Thursday, April 18, 2013
This is my favorite race. This race and I have a history (was once the very last person to cross the finish line, etc., etc.). To read more about that... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
After successfully running this race the past two years, and hitting a PR last year, this year I almost didn't run it. After running my first half marathon in January, I took some time off. Too much time off. So when I started running again, 2 weeks before this race, and couldn't run 2 miles without being sore, I was concerned. Plus I was going on a business trip early the next morning, and I felt compelled to just sit this one out.
I didn't. Couldn't. This was my race. So I decided I would do my best and really just enjoy the day. The weather was great, mid-50s, so I joined the other 33,000 runners to kick off the racing season.
I had such a great time! I felt healthy, and knew I was doing something good for my body, and also my confidence as a runner. I could do this. And you know what? I finished less than a minute past my PR time, which I didn't think was possible given my non-existent training for this race. It reminds me how far I've come, and how fit I am now. I am so proud of myself for running and pushing forward.
I celebrated after the race with a customary beer, and cheered those who weren't there, such as my dad, my sister and my friend Jenn - all who have ran it in the past with me.
2013 (pic on top) and previous yrs. below:
Monday, April 15, 2013
"The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."
Last Saturday we had our first team meeting and running clinic -- I am getting so excited (and nervous) about beginning training for something so much bigger than myself. I never thought I would want to tackle a marathon, or that I could...but God gave me this desire to run, and it's definitely a "God thing" because seriously I would only run before if I HAD to (late for a train, being chased by someone) - ok the later never happened but it's funny to say.
So when God put this God-sized dream of running a marathon in my heart, my first question was "Why?" I knew the answer even as I asked it. To get closer to Him. It isn't about me, it's about raising money for those in need, but also about my walk (and run?) with God. About my journey. Too often I try to do things my way, and take the shortcut right to the result I want. I leave God out of the equation. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I feel like I'm still this baby Christian, making all the wrong decisions, and slowly trying to stay on the straight path that God intended.
Running a marathon is a BIG deal. It's a big thing to set out to do. And there definitely aren't shortcuts to the finish line. You need to train, be smart, and you will make it. But try and take a shortcut? You're toast.
I know that this journey will change me. They say that the person to cross the finish line at a marathon is not the same person who started that race. And the same will be true for me. I will need to rely on Him for strength, and continue my walk with Him. For if God is with me, who can be against me? But if I am not for God, how can I ask him to be there for me? It's a relationship, give and take, and I need to give much more than I have. I need (and want) to stay grounded in faith and rooted in prayer.
And I know I will not cross that finish line alone.
**My prayers are going out to those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon. You are in my heart and in my prayers. **
Friday, March 29, 2013
When I first began my weight loss journey I joined a health club that is part of a local hospital near me -- I loved it because there were people of all ages and sizes, and they didn't discriminate. The classes were amazing, the facility is beautiful, always voted one of the best in our area year after year. When I started attending classes there and getting to know the instructors, I thought to myself that I would love to work there someday -- now mind you, this is when I was morbidly obese and I don't know who or what reasoning put that thought into my head, but there it was.
As the membership dues are high, as I neared closer to my weight loss goal, I needed to stop my membership since we are a single income family and I couldn't justify the cost any more -- I began going to the YMCA and for a family we could join at a fraction of a cost of this health club. But I have to admit, it broke my heart a little. The instructors had become my family, my cheerleaders. This was the track where I started running at, this was where I learned what "boot camp" is really about. This is where I tried spinning, zumba and NIA for the first time. This was my place. I told my boot camp instructor at the time that it felt worse than a breakup. But when you are on a fixed income, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
When I became a Walk Leader about a year ago, and I reached out to the fitness director at this Wellness Center, who happens to be my old boot camp instructor, I thought it would be great to teach my classes there. We went back and forth, but the timing wasn't right, however I never gave up on the dream to teach at this amazing wellness center. I began classes at a local church, but I kept her in the loop on my classes, and offered to teach free demos, etc. Well I am happy to say that a year later I am now an instructor on staff at the wellness center! Last night I had a free demo to promote my class that starts next week.
It just goes to show -- never give up on yourself-- or your dreams! They really do come true. And sometimes that little voice in your head, the one that says you can, is worth listening to.
My dad on the left, my friend LaTannya, me and her daughter Taria
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I have been a certified Walk Leader for almost a year now, and every year a reunion is held. This year that reunion was also combined with Walk Concerts in The Villages, FL. I didn't know if I would be able to attend as being a single income family money is tight, but my husband and I talked it over and we decided it would be a great opportunity and I didn't want to miss it. I put all $ from my walk classes to be able to afford the trip, and I also found another walk leader to room with me so that it cut the cost of the hotel room in half.
