Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finishing What I Started

This weekend I celebrated a major accomplishment!  I went to a park near our house and walked/jogged a 5K!  My total time was 45min 56sec for 3.13 miles.  I missed grabbing a screen shot of the mapping app right at the 5K distance and snapped it at 0.2 after, so I don’t have the time for 3.1 miles exactly.  I actually kept going though and did a grand total of 3.5 miles in 50min 52sec (which included a brief stop for about 10seconds to say a quick hello to some friends from church that happened to be driving by and pulled over when they spotted me).

Now, in the grand scheme of things, I realize that people complete 5K races on a regular basis, and that my speed may not have been all that fast, but let me explain why this is such a great success for me...

In September 2009, our church participated in a charitable 5K event.  My family, along with many others, registered for it.  This was almost two years before I started on my weight loss journey, and the farthest I was walking those days was from my house to the car, or in and out of my office, etc.  I really didn't take that into consideration when I signed up for the event back then, and just figured that since so many of my friends were taking part, I could too.

As we started out that day, I was pushing one of my children in his stroller and thought to myself, "this isn't so hard, I can do this..." but that feeling didn't last very long.  After just a short time, I found myself falling farther and farther behind in the pack of runners, joggers, and walkers.  Within a few minutes, I was the absolute last person trekking along.  Literally.  The LAST Person.  The police escort car assigned to bring up the rear was just a few feet behind me, and the space between me and the other folks in front of me was growing longer by the moment.  I was 37 years old and had been passed by everyone else participating in the race by an embarrassing distance, including children, senior citizens, and three women who were pushing people in wheelchairs!  I gave up altogether.  I dropped out of the course and cut across a parking lot and took my boys into the park where the finish line was so they could play while we waited for everyone else to complete the event.

That was three years ago, and the memory of that day has stayed with me.  I felt like such a failure that morning when I could not finish something I had started.  It was something that seemed so easy in my mind, yet my body simply couldn’t keep up back then.  When I started losing weight in June of 2011, one of my goals was to be able to complete a 5K and finish what I started.  15 months and 131 pounds later, I have done just that!  And...I have my eye on an official event I'm considering signing up for soon!

So, even though I was just at a local park, not participating in an official event this past weekend, it might as well have been the Olympics to me!  I experienced a great victory and I feel incredible about it!