If I Can Do a 5K, So Can You


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  112 comments   :  19,972 Views

I’m not a 5K kind of girl.  In fact, I use a walker and a wheelchair.  I’m in severe pain most days and not what you would call "sporty."  I do, however like a good challenge.  When I was walking to strengthen my legs, my friend Mccourtt challenged me to walk a 5K.  Well, it was on!  So I set out to walk one.
Cindholm talked to me about pedometers on our first mall walk.  I bought a good one with what I thought was a sturdy bull clip by Omron.  It works very well but does have a tendency to fall off, so I recommend buying the safety strap with clip for it.
I knew I needed help, so my nephew Josh and I would take walks over the summer for training, walker in tow.  He is quite the taskmaster!  I would do anything for him, so when he says he wants to go, I go!  That’s good inspiration.  I would count steps at first--miles were far away.  We rested frequently, as my walker has a seat and I drank a lot of water.
Vettechinhippie helped me train three times a week, walking with my walker through shops and malls.  We did errands, walked all of the aisles of some stores, and took rest breaks frequently.  Eventually my pace got quicker and my legs stronger. Vettechinhippie is a very sweet friend who worked out with me through thick and thin, whether I had a painful day or she had many errands.  We adjusted.
BB_4_ME helped me train in the water and on recumbent machines at the gym to strengthen my muscles.  She is a great source of positive energy.  She is full of ideas and has been through chronic pain herself, so she is familiar with modifying exercise to fit individual needs.
Kind_heart101, my husband, then set up my iPod to do very accurate step, distance, and calorie counting for me.  After seeing how much pain I was being caused by my training, and how tired he got trying to train with me ONE day, he declared I couldn’t do a 5K.  I declared if I did, I got a Tiffany bracelet! 

Like my new bracelet?

It took over a year of working up to it and sitting for breaks, but I finally reached my magic number while walking the mall with Cindholm.  I honestly didn’t think I would make it, but Cindy was very encouraging.  She has inspired me for a long time with her walks for charities and penchant for daily LONG walks.  10,000 steps a day is nothing to her.  It was an honor to have my walking hero at my side at the very moment of my victory.
When the pedometer clicked over, I felt so proud, like jumping and yelling to everyone.  I can’t describe the jubilation in my heart or the severe pain of my body by that point.  The jubilation won out though.  I felt like anything is possible and I wanted to tell you all that.  Part of the reason I wanted to do a 5K is to show you that YOU can do anything you set your mind to do.  If a woman with herniated, degenerated disks, pinched nerves, bad knees, fibromyalgia, and arthritis can walk a 5K with a walker, YOU can take courage that you are capable of aiming for better every day.
The first thing I did was call my husband to tell him I walked a 5K with the walker.  Then I called Mccourtt (my inspiration) and Vettechinhippie (my trainer).  My best friend from college, Hoosiergirlindy was so very proud of me, as was my other best friend from high school, Lioness822.
With all of these SparkPeople on my side, I beat the odds.  The sense of community is beautiful here.  Join your regional teams and look for people to support your efforts to explore new challenges--you can do it! 

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  • 62
    Way to go girl! Keep up the good work!!
    Holly (GeorgiaGirl26) - 11/5/2011   9:32:19 AM
  • 61
    Congratulations on your huge accomplishment! You have an impressive community of supporters too, and you have determination.

    I used to have chronic pain from sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which I was able to get rid of with the help of a capable physiatrist. Do you have one on your medical team? I wish something more could be done to reduce your pain. - 11/5/2011   9:20:23 AM
  • HS1056
    Congratulations, Beth, on your AWESOME achievement! You are my inspiration! ~Hugs, Holly

