Maybe It's Time to Change

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In a few short days I will be traveling to the Big Apple (AKA New York City) to run in the NYC Half Marathon. When I took up running six years ago I had no clue where this journey would take me. It was and has always been a dream of mine to run the streets of New York City. And I am truly blessed to have this opportunity to lace up my running shoes, sport my running attire and fulfill my dream of running around  Central Park, down 7th Avenue, pass Times Square, then along the West Side Highway until I reach the finish line at the South Street Seaport.

In my two years of destination runs, this will be the first run that I will be running without my fellow SparkRunners. When this journey of destination runs began in New Orleans in February 2010 with over twenty SparkPeople members, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the incredible opportunity this would give me. To have the honor to meet other SparkPeople runners from across the country--from Seattle, to Chicago, to Pittsburgh, to Portland, to San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, even Victoria, British Columbia, is truly a blessing. This will be the first time in a very long time I will be lining up on the start line without my fellow runners to meet me at the finish line.  

In preparation for my training runs,  I asked my fellow runners to share with me their favorite running tunes so that I could make a play list to train with. While I will not be racing with music in New York, I do find training with music helps me get past the tough times when I just don't have it in me to take on that hill or that next mile.

Well, as fate would have it, my Spark Running Buddies never cease to amaze me. One of my pals, Ruth told me I  had to get a really great song  by Sick Puppies titled Maybe. OK, before you start laughing, I have no clue who this group was much less their genre of music,  but I'm thinking with a band named Sick Puppies, this probably wouldn't be one tune that I would by adding to my music library. Well, I went to iTunes, listened to the preview and knew from the first few lyrics, this was going to be my new running theme song.

As I have mentioned in the past, many of my motivational blog ideas come when I am running. I think that's because I have no distractions. I have always been a thinker. I think about anything and everything during my runs. However, when I was listening to the lyrics of this song I felt moved by the words. It touched every aspect of this journey I have been on from the time I took my first step into the running world. To go from wearing baggy sweat pants while hiding out at the gym on treadmill far removed from others to timing my outside runs when most people would not be home so they would not see me, seems like yesterday.  But that all changed when I started working with a running coach. He believed in me, more than I believed in myself. He did not judge me, but coached me to becoming the best runner I could be.

So you may be wondering where I am going with this. Change is going to happen whether we like it or not. Seven years and 80 pounds ago I was merely living just to survive. I took my high blood pressure medicine every morning and did little else to change the path I was on--yet time still marched on.

As I was running my 6 mile run in the rain (a first for me as I don't like getting wet), I was in tuned to these very poignant lyrics:
I've never been one to walk alone
I've always been scared to try
So why does it feel so wrong
To reach for something more
To wanna live a better life
What am I waiting for?
'Cause nothing stays the same
Maybe it's time to change
I must say these words left me in tears (thankfully it was raining so my neighbors did not see me crying). Seven years ago I was afraid to change. I didn't like change. There is a comfort knowing what life is like as we know it, but as I said earlier, like it or not, life is gonna change and more times than not, it is out of our control. This can bring up feelings of uncertainty.

But what I have found in this journey is I am much stronger than I give myself credit for. And when I don't have the strength to take life on by myself, I have no problem asking for help from my friends along the way. "I wanna live a better life" and if that means I have to change to get it, then bring on the change. I can't stop the train, but I can enjoy the scenery along the way.

So when I am walking to Central Park in the wee hours of March 18th ready to tackle my 16th half-marathon, I will have each of you running with me in true SparkSpirit. As I run pass Times Square I will take in the enormity of the event I have been blessed to run. As I pass the 9-11 Memorial I will say a prayer for those who perished on that tragic day 10 1/2 years ago. And I will cross the finish line in true SparkVictory no matter what my time.

I no longer have to be scared, nor do I have to walk this journey alone. I have changed and while it can be scary, just wait-- the whole world opens up when you are willing to take that first step. When you are willing to change your life amazing things await each and every one of you. When you are willing to take the steps into the unknown just know you are never alone. Enjoy the journey to change and know that we are all here to help you along the way.

