Choose You Blog
Some say running is a metaphor for life. I couldn’t agree more. To say I never would have imagined I would someday consider myself a runner is an understatement. However, in 2009 I reached a point where I realized the importance of “choosing me” and making decisions to help make health a personal priority.
Anniversaries are always a good time for reflection, and in July 2009 I celebrated my fifth anniversary with the American Cancer Society. I also went to the doctor that month and was shocked to face a truth – that in the last 5 years I had gained 90 pounds. The weight crept on over the years and it took that milestone for me to realize how out of control I had gotten with my poor eating and lack of physical activity.
“I chose running as my path to wellness.”
Inspired by friends and colleagues who had lost weight running, I decided to give it a try. I am not a natural runner — never had been. In fact, in high school I “failed” the running portion of freshman gym class because I could not run 1 mile in under 15 minutes.
At first I could barely run 1 block. With some determination and support from friends and ACS colleagues, 1 block became 1 mile, which became 3.1 miles, 13.1 miles, 15.5 miles and now, 26.2 miles.
I started running to lose weight but found so much more. Running inspired me to eat healthier because I realized the importance of properly fueling my body before venturing out on to the road. Running has reminded me about the power of will and determination. It has given me confidence and has changed the way I approach goals and challenges in my everyday life.
“I know I’m a runner”
I now consider myself “a runner.” I ran a half marathon at a 10:35 minute mile — something I could never have done as a teenager given my high school gym class failure! Some people balk at my pace, saying it isn’t “real” running. I don’t care. I know I’m a runner.
On October 21, 2012 I will run my first marathon. I’ve been training since June – sticking to a regimented schedule of running and cross training. I’ve learned training for a marathon, like making a commitment to personal health and wellness, is a huge commitment. However, taking the time to choose me has made me happier and healthier and is worth the effort.