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Three years ago, after I knew I was done having kids and still had an extra fifty pounds on me from all of my pregnancies, I decided it was time to lose weight.
I joined a Biggest Loser competition at the gym to help me stay on track.
When that was over, knowing I still needed something to keep me moving, I decided to try a small, local triathlon. Since I’d never done one before, I joined a group called Team in Training. They raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by training people for endurance events. So in exchange for the training and experience, you are obligated to raise money for LLS.
When I was in high school, I had a little brother who died from leukemia when he was three, so this was the perfect thing for me. The triathlon would keep me on track to stay active and lose weight, and it would also support a cause that I had a personal connection to.
I was scared shitless to try that first triathlon. I didn’t know if I would finish. If I did manage to finish, I didn’t want to finish last. I was very far outside my comfort zone.
Of course, all my fears and anxieties were for naught. I loved the triathlon. I loved it so much I registered for another one through Team in Training that summer.
The next year, I registered for the New York City Triathlon with Team in Training. I was REALLY scared to do that one. I had to swim in the Hudson River, and that totally freaked me out.
Of course, I loved that whole experience, too.
So I signed up for one more thing with Team in Training that was only a couple months after the NYC Triathlon.
The New York City Marathon.
Now I was really fucking scared. I had never run a marathon. The chances of me not finishing were high. But I wanted to do it.
By this time I had done so many things with Team in Training that my friends on Facebook were getting pretty sick of me asking them to donate money in support of whatever race I was doing next.
So I decided to try something new to raise money.
I organized and directed a 5K race in my town to raise the $4000 I needed to come up with for TNT. I dedicated the race to my brother, and I called it The 5K for Christopher. It was fairly successful and I raised more than the minimum I needed to raise for the marathon.
I had hopes of making it an annual event, but last year there was so much stuff going on that I couldn’t make it happen.
After that race, I had caught the marathon bug, and I ran a couple more marathons for fun last year.
Yes. I ran two marathons for fun! What the hell had happened to me?
Then this year I was given the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon with a different charity, Swim Across America. I needed to raise $5000 for that. I had just come off of a pretty big push and raised over $5000 for Patty, so asking for donations through the blog would be tough. I had registered for the Boston Marathon as a fill-in for someone who was supposed to run it for SSA but had gotten injured, so I was a little bit late in signing up.. Swim Across America gave me some extra time to raise my money.
So, I set the wheels in motion for the 5K for Christopher this year. I would raise the rest of my money that way. The race was scheduled for today.
I had a lot of work to do to get it rolling, and I didn’t have all that much time. I was going to take care of most of everything in August.
And then my husband got hurt.
That kind of fucked up my plans, and the race got moved to the bottom of the list of Most Important Things I Had to Take Care Of.
So going into today, I had very few people registered for the race. I was stressed out and worried.
I had taken a little bit of a risk, and it was looking like I was going to fail. I seriously contemplated canceling the whole thing.
But I didn’t.
What was the worst thing that could happen?
If it was a total bust, well, it was a total bust.
At least I had tried.
So I went into the race this morning with that attitude.
And you know what? It all worked out.
It definitely wasn’t the biggest race in the history of 5K races, but it was still a success.
Five of our kids ran in the race.
Well, two of them didn’t actually run.
You know what else happened today?
Two women went out of their comfort zone and ran their first 5K race ever, and they did great!
Two other women ran their fastest 5K time ever.
A nine year old boy ran his first 5K race with his mom, and he loved it!
A whole bunch of people tried something new and went way out of their comfort zones, and they had a great time.
I know exactly what that feels like.
It feels awesome.
And it also feels awesome to know that I provided the opportunity to help them experience that.
I feel really good today.
But something else happened today…
Last year I ran the Hartford Marathon and it almost killed me.
I was really disappointed with how I ran it, so I registered to do it again this year. I was going to run it the right way and I was going to train and finally break 4:30.
Plus, I had convinced CCB to run her first marathon and I told her I’d do it with her, so she registered for it, too.
Then my husband got hurt. That kind of messed up the training plans.
On top of that I got sick, and I’ve had this terrible cough for over two weeks now. I haven’t been able to run much at all.
So I told CCB last week that I didn’t think I’d be able to run the marathon with her.
I had plenty of justifiable reasons. She understood. So I had accepted that I was going to drop out of the marathon.
I thought I had, anyway. I really hadn’t.
After running the 5K today, I realized I still really want to do run the marathon. I won’t be able to run it the way I had originally hoped.
There is no way I will break 4:30 now.
But I want to see it through. I want to prove to myself that even with all this stuff going on, I can do it. And I want to be there to support CCB.
Because she was there today supporting me.
If I can run a marathon now, I can do anything.
And that has really become one of my missions. To help moms and women in general realize just how much they are capable of.
It’s so easy to forget that once you become a mom. It is so easy to make everything all about everyone else, and to forget about yourself in the process.
And even if you don’t realize it, I think it makes you a little bit resentful.
Or a lot resentful.
That’s no fun. And it’s not healthy.
My mission is to help all mom reclaim or rediscover (or even discover for the first time) their inner bad ass.
Today I felt that again myself. The people who ran their first race today inspired me.
I don’t expect all women to want to run a marathon. We all have a different inner bad ass.
And my goal is to help women discover what theirs is.
If you had told me three years ago that today I’d have four marathons under my belt, I would have laughed at you.
But after today, after not only pushing 80+ pounds in the stroller and running in a race but also successfully directing a 5K race I’m inspired.
I temporarily forgot that these days, I rarely hesitate to try anything. What the hell do I have to lose?
Sure I might fail.
But I might not.
And I think there is still a whole bunch of bad ass inside of me that has yet to be discovered.
If you want some help reclaiming your inner bad ass my next e-course, Not Your Average Fitness Course, starts tomorrow. Getting more fit helped me. And it could help you too. Click here to register now.