Well the above video sums up most of the last year. It started off really crappy and just ended with a bang!
February I started exercising after finding that 2 injections in my back for pain from spinal stenosis, arthritis and 2 slightly herniated discs did NOTHING. I started to feel really good. There were many days that I did not feel like working out, but knowing that I would feel better when I was done kept me pushing on. I still struggle with this to this day. It's never become much easier, but I've learned to just push!
I decided to run a 5k after reading an article in one of my magazines that had a training schedule along with it. I thought I might be crazy but decided that I'd give it a try. I signed up to run my first 5k September 17, 2011. The feeling when I was finished with my race was amazing!! I KNEW this was just the beginning to a future of racing.
Along the way I discovered Spartan Races. I joined a group called Spartan Chicked on facebook and soon had a new set of friends from all over the world. These women have now become my motivation, inspiration, and mentors. I ask questions, I tell them my feelings, they answer my questions, they kick my butt when I need it, I help answer their questions, and I now KNOW there are MANY women in the same boat as me, or who WERE in the same boat as me. These are women I have NEVER met and feel so close with. We "get each other". We feel each others pain, accomplishments, goals and are all in it for ourselves AND each other. We have all realized that it's not just that we want to lose weight, or fit in that perfect dress, (yes that fantastically comes along with it all) but we've discovered ourselves and found that we can AND DO things that we never thought we would. We are strong, and dedicated and don't let anything stand in our way, the nay sayers, the people who think we are crazy, the people who are jealous but don't wanna embrace the suck to achieve what we have gained. We have pushed through things not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. When you push yourself physically you learn a LOT about yourself. You learn to over come fear, judgement and self doubt. You learn that you ARE worth something, you ARE beautiful, and you ARE strong! I have to personally thank each and every one of these women in Spartan Chicked for being there for me when I feel like no one else will understand me!
I can't talk enough about the spiritual side of things that have happened in my life. I would not of been able to do ANY of this without God by my side. I prayed when I was going through the struggles of gaining weight and having horrible pain for Him to help me gain the strength and motivation to do what I needed to do to feel better. I KNEW there was no way I was going to be able to do it on my own. I've lost and gained so much weight over the years...it always came back. I never had any goals other than to lose the weight. I firmly believe that racing was God's way of helping me see that with Him all things are possible. I NEVER thought that I would be running races and training for an obstacle race. Today was a long run day and conveniently the longest run I've ever done....pretty cool for the last day of the year. I woke up feeling pumped to do my run. I opened my devotional book and just had to smile REALLY big when I read my devotional for the day....
"When your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:7
The greatest reward for finishing a life well is eternal life with God. This reward is given to all who endure the challanges of living faithfully for Him-persecution, ridicule, and other temptations. Just as marathoners train hard and build up their endurance to finish the race well, so Christians must train and build up endurance to live a life of faith in Jesus and stay strong to the end. When your endurace is strong and fit, you will not collapse during the race. You will push on toward the goal of becoming more and more like Jesus until you cross the finish line into heaven and receive the eternal rewards he has promised.
So pretty crazy that this devotional came today. It works that way though, God always knows what you are going through and gives you just what you'll need at the time. I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I'd like to do to share my story with others and let them know that whatever their struggle God can help you through. I especially have strong feelings on the topics of health, fitness, eating well and weight loss. This is one of my biggest goals for 2012, to find a way to help others with what God has helped me through.
Lastly......I ran the longest run I've EVER run today. 2011 went out with a bang! 4.3 miles and I set a new personal record not only for my distance, but for my minutes per mile. I'm well on my way to my goal of finishing my 10k in less than an hour. I've learned that I am not a very fast runner, but it's not me against others, it's me against myself. I have GREAT faith that 2012 is going to be a wonderful year filled with new personal records, new experiences and lots of new friends.
Here's to 2012!!! CHEEERS!! AROOOOOO!!