What changes have you made in your life? Does change scare you or do you face it head on?

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USMAWIFE 10/8/2020
thank you Report
Nothing stays the same. This heat wave will end and I will have energy again. Report
Thanks for the great article. Change is good. I love the song too! Report
thanks Report
Thanks, I love to walk alone! Doesn't bother me one bit!!!! Report
Thanks. Report
good article Report
thanks Report
Change is all around us----so why is it so hard to change? Report
I am now a believer of change in all facets of my life Report
change is scary, there are a lot of things I need to change in my life. I am working on them. Report
inspiring Report
I'm always trying to change things around, to make them better. You don't want to get bored with anything. Report
Interesting information here. Report
Be the change that you want to be! Report
We normally make changes that are comfortable for us; clothes, directions, try new stores, etc. However, we limit ourselves to making changes at the job and mostly where it counts. We should embrace the changes that make us better. Report
Don't believe I've seen this one before. Why has it not been featured? All Sparkers have made at least one change, maybe two. But it's so easy to get stuck right there, get planted and take root. I changed eating habits and started running. I love to run in the rain. But I need more. Not just distance, but other workouts. Maybe it's time to try, add something new. Report
thanks for sharing and you are an inspiration Report
Very inspiring! Report
I'm just a month behind on reading this blog. Others have already said what I feel.
Great blog written by a wonderful person who inspires so many!!! Report
Love the blog and I love this song too! It's on my running play list as well! I told CRAZYMANGO about it to as it is also a great theme song for her. good luck in NYC! Report
This blog made me cry. It is so true of all of us. That's why we spark. Thanks for the perspective. Report
Great Blog! I just joined Spark People to help me win this weight loss competition at work but I keep hitting roadblocks. Those song lyrics definitely hit home. I am always afraid of change for some reason. Reading your blog will help me to be hopeful at least for today. I needed to here that message. Hopefully I will be one of those runners who have the Spark spirit!! Report
Nancy..Amazing blog. It is my first week with Sparkpeople and I am already starting to see why this will make a difference to me. I am hoping that some day I would be able to run too just like you... Report
Just had a chance to read this and wow! What an amazing blog! I've said this before and I'll say it again...Nancy, you are such an inspiration and touch so many lives!! Have the time of your life in NYC!! Report
Thanks Nancy, you really inspired me! Hope I can do the same for someone soon. Report
Many years ago, much before you were born, I was a young man freshly out of college and with a new job. I quickly learned exactly what to do in my job and how to do it in an exemplary way.

Then we were notified there was going to a significant change in our operational procedures, and it caused me to doubt if I could make the change.

Hanging around my contemporaries and those who had been there for some time, I asked, "Why do you think we have to make a major change? Does it mean the company isn't being competitive? Are we in danger of a layoff (I had heard with layoffs - they were always last in, first out)?

They all responded by looking at me if I were crazy, and some just ignored me. I guess our section supervisor realized that this was a big deal to me, so he took me aside and said, "Bob, there is only one thing that stays the same in any job and in any industry. The only thing constant is change. About the time you have a certain way down pat, management comes up with a reason to change it. When you first started here, you had book knowledge, but no actual job knowledge. You learned how to do your job quickly and efficiently and you have even helped employees who have been here longer to learn their job better. Don't worry, you'll do just fine. I'd bet after the change is completed, you'll probably still be assisting your peers how to do their new functions quicker, faster and smarter - you just seem to have this knack of translating Management Speak into common, everyday words that others can recognize and use."

That one talk changed my whole outlook on change and adapting to change. I began to look forward to it because I knew I could figure it our (if it didn't have anything to do with differential equations, that is) and help my friends find ways to adapt.

The next review, my supervisor had good things to say and suggested I be considered for a Corporate Training position. i was quickly promoted and moved into training. The Corporate Training team was ill-named - we should have been called "Agents of Change".

All we did was take managements "wishes", break them down into individual challenges, write the manuals and training programs and execute the training at the required level.

