There are a lot of things that I am: a mom, a daughter, a friend, and a runner. I get out there every day, lace up my sneakers, turn on my music and hit the pavement. I didn’t always enjoy running. As a matter of fact – I loathed it! The idea of going nowhere while getting winded and sweaty was most definitely not appealing.
After having my daughter, I wanted to lose weight, but didn’t know where to start. I heard of this interesting app called Couch to 5k (C25K) from a friend and I said why not give it a go. C25K takes you from couch potato status to running a 5k (3.1 miles) in just 8 weeks. I thought impossible, but by the end of 8 weeks – not only did I run a 5k but I ENJOYED it. This was 7 years ago, since then I’ve fallen in love with various other forms of fitness – namely weight lifting, but I always come back to running.
Running can be meditative and mind clearing if you let it, but getting started is not easy. We so often bite off more than we can chew, it’s easy to give up and feel defeated before you hit your goal. This is why I like C25K, it combines walking and jogging intervals to work you up slowly and consistently- you got at your own pace and can even repeat weeks if necessary.
Most recently a good friend of mine expressed an interest in running a 5k and getting healthy, I witnessed people publicly telling him he couldn’t do it and laughing. It broke my heart, why would we as people want to put down someone who just wants to better themselves? I’d recently wanted to try to get back into running – so this was a great opportunity to not only encourage my friend, but give myself a kick in the pants.
I reached out and we decided to be cyber running buddies (he lives 100 miles away) using C25K. We coordinated our run days and check in with each other by posting ‘sweaty selfies’ on Instagram and Facebook. We also follow the C25K Facebook page for ongoing inspirational stories, motivation, and questions. We share our failures and victories with each other and the world.
Since we began our journey, other friends have joined our cyber running buddy group: posting, tagging, running, sweating and encouraging. None of these people consider themselves runners- and we are all at different levels of experience and ability – but we all get out there and do it. That is what makes you a runner – it’s not how far you go but how far you’ve come.