This morning I accomplished something that I NEVER thought I would do.
Years ago, pre-kid religiously and then off and on as a mother, I was a runner. I LOVE to run, love the high and the way it quiets my mind. After my youngest was born, I developed achilles tendonitis in my right ankle and wore a boot and then a cast for an entire summer. I was told by doctors that I'd never be able to run again, and for the longest time had trouble even walking long distances.
A few weeks ago I started going back to the gym and to yoga again since school had started back. I was doing the elliptical machines but had to keep them on the highest settings to even break a sweat. I guess after losing 30 pounds my stamina had improved that much on it's own. So I started kind of eyeing the treadmills again, and one day hopped off the elliptical and decided just to try it for 10 minutes. No pain.
So the next time I did it half of my cardio. Again, no pain.
And eventually I was able to run my entire workout and haven't had one bit of pain in my ankle. The lost weight? The lost "baggage"? I don't know, but GOD....it feels great.
Every year my close group of friends go to a 5K together, put on in memory of our friend's daughter who passed away from cancer. Usually, they walk the "Family walk" which is 1K. I was planning on doing that, and then last week I was at dinner with one of the girls, and she said she was going to try and run the 5K...just for fun. She asked me if I wanted to join....sure, why not? A 5K is just about 3 miles, and I had done that much on the treadmill just the day before. Couldn't hurt to try, right?
I honestly didn't think too much about what we were taking on until we arrived this morning. The families took off in the 1K, my kids included (except my youngest, I kept her in a jogging stroller). I looked at my friend and we sort of had this moment of WTF are we doing?????
And then the race began. We walked for a minute then decided to go for it. It was really, really humid and having the jogging stroller made it more difficult than I had anticipated. We did some walking, but pushed ourselves to jog it as much as possible. We got to the last mile marker and started to run...the whole final mile there were volunteers cheering us on, then a photographer taking our picture, then the last stretch where I thought I was going to throw up from pushing myself. I looked to my left and saw my friends and their families jumping up and down cheering for us, then looked to my right and saw my children with the proudest looks on their faces yelling for their mom. The adrenaline kicked in and I ran the final stretch without throwing up :)
We were so incredibly proud of ourselves after the race was over. We hugged, we high fived, we took pictures, we planned our next 5K. What an amazing high and such a great metaphor for life. You start out with no idea how you will do, you reach a point where you don't think you can take it anymore, then suddenly you get your second wind, put your head down and push yourself farther than you ever thought you could; and if you're lucky, your friends and family are at the finish line cheering you on.
When all was said and done, we did the 3 miles in about 40 minutes, not bad for a bunch of first timers who didn't even train!
I'm so incredibly proud of myself, not just for today but for all that it represents.