When I first joined Lynn Brick’s gym in my late 40’s, they gave me the options of having a personal trainer and getting a health assessment. I declined the trainer, but took the health assessment – a real eye opener for me. At nearly 190 pounds, barely any sustained exercise and a vegetarian diet badly in need of a complete overhaul, the assessment noted that my health age was five years over my current age at the time.
I was shocked! But I didn’t waste any time. I started going to the gym three times a week, right after my 12 hour shifts at the hospital, and I worked out – always on the treadmill, walking at first – for one hour. I don’t recall exactly when I started running. I’d increase the speed of the treadmill in the middle of my walks for at least five minutes at a time to jog. I recall my feet literally stomping on the treadmill as I picked them up and put them down, carrying all the extra cheese, Doritos, and other unhealthy vegetarian foods that were weighing my body down. Before long I was jogging for five minutes at a time, then 10 minutes, then 20 minutes. I’d streamlined my daily nutrition and I felt lighter on my feet when a fellow gym-goer suggested I enter a 5k.
Race? No way. I didn’t feel anywhere near ready to enter a race and be the last one stumbling over the finish line after everyone was already done. I wasn’t worried that I would finish the 3.1 miles; I just didn’t want to finish last. I kept the idea in the back of my mind and kept running on the treadmill, then outside on trails, around Lake Montebello, and around some of Baltimore’s City streets. I was having so much fun practicing running faster and decreasing the time I would take to run a mile, I didn’t realize I was training to race. Finally after I turned 50, and simultaneously transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, I signed up to participate in the Baltimore Women’s Classic , a running event for women – all ages, shapes and sizes – that takes place in Baltimore, Maryland annually in June.
It turns out that the other runners I’d talked to were right. Once I signed up, there was no turning back, so I trained harder. I entered the race for the first time running an 11-minute mile – meaning that it took me 11 minutes to run one mile. Not exactly Runner’s World Magazine note worthy, but I was happy with it. 🙂 I finished the race in about 33 minutes that year. The next year, I cut my time by a couple of minutes.
The crazy thing was, after I started running the races, I realized there was never any danger that I’d be the last one. The race is for runners and walkers too. I worried for nothing. I also realized that I wasn’t racing against anyone but myself. It was, and still is, all about self-improvement; pushing myself to do better than I did before.
And you can do it too. Just lace ’em up and believe you can. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Lace ’em up and believe!”
Your article is really inspiring! I just followed you. Do you mind having a look at my website if you have time? I’m open to any sort of feedback you may have.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you inprovingnation! And no I don’t mind at all. I’m in Nana mode, with little people following me around forv the next couple of days, but I’ll gladly stop by at the beginning of next week Thank YOU for stopping by!
LikeLiked by 1 person