If I Can Do a 5K, So Can You

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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! 

Start our Spark Your Way to a 5K program today!

What challenge would you like to face?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


What a wonderful, inspirational journey. Thank you so much for sharing - and congratulations on your beautiful bracelet. Report
I am soo proud of you!!!!! Pushing through pain is no easy thing!!! You have accomplished a great thing and I am so glad you have a wonderful support group! Much love Report
Nice Job Mrs 5K.............Good 4 U............ My goal is to walk or run a 1/2 marathon with me, Jesus and my arthritis. Report
You are so fabulous!!! Report
I look forward to your blogs!! Awesome !! Congratulations on your 5k!!! Hugs!
You are an inspiration to me! Love your bracelet!! Well deserved!!! Report
You are amazing! Congratulations on defying the odds!

Thanks for sharing - Now there's no room left for whiners!!! Report
WTG! and love the bracelet too! You deserve the beauty! Report
Congratulations! "Running" your first 5K is a big achievement. To think of doing it with a walker is no less than amazing!
Hold your head high and just be proud of yourself. Report
ROCKIN' bracelet! Way to go! Report
Thank you for your inspirational blog; I commend and applaud you for your stick-to-it-iveness. I did the 5K for Alzheimer's today, something I wanted to do for a long time. My challenge is staying motivated. You are a blessing to us all. Report
GREAT work! Congratulations! What an encouragement to everyone! Thank you for doing it! Report
My challenge is...to make sure I do all of my rehab exercises, and walk three times a day, after my knee replacement surgery on November 22nd. Report
Hmm...I guess I have no excuses anymore! If you can do it, and you need a walker to walk, then I suppose a 5K is definetely something I can do! Report
Very awesome, way to go Beth! Report
You are amazing and an inspiration to all of us!!! I love your new bracelet! Report
I absolutely LOVE your new and well deserved Tiffany bracelet!! Report
All I can say is "Wow"! Report
I just did a 5K today for the Road2Hope here in Hamilton ON. It was a struggle since I had fallen yesterday when I was volunteering. However I pushed my may and even ran the last 1.5 K slow and carefully. So way to go BETH Report
Wonderful and inspiring. Congratulations! I also suffer from chronic pain but not as severe as yours and do a lot of supervised modified exercises. When I did pool workouts on my own I used to imagine I was running the Boston Marathon but did not think of actually measuring it! Great strategy! I also have a sister who suffers from terrible chronic pain but gets very little exercise and am trying to get her into "Sparking!". I will forward your blog to her in hopes that you will inspire her as well. Thanks for your story! Report
Congratuations!! It feels great to set those goals, but 10,000 times better when you actually make/break those goals!! Keep up the great work and thanks for the inspiriring story to those of us sitting at our desks on a Saturday morning playing on the computer when we should be out taking advantage of this quiet morning to get some walking in!!! Report
Beth -- a fellow Hoosier -- I sit here with tears in my eyes!! I've been 'watching you' from afar and feel so happy and proud of you!! I have had both knees replaced, left SP for over a year after a car wreck, came back in late August of this year and am DETERMINED that this weight will come off once and for all -- no excuses! Thanks for being such a great inspiration -- keep going girl!!! Report
I am so happy you shared your story.
I have a daughter that will be 23 in a few weeks. She is the most beautiful person I know but unfortunately she has not been blessed with my genes. She has struggled with health issues and has had some unfortunate injuries due to falls etc. She has joined me running and we are working on 2 miles right now. A combination of run and walking. My goal for her is for her to complete a 5 km combination. We have been at the 2 mile mark for several months so she feels like 5 km is never going to happen.
I have all the patience in the world and the faith that she will do this. I plan to share your story with her so that she can see with time and perseverance this will happen. Thank you!!! Report
Way to go girl! Keep up the good work!!
Holly (GeorgiaGirl26) Report
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. Report
Congratulations, Beth, on your AWESOME achievement! You are my inspiration! ~Hugs, Holly

p.s. LOVE the bracelet! Report
way to go! Report
Congrats,keep up the good work. Report
So inspiring, I suffer with chronic pain also, reading your blog gives me hope. Report
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! Report
What a great motivational story. Thank you so much for sharing it with SP and congratulations on your amazing accomplishment!!! Report
You continue to amaze me, Beth! You are the most inspirational person at SP!!! Report
What a wonderful accomplishment and what a great team of loving helpers you have! Your hubby is awesome. :) Report
you are AWESOME! Nice bracelet :) Report
You go Beth, I love to read your stories. You inspire so many people and I hope to meet you someday.

Debbie Report
Congratulations, you are awesome! Report
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. Report
I can not begin to tell you just how motivating I found your post-Congratulations on completing that 5K and your new bracelet!! Report
You appear to have a wonder village helping you. Report
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) Report
Congratulations! You have provided us with so much inspiration & support!
Thank you! Report
I LOVE how you surrounded yourself with supportive people! Awesome! Report
AWESOME, I am so glad I can be apart of your walking success!! WTG!! You are my inspiration!! Report
You are truly an inspiration. :) Report
You have come so far Beth...Congratulations. Report
Awesome job - what an inspiration!! Report
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! Report
Well done Beth you are Awesome and such an inspiration xxx Report
Your story is so inspirational! I have tears in my eyes as you describe it. Congratulations, keep up the good work! Report
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 Report
Great accomplishment on your part - and love the bracelet !! You go girl !! Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a new exercise each day, handpicked by our certified trainers. We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.