Sometimes it takes a hard situation to startle you awake.
In this case, my awakening was for fitness, the situation: a breakup.
We all know what happens with a breakup: You cry, ask a billion questions (mostly starting with Why?), analyze every minute detail of the situation from beginning to bitter end, and eat…A LOT.
Last year, I was in a stage in my life where I didn’t care. My heart was torn to shreds and I just did not care about where my life was headed, what I looked like, who I saw that week. All I really wanted was seclusion and rest, but when you work in PR and blessed with concerned girlfriends, it’s hard to hide.
I don’t know when it happened, the epiphany that if I didn’t get up from that dark place and move that I would be consumed by it.
I think it was in July when my place of employment had a health challenge, a two-week cleanse and also encouraged us to work out twice a week. Something about a challenge, a task to complete, a cleanse of the toxins really spoke to me and I decided it was time to get back to being my old self, just with one more lesson learned in the relationship department.
My plan was to drop the $150 on all the food I needed for the challenge, buy Nike running shoes, and buy new workout clothes. It might’ve been an expensive change, but it got me motivated. I remember going to the park the first time, a brand new workout (or, werkout) playlist made, ready to see where I was fitness-wise. I could run a quarter of a mile and then had to walk. So I did that circuit for three miles that first day.
I was drenched in sweat but I was smiling.
I could feel myself healing, getting stronger.
I started running longer, farther. A quarter of a mile run turned to a half-mile which turned into a mile. The weight melted off and I started getting compliments. My mind was in the right place, my heart had healed and I had come out of that darkness a better version of me.
Saturday, May 2, 2015: My first official 5k
My friend Rachel texted me that Wednesday asking if I wanted to run a 5k with her in Pigeon Forge. I thought about it for five seconds before I texted her back with a resounding, “YES!”
The race started and we began our 11.5 pace, up two hills turned around and did them again. At the last stretch we picked up the pace and then my stride lengthened and I sprinted across the finish line: 36:41.
I placed third in my age group.
Me. The girl who, last year, was fumbling in the dark, hiding behind 15 extra pounds.
The girl who NEVER in a million years would think she would be a runner, a person who would download the Nike Run app, buy actual running shoes, and push herself with “You got this.” “Don’t you stop.” “You’re strong. You’re a goddess.” “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” “Keep going.”
Fitness has transformed me from a girl who criticized herself to a woman who sees progress in the mirror and smiles a lot more for it.
My journey has only begun but I’m already stronger mentally and physically. Goals are getting bigger and I can’t wait to meet them.
If you’re entertaining the idea of starting a fitness journey, I want to encourage you to take that first step, whatever it may be and do it wholeheartedly.
You’ll see results and love yourself for it.