So the headline may sound a little dramatic, but if it weren’t for Marathon Makeover, I wouldn’t be where I am today – with a trophy case full of finisher medals and health and fitness as one of my key priorities. I’m writing this post to share how taking one small step towards health, and taking a risk on something that seems extreme, can change your life too.
Let’s start from the beginning.
In 2010, a good friend of mine, Jennifer, told me about this program called Marathon Makeover. It’s a couch-to-marathon training program that truly sets everyone up for success. I was reluctant to join the program because a marathon, really? For one, I could NEVER do that, and second I’m not a runner.
I went to the first free informational meeting, where I think everyone else was just as on the fence as I was. I felt an overall mutual understanding that we all knew we were crazy, but at least we were crazy together. So I decided to take a leap of faith and I signed up.
The first couple of weeks – and really the first couple of months – were pretty easy for me. I wasn’t a runner, but I was in okay physical shape. Getting out and doing 5-6 miles wasn’t such a big deal. Plus, I wasn’t really interested in finishing at a certain time, so my miles included a lot of walking and socializing. That summer, I did my first half marathon. The training continued, and once we got up into 18+ mile weekend runs, I decided my initial thoughts were true: we are all crazy. But we stuck together anyway. Because we all had that end goal in mind: Crossing the finish line for our first marathon.
The first time I crossed the finish line for my first half marathon, I cried.
The time I crossed the finish line for my first marathon, I cried.
The time I crossed the finish line for my second marathon, I cried.
Yes, I’m an emotional person, but there is nothing in the world like crossing the finish line of a distance race. It’s all about you. This is your achievement. Yes, others have helped you along the way, but no one can run that race for you. You did it. And you should be proud.
I share this story because I want to encourage others to do the same. What may seem like an insurmountable goal is something that you can accomplish. It just takes taking that first leap of faith, never giving up, and keeping your end goal in mind. It never hurts to have a lot of support, and to understand that yes, you may be a little crazy, but that bit of crazy is what pushed you to take that first step.