Guys, I am SO HAPPY I went!
It was such an amazing experience. I got to see Ruth Hughes again, our instructor who certified us, and she is such a strong woman, and gives us all strength and motivation. The energy and enthusiasm I have taken away from this weekend with her will last me a whole year until the next reunion (if not more)!
I also got to see other Walk Leaders, most of whom I have never met except online. They are the most amazing group of women! Most are women of faith, and all of them are the most encouraging people.
My roommate, Jodi, was amazing and such a pleasure to room with.
Jodi in the pink shirt leading some walkers (all walk leaders are in the pink - or salmon)
I formed friendships I hadn't had before. I got really close to Paula Battle (who you may have seen in several DVDs and on QVC oh, about 12 times). She is AMAZING and was my dance partner every night! (The Villages is a retirement community and they have a DJ out on the square, where we led our concert, and he teaches line dances, it was so much fun!)
Paula on the left, I'm in the middle, and then another walk leader Jacqui
Me on left with Paula in the middle and Dorothy on the right, another amazing woman!
I also met Father Scott, who you may have seen in the latest DVD telling his story, he is so cool, very funny, and not what you'd expect in a Priest. In a refreshing way!
We had two walk concerts, one on Friday where all the walk leaders led the 2 mile walk, and then another Saturday where Leslie led it. I was fortunate to be picked to be on stage leading with Leslie, it was an amazing experience.
And the cherry on top? I got to meet LESLIE SANSONE my biggest inspiration! SHE is the lady who I sweated with at 300 lbs., not able to even last 5 minutes, but her positive attitude encouraged me to keep going, She is the one who showed me how to walk in such a way that I could add miles on - I even walked my first 5k with her! This was my dream come true.
It was an amazing experience to see so many walkers come together in one place, with us walk leaders and Leslie! It was just like one big party! (at one point Leslie and the other walk leaders on stage fist pumped to "Party Rock"!) I loved every minute of it. It was a dream of mine to become a walk leader to help others, and to meet Leslie after so many years of walking with her was just too good to put into words. The camaraderie of the other walk leaders was amazing, their energy is contagious, just like Leslie's. Every one of them has the heart to serve and to help others. It's just a wonderful family to be a part of. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
It was a sunny challenge last week to create a workout game, similar to Sparkpeople's Super Bowl game, to our favorite shows. I wanted to post here to share with spark friends.
THE WALKING DEAD GAME
Every time a zombie gets killed by a blade (knife, sword): do 25 jumping jacks
Every time Rick gets moody or throws a tantrum: do 25 jab punches
Every time Carl is on camera: jump in place/high knees
Any time a fire breaks out: do 25 push ups
Every time the gates are opened to the prison: do 25 sit ups
Every time someone kisses: do 25 knee lifts
Every time someone sobs: do double side steps
Every time the baby cries: do 25 kicks
Every time the Governor or his followers are on the scene: do a plank, 10 sets
Each time someone is bitten: run up and down the stairs
Each time Rick sees his dead wife's ghost: do 25 jump,kicks
Every time Meryl or Darryl swears: do 15 burpees
Every time a zombies skull is crushed: jog in place
Every time there is hand to hand combat: do 30 leg lifts, 15 ea leg
Every time Glenn and Maggie fight: 25 bicep curls
Every time Hershel gives a piece of wise advice or stitches someone up: overhead press
Every time Andrea gives a speech: 25 kickbacks
Every time the word "walker" is said: walk up and back, 10 sets
Every time Michonne gives a hard stare: boosted walking
Every time a gun jams or runs out of bullets: 15 triceps dips
Every time someone falls during a challenge: 25 crunches
Every time people go off to talk alone: 25 push ups
Any time someone is looking for the hidden immunity idol: jog in place for 30 seconds
Each time they are eating: bicep curls, 15 sets
Whenever they show the habitat/insects: side steps
Every time Jeff's name is said: 25 jump kicks
When Phillip is walking around in his underwear only: 25 bicycle crunches
Whenever there is a verbal fight: 25 jabs
Any time an alliance is made (or broken): 25 kicks
Every time someone lies: double side steps, 4 sets
Every time someone is talked about behind their back: run up and down stairs
When Jeff says "The tribe has spoken": do 25 jumping jacks
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