Beth Shields

In March of 2017, I nervously walked into the Skirt Sports store in Boulder for the Running Start kickoff meeting. I could hardly feel anything except my heart racing that day. I quietly grabbed a chair in the corner and waited for the meeting to begin.

That day, I was introduced to my friend and inspiration Lisa. Lisa walked just a 1/4 of a mile that day with me. It was all I could physically do! I wanted to quit; my back ached, my feet hurt and my heart pounded. The problem was that at 395 pounds, I had not walked very far in years. I was sedentary, discouraged and probably just years from certain life altering health issues. That March day was the beginning of a dramatic life change for me.

Running Start provided me support, acceptance and a plan to help me become a walker (and one day a runner)! I followed the plan and checked in with my motivator and pushed myself daily to go further than I did the previous day. It was not easy, and frequently I wanted to give up, but I wanted to live even more! Crossing the 5K finish line was one of the best days of my life. For the first time in YEARS, I set a goal AND I succeeded!

I have lost just over 60 pounds since the beginning of Running Start. I have a long way to go, but I know that I can do this! As a plus sized woman, I have frequently felt left out, rejected and not accepted because of my weight. Through this program, I have found a welcoming community of women that love and encourage me to be the best I can be. No judgement or rejection here! I currently participate in a bootcamp class, walk and workout at the gym daily. I now have the confidence and courage to try anything new, my weight does not hold me back!