned up my tunes, popped in my gum and started. One mile down. Then two. Then three. I knew I needed to keep going just a little further to reach 3.1. When I did I am sure that anyone who was watching or riding by thought I had completely lost my mind. I literally jumped for joy in the middle of the street and had THE biggest smile on my face. There were so many times between mile one and two and then two and three that I wanted to stop and walk or just give up altogether, but I didn't. I kept going! And when I was finished I was so proud of myself!
Travis and I don't get to run together because while one of us runs the other is with MK. The weekend before the 5K we were able to run together while at my parent's house and that was great preparation for the actual run.
The race was super organized and SO much fun. It really is the "Happiest Run on the Planet". Everyone was smiling and high fiving and encouraging one another. I met up with my Oak Pointe teammates and we all started together. The race is also really cool because it benefits an organization called Happy Wheels. Happy Wheels donates books and toys to local children's hospitals. Awesome!
Owens and Trenholm came and brought MK. They met us at the finish line and had made signs. Melt my heart!
I know it sounds kind of ridiculous, but when we crossed the finish line I might have shed a tear or two. I was just so overwhelmed with happiness and I was so proud of us for finishing and for running the ENTIRE time! We set our minds to it and we didn't give up. Y'all, it was a BIG deal for me!
Already working toward our next one! Who knows?!? Maybe next time we'll go a little farther. Baby steps, people, baby steps.