I asked Lori to write a little guest post about her running journey. She is an amazing woman, who talks straight, has compassion and an understanding of what it means to become a runner.
I appreciate her story, because she has made a choice to live her WHOLE life in a new state of improving herself. She is vulnerable in her posts, but also empowering. She’s a HUGE inspiration to me.
“No Excuses, From The Straight Talkin’ Mama” ~Lori @SloRunnerMom
When Mish asked me for a guest post I was excited yet a little hesitant. You see, I’m not for everyone. I’m an extremely straight shooter and I really do not have any type of developed filter mechanism. (that’s why I LOVE her) Hanging with me is a little like jumping off a cliff before you know if you have wings or not. Time is precious to me now and I don’t waste it with excuses or listening to excuses.
So here is the Cliffs Notes version of my history: I am a 42-year-old mother of 3 – ages 19, 17, and 6 and I work full time outside of the home. Four years ago my hubby looked at his developing gut and decided to start running and run a marathon. While he trained I continued to lie around and do nothing and I was up to a snug size 18. I didn’t even want to walk the dog! When I saw him cross that finish line I was both tired and inspired. I was tired of being overweight and out of shape. I figured if he could run 26.2 miles (with a hip injury) then I could certainly dig deep inside and find enough strength to run a 5k. It took me almost 4 months to run 1 mile without stopping! It was agony. I wanted to quit a thousand times. Then….it clicked and I was off and running. Since then I have completed various 5k, 10k, 15k road races. I’ve completed 3 half-marathons and am training for my first full marathon this fall in Chicago. Yesterday I biked 30 miles.
After my first half-marathon in 2007 I had lost about 40 pounds during my training. I went in with my hubby and son to have our body fat and our VO2 Max tested. After losing 40 pounds I was feeling pretty cocky about the body fat test – surely it would be pretty good huh? Guess what? After losing 40 pounds and getting into a size 14 jean I was still 39.6% body fat. Holy moly I thought “how high can this hill be to climb?” It almost discouraged me. Almost. Today I am 18.6% body fat and I weigh 10 pounds MORE than I did in 2007.
So that body weight number means NOTHING to me.
I judge my success by my decrease of body fat and my overall fitness.
I used every excuse in the book to not be the woman I dreamt of being. There was always an excuse to why I didn’t have to move my body – wasn’t athletic, too old, knee hurt, back hurt, too tired, too hot, too cold, blah, blah, blah. My biggest excuse was I had to “take care of my children”. I placed those kids around me like an iron fortress. Never mind that they had a perfectly functioning father right there at home. I live now in an “excuse free” zone. I made the decision that I am worth fighting for. I deserve it and my children deserve it.
How can I teach them a healthy lifestyle if I can’t lead by example?
How can I tell them to dream big because they can do anything when I do nothing?
Sure there are days when I know I have to log my miles and I have that whiny little voice in my head that says “go ahead, you are tired, just pass this one up”. I don’t even for one second debate with that voice because that voice wants me to fail. I put my shoes on and I just do it. I’m not going to reach my goals any other way. When something is important to us we always find time to make it happen.
I am on a fantastical journey! It is MY journey and mine alone. I do not compare my accomplishments to others and I celebrate in each tiny victory that comes my way. As a society we want every thing RIGHT NOW! If it is going to take us more than a season of Biggest Loser to get fit, we give up. We think, if it is going to take me 3 years to change a lifetime of body damage, why bother? You should bother. Even if you can’t see the outward changes as fast as you want to, your internal changes far outweigh the external.
So I challenge you to look in the mirror hard and ask yourself “Who do you want to be?”
Notice I said YOU.
Not who someone else wants you to be, but who YOU want to be. For many, that may require physical changes, others mental changes also. But I will tell you this and this is no BS – the only, ONLY person who will get you where you want to be is YOU. You are going to do have to do the work and guess what? It isn’t going to be easy and there are going to be more times than not that you don’t want to do it but you have to. And, it is going to take more than 30 minutes of your time. You are going to have to stop blaming other people too. The buck stops with you. Stop over-analyzing every little thing and breathe.
I say all this with complete freedom because I am not giving lip service. I have done it and I am STILL doing it. My journey isn’t over yet. I am having the time of my life and sometimes I almost get a little sad when I think of how close I came to not having the courage to start this incredibly long journey to myself……well, I would have missed out on the best parts of my life!
A winner is not defined by winning a race, by receiving a prize, or by running or doing anything at a certain speed. A winner is defined by someone who never quits. It is easy to quit. Life will constantly knock you down – plan on that. But, you have a choice to keep getting back up and fighting.
Who wants to be on the winning team and keep fighting with me?