First, THANKS to all who commented or emailed on my last blog post. I still am in a bit of state of disbelief that I was able to run the whole 10K and I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement.
Second, I had yet another epiphany when I was responded to someone about the 10K. It was all about the unexpected side effect of the growing confidence in who I am and who I am becoming. For me, this may be just as important, if not more important, then the better physical fitness I am working towards.
While running on my own has been something I have been working on and off with for the past couple of years, events were not something that were really on my radar...and certainly not the number of events I am challenging myself with over and over again. I certainly was never one to put myself out there on the physical front.
I remember fretting over the first aqua aerobics class I went to at a local recreation center. I honestly did not think I was going to do it. I made an excuse that I did not a swimsuit that fit and would have to wait for the one I ordered to be delivered; however, I found one that fit in the back of dresser drawer. There was a class the next day and I knew I had to go...so I went. This was in 2007 and I have continued to challenge myself over and over again.
After a few months at the rec center, I joined a 24 hour gym to have more pool options available. Soon I found myself doing Zumba, step aerobics, body pump, and other group classes. It was hard to walk into those first few classes as one of the biggest people in class but I soon found out that most people are really concerned more about what they are doing than who else in class (not universally true but I try to ignore the haters). I kept going to classes.
A year or so later I hired a personal trainer. I appreciated Shelby a lot but yearned for more challenge. It was at that time that I started my first Couch to 5K program. I even did an event (a Turkey Trot) but had a horrible experience. I honestly thought that would be the end of my signing up for events.
Then this thing called Groupon and Living Social came along. I bought one for a boxing gym. While I continued to do my cardio and weights at the gym, I also went to boxing or kickboxing classes five to six mornings a week. I loved it. I didn't feel odd going to class. I still stationed myself at the back but I went to class. I learned to hit and hit hard. I decided to keep trying new and different things. I was gaining confidence to try things and not to worry about what others thought.
The next offer I purchased was for 10 kettlebell classes. This was about a year ago now and I loved the workouts from the start. There is nothing like combining the strength training (and I want to be strong) with the intense cardio work. I knew I found something I wanted to continue to do so I signed up for more...and more. I continue to do kettlebell classes now and love challenging myself to use heavier and heavier bells. I also met some people that continue to be important on my journey. These people helped enhance my sense of self confidence.
I read more and more about healthy eating and changed my lifestyle diet to include real food and avoid processed foods. I no longer dodged questions about what I was doing to be healthy or what I was doing to lose weight. I no longer felt compelled to follow what others thought I should do. I started to listen to my body and figure out what was best for ME.
During this time, I started running again. I started to sign up for events. The first one that I signed up for was a stair climb for the American Lung Association. It was 56 floors at the Republic Plaza in downtown Denver. Honestly, I signed up even though I thought it was impossible and that I would never finish. I trained. My friend Kristin helped me train. I finally decided that I would finish, even if it took me an hour. Well, I did finish and it took me less than half that amount of time. It was quite the accomplishment.
I did more events and I finished them. This included some 5Ks that I did not run completely but I still finished them. I did some more stair climbs and finished them as well. Then, as you read in my my previous blog, I ran a complete 10K. All the time, I felt confidence surging throughout my life. I am ready to challenge myself even more throughout the coming years. It feels good to gain this self assurance while I am gaining physical strength and health as well.