I’d like to first of all say Happy 4th of July to my American friends, and to my Canadian friends I hope you all had a wonderful Canada Day on July 1st.
This year’s Canada Day celebration found me running a 5km race (just over 3 mi). It was awesome. I ran it as a part of a team, Team Ohana. Our coaches were awesome, and I couldn’t begin to thank them enough. I have a larger goal race in mind, and I have registered to do an ultra-half-marathon, the 22km (just under 14mi) Melissa’s run in Banff in late September. My husband, who has been a huge supporter in my running, was willing to coach me, then he ended up nursing an injury. I needed to find someone, something, or a group to keep me motivated and excited about running. Especially to get me prepared in a short time to run my half-marathon.
I happened to be reading our town crier the one morning, and noticed a class schedule for our rec center. In it was a 5km learn to run program. I thought it would be perfect to get out meet some other runners, and gain the momentum I need to keep me going. It was exactly what I needed. Our coaches would bring in guest speakers who talked on a variety of subjects, from motivation, inspiration, nutrition, the proper shoes, running in the heat, extreme marathons, and staying focused on your goals. They also taught us respect, running etiquette, and provided a great friendship and support network.
They kept encouraging us each and every step of the way. And they taught us one of the most important lessons about running, especially running with a team; it’s not about running your personal best, it is about running together as a team.
Our group ended up getting separated a bit, and I was in a pack that was in between our 2 coaches. First of all, we missed a walk, yet we kept pushing ourselves to keep going. Then one of our team members caught up to us in our final kilometer of the race. I felt energized and felt like I wanted to finish strong. Now there was one person from our team who was a little way back. Instead of being selfish, I chose to turn back and join her for a bit so the distance between us wasn’t as large, then for those of us who had already crossed the finished line, we went back and ran in the remaining members of our team.
To think a few months ago we had all been sitting on our couches wondering what to do with our lives. We all had different reasons to run. For some, it was simply to get fit and start loosing a few extra pounds; for others it was to simply get active; for myself, it was to simply start a training program.
Our team member who was at the back was an inspiration to me today. She had missed the last couple classes and was pysching herself up that she wouldn’t finish the race. Yet our coaches encouraged her to come anyway. It isn’t about coming in first, it is about finishing.
I need to send a huge thanks out to Stephanie and Cam for coaching our Team Ohana every step of the way. Without you, who knows where we all would be today.
Everything happens for a reason. Choosing to find a program to get you active is one step. Choosing to become part of a team is a huge benefit, as you can cheer each other on. If you’re still sitting on that couch wondering what to do, just get out there and start. Find a beginner program and stick with it. You can do it and when you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything.