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!
So there is this wonderful lake a couple of miles from my house, Red Hills Lake inside Red Hills State Park. This lake is almost two miles around and I navigate this lake three times a week and have done so since March of 2017.
When I first began I huffed and puffed, I mean I was really dying out there. I was over fifty pounds heavier and could only run in spurts and walked a lot of it. Then I built up my resistance to the point were I was running a could portion of it and began running this routine every time.
I often run with my oldest son, Lynden and he mentioned to me once many months ago that one day I would be able to run the entire lake without stopping to walk. That became my long-term goal and one I looked to achieve before the end of 2018. What I did though was get comfortable, I got really good at running this distance and last night while running, realized I had run farther than I normally do and I allowed my mind to stop me and walk.
With my second 5K coming up in three days, I decided to run everyday until then to make sure I was giving my body all I could until then. So tonight I took off like normal, listening to the incredible Lisa Nichols on my cell and began my normal routine. Then came the moment to stop for my first walk, but I just kept going!
Then came the first steep incline which I always ran up but never from this long of a run before. Up it I went and kept going! Then when I almost reached the parks main entrance, my mind kicked in and almost stopped me. Visions of quitting entered my mind and my body began to respond almost stopping! Then I saw myself running the entire lake and feeling how great it would feel to do this. I kept going, thinking I could make it half way before stopping. I figured I would run halfway, the longest distance for me at the park and could be proud of myself. Yet, at the halfway point, I didn’t want to just be proud of myself, I wanted the vision! So at halfway, I KEPT GOING!
Before I knew it, I had navigated the valleys, steep grades and down hill jogs and was back at the first incline I had ran up. I came down the hill and began the long trek across the road that rested on top of the earthen dam. It was here that my mind made one last plea for me to stop, saying I had done so well that it was alright to stop and enjoy the moment. Tired, I kept going! My feet began to feel numb and my lower back was tingling some from the run but before I realized it, my car was in view and I was going full steam ahead. I reached my car, tagging the driver side taillight like I always do and jumped for joy. I RAN THE ENTIRE LAKE WITHOUT STOPPING!
I want to tell you that I had no plan to do this when I began but the reality was that it was within me all the time and it is withing you right now if your willing to push the marker and move the needle. My wish for you is that you will push as I did and reward yourself with a well earned victory. You’ve got this!! Hit me up if you need encouragement!