Recently I’ve had several friends tell me that a recent Facebook picture has been an inspiration and motivation for them. Wow what an awesome compliment. So I thought I would share my journey with all of you.
My journey to a life of health and wellness began in 2002!
I will never forget the day when I jumped out of the shower and took a look at myself in the full length mirror. I did not like the image looking back at me. I was a happy mom of a 3-year-old, I had an amazing husband and a great job but I just wasn’t happy with myself.
I had watched a Montel Williams episode when my daughter was a baby about the Body for Life program. I had purchased the book then put it on the shelf. It was this day in 2002 that book was taken off the shelf and I decided to make a change.
The episode that Michelle is referring to is the one I watched when I bought the Body for Life book.
In 2003 I was fortunate enough to attend an Energy Camp for Women in Denver at the EAS headquarters. What an experience I had! Here is a before and after picture of me back in 2001 pre BFL and 2003 after a 12 week challenge.
As we all know if you don’t stick to your health and wellness plan you gain back weight, lose muscle mass and your cardio capacity is limited. So in 2008 I decided that this was the year that I wanted to really learn for myself the “LIFE” part of the Body for Life. I had completed numerous 12 week challenges and never really did figure out what to do past the 12 week finish. Thinking in the back of my mind I knew I could do another 12 weeks. 2008 was the year designated for me to really move to the next level for “LIFE”.
A 26 week BFL marathon was an opportunity for me to continue my journey of learning about self-discipline, self motivation, determination and learning about my body not only physical but emotional as well. Planning each and every day and setting small achievable goals for the day, week, month and the year! Along with keeping positive thoughts about me each and every day helped for motivation!
Persistence is the key! I see so many people start out their challenge so strong and motivated and then they hit a life bump in their challenge and they give up. I think it is important to remember we all have life bumps but moving forward and keep persisting is a key attribute for “LIFE”. 2008 was a successful year for me on my health and wellness journey.
2009 brought more of BFL and finding balance in life of work, health and wellness. The first part of November in 2009 a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to run the Winter Sun 10K with her. My response was “I am not a runner, but if you train me I will try.” She asked me how far and how long can you run for? Maybe a minute I replied. She said well we have some work to do. She gave me a training plan starting out running for 4 minutes then walking for 2 and I only had 6 weeks to train for this 10K (6.2 miles). What the heck was I thinking?
By week 2 I was running 11 minute intervals for an hour, completing about 5 miles or so. I thought ok I can do this. We ran the local 5K Turkey Trot to get me prepared for the 10K. Many lessons learned on this 5K. I did manage to complete the 10K in 17 degree weather and have been running since.
I was still on the runners’ high when my running friend found the Warrior Dash race and suggested we do this race. Due to the fact that I still was on major runners high I jumped all over this. Signed up and started the training phase.
I continued to run in January 2010 and joined a contest that the gym was holding for the New Year. In February I started my new-found love KICKBOXING. During my 3rd class I pulled my right hamstring. UUgghh! I was very disappointed in this set back. My running slowed down for about 6 weeks. During this time I did the step mill. I thought that I would not lose much doing this kind of activity. Boy was I wrong! When I could run again it was like starting all over again.
Towards the end of July I started getting bored with the workouts and not feeling gains in running or in my strength training. Started missing workouts and getting just plain lazy. I tried to set up a training schedule for the last 28 days to get myself motivated and prepared for race day. I did find that I love to run outside on a summer morning. Hearing the birds chirp, the sun to rise above the Mesa is just a relaxing and energizing way to start the day. I also loved trying to beat my time each week when on my outdoor run.
The week before the race I was on my outdoor run and my mind was just racing wondering if I could even do this race. Running hard and fast my heart just beating and my breath unable to be caught. I simply had a mental breakdown. Negative talk to myself thinking will I be able to do this. I am not ready for this race. As I peaked the top of the hill that morning I thought back to the Warrior Dash website and its training recommendations. It’s about your mental ability more than anything. I still didn’t convince myself that day that I was anywhere near being ready. I did however take 3 minutes off my run time that day. Ohhh something was working!
As race day approached I got more and more excited. I didn’t feel 100% prepared for the race. I could only do my best. So off we went to Copper Mountain. I just kept looking at that hill and thinking that it’s 9,700 feet above sea level and the oxygen is low up here. What am I going to do?
As I look back now I have no idea how I made it over the fire or completed the Warrior Dash not only once but THREE times. It’s all a blur when the runner’s high kicks in. Each Warrior Dash presenting different challenges! Now on to new challenges in 2013.
I now know why people continue to sign up for races. The feeling after your done is AMAZING! The runners high and the sense of self achievement and accomplishment is one of its own.
In 2012 I ran my first ½ Marathon. Read my race re-cap here.
So if you are ready to cross the abyss and get moving now’s the time! Let’s do it! 2013 is your year!