A little over a year ago, the way I looked at exercise and the confidence it could give you changed. I went to Vermont with my best friend, Sarah, to visit and to watch her sister run a marathon. No joke. She ran 26.2 miles. Without dying. And so did a lot of other people. It was amazing.
I remember talking about it on the way to Vermont, and my friend Sarah and I were talking smack about how crazy these people were to do such a thing. I mean who wants to spend 2-6 hours of their day RUNNING? Not these girls. At that time we couldn’t even fathom running a 5k. 3.1 miles seemed like an awfully long way to run without an ice cream truck or a check from Ed McMahon waiting at the finish line.
But then we went, and what I saw changed me.
People of all sizes, shapes, ages and physical capabilities….running. Some fast, some slow, some with walks in between, but running nonetheless. And as we stood at the finish line I saw people bigger than me, and older than me, and maybe slower than me (?) crossing the finish line. And in that moment, I thought….I can do this. Maybe not 26.2 miles, but I can run. I can at least try to run. I can stop using my size or age or fears as a reason not to do something. That’s the point. Stop making excuses, and try something new.
Now the funny thing is, I went home hell bent on trying the Couch to 5k running plan because, damn it all, I was going to be a runner. I never did quite successfully make it past the 2-3 mile mark before I realized that will does not a runner make. But my friend Sarah, the one who SWORE that she would run to support me but had no interest in doing marathons of any kind, is now one HELL of a runner. She is aiming for a half marathon, which is only half as crazy as a whole one, but is crazy nonetheless!
Did I become a distance runner? No. Can I run a marathon? Only if you give me a year and a lot of naps. The point? Get up and do something. Anything. Just turn off Maury (don’t worry, he’s NOT the father!), put down the Ben and Jerry’s, stop making excuses, and find something that motivates you. Whether that be yoga, or running, or mall walking, or competitive laundry folding….try something new today. You never know what you’ll be good at until you try.