But I really wanted to share my heart....
I heard people talking about how their gyms were gonna be packed and how "annoying" it would be and then give these people a month or two until they stopped coming. That may be true. I remember how hard I tried to stay strong to my commitments to getting healthier and getting fit and how many times I gave up. But instead of watching people make these commitments... why don't we help them along the way?? My heart is to encourage others on their journey, I know how great it feels to be thought of, to have someone just let you know that they are there for you. It really is tough to keep resolutions. To change and break cycles and change a whole way of living.
When I had decided I wanted to start trying to run again, I researched local running groups, I found a certain one who stated "all runners are welcome" I arrived at the meetup and immediately felt out of place, I wore baggy yoga pants and a t-shirt... Overweight... embarrassed. Everyone there looked like they had been running for at least 1 year or more. I ended up running by myself and left... needless to say I never went back again. And I'm almost sure I didn't try running again for quite a while. Being overweight really takes over your mind and feelings.
One experience I had was one that was so very impacting and it really is amazing how one positive person with kind words of encouragment along my journey so here it is...
After I had visited this running club... I was definitely discouraged, I thought well maybe if I lost some weight and went back maybe they would be more accepting. It probably took me about a month to look into other running groups to give a try, So I found on meetup.com a group called Divas Run in Atlanta, I decided I would give it another try, this was probably the first time I ventured out to Atlanta for a group run ever, so I did get lost, but once I did find the gym where the meet up was, I was greeted by a sweet lady named Sher, she was so welcoming, and inviting. As we stretched we talked about upcoming races, she shared for passion for running and the things that she did in her community, it was so nice to be treated as "another runner" and not some outsider and I obviously didnt look like a runner. After we stretched and chatted for a bit, we headed out for a 3 mile loop. In my head, I figured 3 miles wouldnt be too hard, but it was so challenging at the time, I started off strong and then fell back, the negative thoughts came up and I stopped, part of me just wanted to turn around and leave, before I could even react, Sher (who was quite a ways in front of me, came up and encouraged me to keep on going, she ran with me, talked to me, I was able to share with her my heart and how badly I wanted to be a runner again. I cant quite remember the things that she said, but I know that she shared her story with me, she encouraged me to keep on running. Those 3 miles felt like eternity, but it was such a great feeling to have completed it. I left the meetup with a new hope, with a seed of encouragement.
As I write this I get emotional... such a small act of kindess has definitely went a long way. The sweetest thing was that when she saw my article on Women's Running Magazine, she noticed me and congratulated me. It has to have been about 2 years ago when I met her. Thank you Sher!!! You have no idea the impact you have made in my life and in my heart!!
And here I sit, a month and a half into marathon training, I have logged 85 miles in January, just ran my 2nd half marathon over the weekend. I prefer double digit miles now... 3 miles is just a warm up. :)
My goals and dreams are bigger now, but I know that if I work hard toward them, they will be reached. I don't doubt it anymore. I have people like Sher to thank.
MAKE RESOLUTIONS!! TRY AND TRY!!! and if you fail... GET BACK UP AND TRY AGAIN...
It's in these moments where you get stronger... where you discover a drive, a passion, a little voice that says "I can do it."