I still remember attempting to join the track team my Sophomore year of high school. A friend of mine convinced me to try it, but after a week of barely being able to make it around the track once, which is only a quarter of a mile, I gave it up. I stepped out of my comfort zone for a hot minute, but then hopped right back in. If you follow my blog then you may already know this, as I’ve written about it before. Running and fitness wasn’t my thing, and at the time, I was OK with that. But all that has changed…
Back then I never dreamt about running 5ks, never-mind anything longer than that. Let’s face it, I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile, so I just assumed I wasn’t cut out for it. Some people are fit, some people aren’t, and I wasn’t so why bother trying. Right…? Wrong.
Just like with anything, running and fitness is something you need to work hard and train for. Of course, there are the “super-humans” out there that have a crazy natural ability, but they are few and far between, and I assure you I’m not one of them. The majority of people have to train hard to gain speed, endurance and optimal fitness to really reach their true potential.
Somewhere around 20 years old, I joined a gym. I was clueless about proper form, eating a nutritious diet or anything that had to do with running, but I decided to give it a go because I wanted to shed a few lbs and “get healthy.” To my dismay, I fell in love with fitness, specifically group fitness classes. I loved the loud upbeat music, the motivation from a big group of people and the structure of each class.
From spin to bootcamp to cardio kickboxing, I began taking classes religiously. Then one day the class I wanted to take was cancelled. Dammit! I wanted that one hour burst of cardio with ass pumping music. So now what?! I was already at the gym, sneakers on, hair up and ready to go… I sure as hell wasn’t going home. I decided to hop on the treadmill and thought, “What the hell, I’m gonna try to run!” 30 minutes later I was still running, and I wasn’t gasping for air. In fact, I was feeling pretty damn good. It was then and there, on that treadmill, or what I now like to call the dreadmill, that I realized all those group exercise classes and hours spent exercising were paying off. Clearly I was more fit than I was in high school, and even fit enough to run. It was a snails pace, but I didn’t care because I was RUNNING!
Let’s fast forward to today, over a decade later to my 30-something year old self, and I’m officially training for my first full marathon. The Boston Marathon, to be precise. Say what?! I keep waking up needing to pinch myself. Who the hell am I?! And whaaaaaat have I gotten myself into?! Not only is it a marathon, but it’s Boston! If I sat here writing that I wasn’t scared out of my mind, I’d be straight up lying. If I told you that this entire process isn’t stepping out of my comfort zone, I’d be lying even more. Because I am definitely nervous, and I’m definitely running out of my comfort zone. But I’m also excited! Like really excited!
I’ve now dreamt about crossing the Boston finish line over and over in my head… with tired legs, a happy heart and an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. What I once thought unimaginable is becoming more and more possible with every training run. What I once thought would be something I’d never in my life do, is becoming more realistic, and it’s only 7 weeks away.
Like I said, maybe you already know my story. Maybe you don’t. But what you probably don’t know is the biggest thing pushing and motivating me through my marathon training is my two year old daughter. In the past month I’ve wanted to sleep past my 5:15am alarm and skip training runs, I’ve wanted to turn around at mile two – yes TWO, and go home and a piece of me has wanted to quit all together. But I haven’t. I haven’t and I WON’T! Because one day, my daughter will be old enough to understand what quitting is. Better yet, she’ll be old enough to know and understand what dedication and perseverance is.
I refuse to tell her that mommy had the opportunity to run one of the biggest, most amazing marathons in the entire world but didn’t because I couldn’t put my big girl panties on and step out of my comfort zone. I refuse to tell her that I gave up on a dream because I was too scared.
Instead, I’m determined to show her that with the right amount of passion, hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I will show her that stepping out of your comfort zone truly is where the magic happens. It’s where you become stronger both mentally and physically. I will teach my daughter a lot of things in life, but I’ll be damned if I ever show her what quitting looks like.
“They say” we teach our kids, but my daughter is teaching me that I’m capable of so much more than I ever thought possible. Every single day she pushes me to be a better person inside and out, and I hope I can do the same for her.
I’m just an ordinary woman with a love of running and fitness, and finding the strength within me to go the extra mile. 7 weeks until the Boston Marathon, follow me to stay tuned on the rest of my journey.
“I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure cause I know the smallest voices they can make it major…” Lucas Graham
I’m incredibly honored to be fundraising for a local private school as part of my Boston Marathon preparation. Please consider helping me support funds for Bellesini Academy. All donations are appreciated and are not going unnoticed! All who donate will automatically be entered into a raffle. I have sponsored prizes from ASICS, The North Face, Fitletic and more! To donate CLICK HERE!