Please welcome my friend as the next guest author for Fitness, Health and Happiness Guest Series. I could easily write a whole post on Jennifer. If you look up determination in the dictionary you should see a picture of Jennifer. She truly never gives up and her accomplishments are a testament to that. She is also a great source of motivation. We've been through injuries, frustrations, and successes together. Jennifer is such a wonderful person. One of the kindest people I've ever met. And, she totally gets the idea of running a marathon to train for a marathon! ______________________________________________________________________
First, let me tell you a little about myself. About six years ago, I came to the realization that I didn’t like myself. I was extremely overweight, under a lot of stress at my job in public accounting, and I didn’t exercise at all. I decided to do something about it. It didn’t come fast or easy, but I found a way. At first I just wanted to like myself. I started to swim each day, do the elliptical, and even do some weights. It was not easy, but I knew I was onto something. I began to see results. I knew I was doing something for me and me alone. Because, if I couldn’t be my own champion, who would? I began eating better, writing down everything I ate, weighing myself each day, and recording my workouts. The stars aligned for me because I lost 70 pounds along the way and found myself.
“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” Orison Marden
Shortly after that my work sponsored a local running race and offered to pay the entrance fees for anyone who wanted to run it. It was that 5k race that got me started running again after 20 years. See, in my senior year in high school a friend convinced me to run high school cross country: Not because I was athletic – I was not, but just for fun. Remembering cross country from high school, I began training for my first 5k as an adult. After that race, I quickly wanted to see if I could run a 10k. In 2007 I ran my first 10k – the most I had ever run in my life. Me! This was the same kid who used to wear a t-shirt growing up that had a running logo on it with a circle around it and a slash through it. I was amazed with myself. Soon I was running 5k’s and 10k’s almost every weekend. It would not be long before I moved on to half marathons in 2008.
“Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer” Percy Cerutty
In 2009 I accomplished what I would have said four years earlier was impossible: I completed the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. Yes, me. It still amazes me.
Why do I run? What motivates me? Some days I don’t know the exact answers to those questions. Other days I would say because I want to see if I can. I will never be an elite distance runner. I was not blessed with a runner’s physique or athletic genes. But I was blessed with determination, perseverance, and the willingness to work hard. I run to clear my head. I run to relieve stress from work. I run to feel better about myself. I run to feel that fullness of heart or pride that I feel when I’ve done something I previously thought was not possible. I got that feeling when I lost the weight, when I ran that 5k, when I ran my first 10k and first half marathon, and when I crossed the finish line of my first marathon.
“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do to now – and do it.” William Durant
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Confucious
Jennifer's single step was "I decided to do something about it." See. She is amazing. And it's not only the weight loss that makes her so. It's her commitment to making the not so easy changes of being active and eating healthy. It's her whole attitude once she decided to START TODAY!
Jennifer is a new blogger. Visit her blog, Start Today, and say hi.