As I prepare for my first 10K tomorrow (oh, wow that’s soon), I can’t help but take some time to reflect on my progress. One year ago I was so consumed with getting a job, getting A’s in my classes, helping out my residents, and watching TV that I “had no time” for health and fitness. I was so high strung and stressed out that it was even hard to unwind when I was with my best friends. Worst of all, I was so intent on hiding my depression that I didn’t even feel like I could ask for help getting through my fog.
By my graduation day, things had improved a little bit. I got an amazing job and my summer plans were set. I made a lot of promises to myself about how I was going to improve my life–including a promise to enjoy the last month of my undergraduate college experience. Things were certainly looking up by the end of the year. The graduation ceremony, friend’s parties, and downtown celebrations were spectacular. Thanks to my amazing friends, I will always remember my last month in college as one of the best months of my life.
Over the summer I worked at a summer camp and I tried to stay as active as possible. I went on the occasional jog around camp and made sure I was on my feet as often as possible throughout the day. I was incredibly happy with the friends I made at the camp, but I wasn’t making any big changes to improve my health.
When I got back to school to start training for my new job working as a supervisor in a freshman high rise residence hall, I was prepared to make some big changes. I had the whole summer to see the error in my ways and I had a lot of ideas about ways to change. The beginning of the year was a big blur of training sessions and meeting new people. Whenever I had some down time I was either decorating my apartment or trying to get to know my staff and co-workers. When everything settled down I started perfecting my plan to get in shape.
I knew right away that I wanted to be a runner. It’s an activity that I can do anywhere, at any time, and in almost any weather condition. I also knew that I had a lot of muscle strengthening to do before I started to run. My goal was to begin running in October, so I planned on doing Jillian Michaels videos and running stairs until October.
I stuck with my plan and by October I was ready to go! I woke up at 6am on my first day of running and hit the pavement. It might have been beginner’s luck, but I ran 40 minutes without stopping! I felt unstoppable.
Fast forward through three months of steady running, a two-month plateau, and one 5K and here we are. I missed a lot of details–some good and some bad–but the main idea is that I’ve come too far to quit now.
Today my motivation is how far I have come and I hope that I can say that again next year, the year after, and so on.