I learned so much of the company in the production area, about the logistics, about Human Resources requirements and about operations that I could have gone into any department in the company and been very comfortable.

Every position I had - until retirement, had some basis in training. Even when I was a salesman, operations manager, small unit manager or some other technically named department - I could communicate and translate and my section, group (whatever) consistently got high marks for how well they handled change.

The reason I remember my first supervisors so well is that I copied his words, almost verbatim, and used them with any person who was having difficulty adapting.

You've heard that the only certainties in life were death and taxes. Since my early days I've corrected that saying to add "and change". Report
Thank You for the encouragement and clarity of thought. Report
First off, WOW!!! Loved reading every word of your blog.

All the best for your run.

2013 is the year I learn to swim. It is time. I can do this.

Have a great NYC run then back to more running events with fellow Sparkers!! Report
these words:
I no longer have to be scared, nor do I have to walk this journey alone. I have changed and while it can be scary, just wait...

They brought me to tears. I have this fear that I've 'not really changed' yet, that I'm going to go back to before. THAT is scary!

Nancy Howard can and did change, so can I! Report
Wow, you brought tears to my eyes!

I'm at the stage now that I am starting to think of running, but am in the same boat (not wanting to do it when people can see me) and it wasn't too long ago that my exercise clothes were oversized tshirts and sweats...

You've come so far! Run your heart out, and we'll all be running alongside you in spirit! Report
Now that I'm done dabbing away the tears!... wonderful blog! As so many have said, we will be there with you at the finish. I'm so excited for you to run this dream race. I love how you're living your life as an adventure - a great example for us all!
C~ Report
Yes, change is hard, but it is also growth. To be adaptable is a wonderful virtue and can be very helpful in life. You have really taken the challenge to grow and grow and grow. Good Luck on your runs, we're all right behind you, keep up the good work!!! Report
How exciting for you to be running in the New York Marathon! You have worked hard and deserve this reward. I loved your blog and want you to enjoy the moment. We will all be cheering you on! Report
Nancy - After three years here, I have tons of Articles and a handful of recipes saved as "Spark Favorites". This was my first blog. Awesome. Enjoy the whole weekend. You've earned it! Report
Great blog! Brought tears to my eyes. Good luck with the half-marathon. We'll be there in spirit when you cross the finish line! Report
Nancy, although your Spark buds may not be physically at the finish line, you will not be alone. I will only be one of a great many sending you virtual hugs!

Liked, Tweeted, and Pinned - not every article gets this from me - Awesome! Report
I don't like change, I like consistency! If I wanted change I'd be hanging out at the landromat or the liquor store! Even though I'm not very fond of change I shall embrace it in an attempt to get healthier.
If you keep doing the same thing, you'll receive the same results. Life is what it's all about and every day is not promised so we should do what we can to enjoy it and be happy! God did not give us the spirit of fear! Step out on faith. Thanx for sharing as this is a motivator for many! Report
I love the saying "do something everyday that scares you" -- all these adventures are a little scary, but make you feel so much more alive. Remember that when you have starting line jitters on race day and have a blast! Good luck! Report
Awesome blog, Nancy. You've given me some good things to think about :) Report
Awesome Blog. You are a very inspiring Gal to all of us. Have a very Great Run in New York City. You can do it. We are behind you all the way. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
For me, it's both. Change scares me, but I face it head on. I wish you the best! Great blog post! Report
Thanks for the inspiration! Have an outstanding run. Report
Wow-such an inspiring blog! You rock! And thanks for telling me about that group and song! LOVE it! Gonna go upload it for my songs too! Good luck and I am happy you have reached your dream goal to run in NYC! Report
Very nice blog. I needed these words at this time in my life. Have a fantastic run! We'll be cheering for you! Report
I wish you well. I retired a few months ago and working a making CHANGE!! I am inspired. Report
excellent blog!! You are motivating me!! Report
Awesome blog! It really speaks to me right now. Have a great race in NY and we'll see you in Pittsburgh in a few weeks! Report