Sunday, January 19, 2014

Think you can't run?

Have I always been a runner?  No.  I was actually an inactive, shy girl growing up.  I was intimidated by trying out for sports or extracurricular activities.  So, I didn’t.  I was that kid that dreaded the mile and fitness tests in gym class.  When I entered middle school, I struggled with self-esteem images and an eating disorder.  I battled my weight throughout adolescence and beyond.  My weight fluctuated with a weight loss support group for years.  And, it wasn’t until after the birth of my first child, that I decided I had to do get active and balance eating well – and being active.  I wanted a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. 

The first step is the hardest.  I watched a friend compete in Ironman Wisconsin in 2005 and I thought if he could swim, bike and run 140 miles – I could get myself off of the couch and run around the block.  I looked up a couch to 5k program online and trained for my first 5K that fall.  It became the one thing that I did for myself – and I enjoyed it.  Nine months later, I ran my first half marathon.  And, nine years later I have completed 45 half marathons and seven full marathons.

Over the past three years, I have developed Running Diva Mom, a community for Madison-area women to get themselves off the couch and enter an active lifestyle.  My gradual walk/run programs have given women a gentle introduction to running.  It’s been amazing watching these women transform their bodies, minds – and wardrobes – during a short nine weeks.  When they enter the couch to 5K program they think that it is impossible to run three miles, but I prove to them, with a little commitment that they are capable of doing anything.  It’s been amazing sharing my passion with others.

Still think you can’t run?  Well, maybe you should reconsider.
  • Running can be a great social activity.  It’s a great way to reconnect with your girlfriends or your spouse.  These can be great mini dates.  It’s also a great way to meet new friends through running groups, like Running Diva Mom.
  • It’s a great calorie burner.  You can burn approximately 11 calories/min running vs 5 calories/min walking alone.
  • When you are running solo, it can be great time to be alone with your thoughts.  A morning runner can plan their day and review to do lists in their head.  An evening runner can clear their mind and remove frustration from their day.
  • Running can be a pretty affordable form of exercise.  If you are a recreational runner, your solo investment is only a good pair of running shoes.
  • Explore your community.  Running paths are everywhere.  Running is a great way to explore your hometown and discover new neighborhoods, businesses and parks for your family to visit.
  • You can literally run anywhere.  There is never an excuse to skip a workout.  You can use a treadmill, run laps around the soccer field, run in place with your kids and the wii and explore new places on vacation.

And remember – Don’t fear moving forward.  Fear standing still.

1 comment:

  1. I even started running 35 pounds overweight, as did my team mates of From Fat To Finish Line documentary. You don't have to be in perfect shape to start. Slow and steady!