Last January, I was a stay at home mom with an online craft business. I also had a son with level 1 autism and other special needs. I, myself, was dealing with fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and a need to get out and exercise.
I was scrolling through Facebook one day in the middle of January and saw a post from a long time friend about applying to be a beginner or motivator with Running Start. My first reaction was to keep scrolling because I have never been a runner. I have never liked running. I decided to look at the application and realized that I could sign up to be a walker. After asking a few questions, I found out that the idea was to complete a 5k, no matter the pace. I decided to apply.
In mid February, I found out that I had been accepted into the Running Start Class of 2019. I went to the Boulder/Longmont kickoff meeting and listened to the stories of all of the other beginners and motivators and I realized I was not alone in my struggles. Nicole told us that running was putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how fast. I remember looking at the training plan and thinking that exercising 5 days a week was a lot. I was exercising 1 day a week on a good week at that point. However, I was also starting to work with a dietician due to some additional health concerns, so this was a great time to go all in with diet and exercise. I met my motivator, Carolyn, and she reassured me. I took the next week to prepare and then I began the 12 week training program.
At first the walks were difficult, but then things started to get easier. I was feeling stronger. Carolyn noticed I was getting faster. I was losing weight and feeling more confident. I also connected with other Running Start beginners who became my training partners. Those women have become my “sole sisters.”
At the send-off meeting, a few days before the 5k, Nicole asked us to write down one word as to how we felt. One of my sole sisters and I both shouted “ready” when we were asked to share. On the morning of June 2, I was ready to take on the course. I had set a goal of an hour for myself, but the main idea was to finish. I jogged across the finish line after a strong walk in 53 minutes and 14 seconds. I had done it.
A year later, I am still a stay at home mom with an online craft business. I’m still a special needs mom dealing with my own diagnoses. I am still a walker. However, I have a different outlook on exercise. Fibromyalgia doesn’t always make it easy to get out there and exercise, but when I am able to, I feel so much better. I also now have a special group of women in my life who are cheering me on and walking beside me.
Thank you Running Start for the difference you have made to me.