    p.s. LOVE the bracelet! - 11/5/2011   8:49:47 AM
  • SUJUX1
    way to go! - 11/5/2011   8:16:23 AM
  • 58
    Congrats,keep up the good work. - 11/5/2011   8:04:35 AM
    So inspiring, I suffer with chronic pain also, reading your blog gives me hope. - 11/5/2011   7:36:46 AM
    Congratulations and way to stick with it until you met your goal. Thanks for being an inspiration to so many people. Great job! Super! Marvelous! Wonderful! Thumbs up! - 11/5/2011   7:36:09 AM
  • JGRAY76
    What a great motivational story. Thank you so much for sharing it with SP and congratulations on your amazing accomplishment!!! - 11/5/2011   7:26:28 AM
  • 54
    You continue to amaze me, Beth! You are the most inspirational person at SP!!! - 11/5/2011   7:00:18 AM
  • 53
    What a wonderful accomplishment and what a great team of loving helpers you have! Your hubby is awesome. :) - 11/5/2011   6:33:43 AM
  • 52
    you are AWESOME! Nice bracelet :) - 11/4/2011   11:34:15 PM
  • 51
    You go Beth, I love to read your stories. You inspire so many people and I hope to meet you someday.

    Debbie - 11/4/2011   9:33:18 PM
  • 50
    Congratulations, you are awesome! - 11/4/2011   8:54:08 PM
    Congratulations on such an achievement. It sounds like you have a wonderful supportive group of family and friends. I bet your husband was very proud to give you that bracelet. You are truly an inspiration to many, myself included. - 11/4/2011   8:38:20 PM
  • 48
    I can not begin to tell you just how motivating I found your post-Congratulations on completing that 5K and your new bracelet!! - 11/4/2011   5:35:51 PM
  • 47
    You appear to have a wonder village helping you. - 11/4/2011   5:26:55 PM
  • 46
    I love reading your blogs. I LOOK for them every time I click on the "read entries" button. I am so proud to hear you completed a 5k. Woo Hoo.....you did it 3.1 miles. :)

    Daphne in Doral (Miami) - 11/4/2011   5:21:33 PM
  • 45
    Congratulations! You have provided us with so much inspiration & support!
    Thank you! - 11/4/2011   4:05:27 PM
  • 44
    I LOVE how you surrounded yourself with supportive people! Awesome! - 11/4/2011   3:57:20 PM
  • 43
    AWESOME, I am so glad I can be apart of your walking success!! WTG!! You are my inspiration!! - 11/4/2011   3:51:43 PM
  • 42
    You are truly an inspiration. :) - 11/4/2011   3:31:20 PM
  • 41
    You have come so far Beth...Congratulations. - 11/4/2011   1:51:50 PM
  • JD41US
    Awesome job - what an inspiration!! - 11/4/2011   1:51:46 PM
  • 39
    Way to go!

    My goal is to run/jog a 5k. While I've never been wheelchair bound, I've suffered with arthritic damage to my right knee since I was 11ish. When I was 32, I had surgery to fix the problem and it's been a slow and painful recovery (that surgery, a stress fracture, another surgery, two torn muscles) but I know what race it will be and when it is. My husband has already told me that he will be there with me when I cross that finish line! - 11/4/2011   1:51:37 PM
    Well done Beth you are Awesome and such an inspiration xxx - 11/4/2011   1:40:09 PM
  • 37
    Your story is so inspirational! I have tears in my eyes as you describe it. Congratulations, keep up the good work! - 11/4/2011   12:55:09 PM
  • 36
    Way to go!!!!
    I think back on where I started, and how just doing the first quarter mile I thought I was going to die. My side hurt, my legs hurt, I didn't think I could ever continue. But I did, and yesterday I went on a 6 mile walk. Amazing what people can accomplish with a little will power!!!
    Great Job - 11/4/2011   12:44:56 PM
  • 35
    Great accomplishment on your part - and love the bracelet !! You go girl !! - 11/4/2011   12:41:17 PM
  • 34
    Congratulations! I love your well-earned bracelet! - 11/4/2011   12:18:54 PM
  • 33
    I AM TRULY, TRULY, Impressed by your attitude and persistence! This blog just lifted my spirits tremendously and you can be so proud of yourself! You have come so very far!! And by the way, that's a terrific bracelet you got!!! - 11/4/2011   12:17:02 PM
  • 32
    What a great story. And so inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing this with us and congrats on reaching your goal. - 11/4/2011   11:51:41 AM
  • 31
    Awesome!! And it's great to read success stories, one step, small goals do add up!! I started walking about 2 years ago after a stroke using a walker, a trip down the hallway was my first victory (20 steps) then 2 then 3 etc. Then it was a baseball diamond, one trip around the bases, then 2 etc, over the years I have gotten to 5-7 miles a day (broken into chunks of 1-2 at a time) and recently did my own 5k with no breaks, which was my goal.

