So here is the story…
For over a year and a half, I have been running around a lake (suburbanites will call it a pond) in effort to improve my health, lose weight and work towards a goal of competing in a 5K. I remember the first time I ran (more like walked) it for the first time. I huffed and puffed and while I didn’t blow any house in, I almost did myself in!
Over time, things began to change. I began to walk faster, building up steam and soon began to run sections of the lake. Earlier this year, I extended the distances I ran considerably and felt the pain for pushing myself further than ‘normal’. For several months, I pushed through this resistance and found myself getting stronger and more durable.
With this durability, I ran my first 5K this past Spring and had passed yet another milestone that I set for myself. I also had the blessing of doing this with my oldest son, Lynden, which made the icing on my cake!
With my first 5K complete, I continued to run and growth myself. It was always my goal to get my physical stamina to the level that one day I would be able to run, not just parts of the lake, but ALL OF IT!!!
Last Wednesday was upon me and I was gearing up for my second 5K. I drove out to Red Hill State Park and began my distance walk to warm up before my run. I took off like normal, planning nothing out the ordinary. But as I came to the point on my coarse that I would stop and walk, something impacted me to push forward! I just kept going!!!
I reached the top of the first steep incline and it was here that my mind began working to make me stop. It began saying things like, “You can’t run all of this!” “Your not strong enough!” I began to see images in my head of catching my breath, walking and pushing myself too hard. I even, for one second began to slow down to stop.
Then I thought of running the entire lake and how great it would feel to reach my car after I was finished! I saw how good it would feel and that was all I needed to keep going. You know what? My mind began saying things like, “Well, you can go halfway but that’s all you can handle!” Would you believe me when I tell you that I blew right past the halfway marker and just kept going? Because that is exactly what I did!
Before I knew it, I realized that I was feeling overworked, I was feeling inspired. The truth is, I realized that I was enjoying this and while my body felt the resistance, it felt NO pain! Now I was back to the first steep incline and coming down it with joy. I continued across the straightaway that covered the damn and it was here that my mind made one last ditch effort to stop me, saying I had gone far enough to be happy. Ha! Far from it!
Then I saw my SUV, BOOM, I was driving to the finish (no pun intended)! I reached my car and the moment I touched the fender I jumped for joy with excitement. The reward felt just like I imaged it would and I notched off a achievement months before I thought I could have done it, proving we all have more inside us then we realize and it is only upon pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone that we actually discover what we are made of.
Now two days later, I was at the lake again. A day before my second 5K, I thought of an old saying that says, “You did it once, not let’s see you do it again!” Challenge excepted! I not only ran the entire lake again but in a minute faster than two days earlier! I was ready for this 5K!
The following day Lynden and I woke up and drove down to Mt. Carmel, Illinois. We parked just down the street from the library where the race began and signed in. We pinned our numbers and awaited the time to begin. Soon we lined up and as the shot fired, our second 5K was underway!
With the first 5K I walked a short distance twice so I could catch my breath and came in ahead of my son. This time we both improved as I ran the entire coarse and Lynden finished two minutes ahead of me! That’s growth and improvement in its truest form!
I could not be more excited with this achievement and want you to know that there is no difference between my possibilities and yours! Get out there today and make a run for it! You’ll be glad you did!