Just Do It!

I lie awake in bed. My alarm has just gone off at 6am in the morning. I think to myself I need to get up and go for a run. Yet the other voice says, I’m so comfy in my nice warm bed. The first voice reminds the second, you have a 10km race coming up in just a few weeks and you haven’t started training.

I reach over and change my alarm to 6:45am and close my eyes. I lay in bed half asleep for another 30 minutes before finally crawling out of bed. I put on my running gear and decided to go for a short run. I took our puppy with me, and it ended up being a short run. It was under 2 km and I ran about half the distance and walked the rest while towing a tired, uninterested puppy behind me.

First thought, this was a pitiful run. Second thought, at least I laced up my shoes and went for a run.

As I was running I thought of my friend Jenn McCrea training for her marathon. I remember her telling me she took “I can’t” out of her vocabulary.

I also thought of Nike’s long time running ad campaign, Just Do It. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_Do_It_(Nike)

I got out and Just Did It. One Nike ad that came to mind was of the heavyset kid going for a jog.

For me, exercising feels like a chore at times. Yet when I do get out there, I remember how good it feels.

The run was great. The weather was perfect. Cool, not to windy and dry. Even though it was short, I still enjoyed every minute. It only takes one step to get you started. So Just Do It!

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I think I can…

I’ve been seeing this story floating around on Facebook this past week about the father/son duo, Dick and Rick. If you haven’t heard the story, in a nutshell it is about how the father, Dick, has pushed his disabled son, Rick , in 85 marathons. As well they have also competed together in 8 triathlons, including Iron Man Hawaii.

This story nearly brought me to tears. I think of my own journey as a runner, and of those people around me. Too often we tell ourselves we cannot do it. Or people close to us think we are nuts and believe we cannot do it. Yet we CAN accomplish anything when we put our minds and our hearts to it.

Rick was disabled from birth and had no use if his limbs. The doctors told his parents to institutionalize him. They never did. When Rick was in school he wanted to participate in a charity run for a classmate. His dad, Dick, pushed away his fear and pushed his son in their first run together. Rick later told his dad that while they were running he felt like he was no longer disabled. Rick inspired his dad to keep running and to become more fit, eventually saving his life.

My friend Jenn never thought she could run. It took breast cancer and a running friend to make her think she could. She is now hooked and is the spoke person for the Calgary Marathon as the winner of So You Think You Can Run.

I have always loved running, yet I never really got seriously into it. I’m still not a serious runner and I tend to only lace up occasionally. More so when I know I’ve signed myself up for a race.

All it takes is one tiny step. Right foot, left foot… You know you can do it. Anyone can. Now is the time.

Courage & Strength

This past weekend I participated in my second half-marathon along side a great friend of mine. While I was training for my first one, my friend, Jenn, had been inspired by my running. After running her first run, I asked her if she was interested in running a half-marathon with me. She said absolutely.

We planned and registered to do our half-marathon this coming fall. The ever popular and beautiful Melissa’s Road Race in Banff, AB. Another friend of ours had gotten back into running and was planning on doing the 10km portion of the Calgary Marathon. We thought to register for that one as it would be a nice warm up to our race in the fall.

Wrong! Jenn is also a breast cancer survivor who is having her reconstructive surgery later this summer. She decided she needed to run her half-marathon before her surgery in case she dies. I still stood by her as I promised to be her pace car.

We both did awesome. Jenn was as much my pace car as I was hers. I gave her the strength and encouragement to get through the first half. She kept me motivated to run almost the whole way with minimal walk breaks. We shared some laughs, we shared some tears. She encouraged me not to quite at the 18 km marker when everything started to ache below my waist. She told me cancer didn’t kill her, so the last 3 km of the race are not going to kill us. At each kilometer marker we would cheer and she would shout out, “17 km, come in Jen, you’re beautiful , you can do this!”

It wasn’t until the last 5 km where I started to hit my wall. Having Jenn there helped me to endure the rest of the race. She wanted to finish under 3 hours, she did it, 2:59! I’m so proud of her. I was aiming for the 3 hour mark, and finished slightly behind Jenn at 3:03.

Jenn, I love you dearly; I’m super proud of you, and it was an honor to run with you. I look forward to our next race together. You are such an inspiration. You are so tough and strong. You’re as much of an inspiration to me as I am to you.

To everyone: you to can do it. It takes a whole lot of will power to know you can. Simply take one step at a time.

Namaste.

Jen

www.calgarymarathon.com

www.melissasroadrace.ca