    You help inspire us all, thank you. - 11/4/2011   11:31:59 AM
  • 30
    Congratulations!!! You can do anything!! Thanks for the inspiration and keep on walking! :) - 11/4/2011   11:25:08 AM
  • 29
    Awesome! What a good blog to read today. Good for you!!! - 11/4/2011   11:18:34 AM
  • 28
    Congratulations on a job well done!
    Again you have proven that patience and persistence rules the day.
    I'm so very proud of you AND your Spark buddies, who helped you attain your goals. All of you rock! - 11/4/2011   11:10:16 AM
  • 27
    Congratulations! What a patience to pursue this goal for such a long time. You have earned your success and born the fruits of the journey! Very heartening to read! - 11/4/2011   10:53:58 AM
  • 26
    I removed myself from the October 5K because I was new to SP and didn't think I could do it. You've inspired me to give it another try. Wishing you a wonderful journey toward a healthy lifestyle.
    - 11/4/2011   10:41:20 AM
  • 25
    Congratulations !! You are an inspiration !! - 11/4/2011   10:06:23 AM
  • 24
    My daughter and I have started the 5K Your Way walking program, too, and it makes such a difference to have someone do it with me. I was starting to worry about training during the icy winter months, so I love that you mentioned walking in the mall. That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing your journey with us, and CONGRATULATIONS! - 11/4/2011   10:05:01 AM
  • 23
    I shared this on facebook. I have friends with some of the same illnesses and issues you have. I hope this story inspires them as much as it has me. Congratulations on meeting your goal. - 11/4/2011   10:02:25 AM
    AWESOME job, Beth!!! - 11/4/2011   9:52:44 AM
  • 21
    Wow!!!! you go girl!!!! - 11/4/2011   9:37:28 AM
  • 20
    If that doesn't deserve a big "WOOHOO!", then I don't know what does! ^_^ - 11/4/2011   9:31:17 AM
  • 19
    Wonderful blog. What an accomplishment! You are such an inspiration to others. I love reading your blogs and seeing how far you've come. The fact that you continue challenge yourself is amazing and inspiring! - 11/4/2011   9:23:23 AM
  • 18
    This is so inspiring! Congratulations and thanks for sharing? When is the next one? :-) - 11/4/2011   9:23:05 AM
  • 17
    Beth... awesome job! You're such an inspiration and one of my heroes here on SP!! Way to go!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!! (happy dancing now!) - 11/4/2011   9:18:16 AM
  • 16
    Congratulations!!!!!!!! You are a true inspiration to thousands of people. When are we going to walk a 10 K????!!!!????? We all love you and the work that you are doing.

    - 11/4/2011   9:09:08 AM
    Nice work! - 11/4/2011   9:06:51 AM
  • 14
    What a great accomplishment!!! Way to go, you should be very proud of yourself!!! - 11/4/2011   9:05:08 AM
    Congratulations! You should be so proud of yourself. Having run/walked a marathon, half marathon, Cherry Blossom ten miler and Army ten miler - in that order, I understand the training and determination it takes. However, you accomplished more than I ever did because of the pain you pushed through. By the way - that is a beautiful bracelet. Hope you will keep walking. - 11/4/2011   8:23:34 AM

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