Yesterday my Mom ran her first 5 KM race at Octoberfest in Waterloo. Her personal trainer suggested she sign up for the run this past July. My mom agreed to the challenge immediately and began her training. Oh, I forgot to mention that initially my Mom agreed to a 10 KM race without even batting an eye.
When my Mom first mentioned the run to me, I was very very surprised. Not because my Mom was still in the early stages of her training (relatively), but because she had never really “run” before. I put run in quotations because she has obviously run throughout her life, but being a runner or training to become one is very different from sporadic running.
She began her training right away. She coordinated all the runs and asked me to join her. Her primary routes consisted of the country roads surrounding our house which are predominated by the ever-hated hill. Sometimes we would chat, sometimes not. Regardless of our route or conversation, I never stopped smiling. I had never imagined that I would be running with my Momma.
Over the course of her training, my Mom gradually improved her distance, pace, and took fewer walking breaks. Her breathing became more controlled and her face less red at the culmination of each run. She was getting fitter.
She suffered an injury along the way but took the necessary time to rest and heal. She did not let it stop her.
An added bonus of the running – she lost weight. She got into pants that hadn’t fit in years. To my Mom, this was not the point of her running but about trying something different, scary, and G.I.-altering (we’ve all been there). Something that could possibly be (and was) very rewarding. To quote my Mom, “I want to be more fit at 60 than I was at 50”.
Yesterday she ran and completed her first of many 5 KM runs.
She ran faster, longer and with fewer breaks than ever before. I smiled the entire time and tried unsuccessfully not to cry as we crossed the finish line.
Why am I telling you this? Because my Mom’s story is unique? Nope. I bet there were a lot of people running their first 5 KM yesterday. I tell you this because it is inspirational. Because she was never a runner, nor had plans to be one. Because she is turning 60 in a few months. Because she decided that she wanted to make a change and stuck to that decision. Because my Mom’s journey demonstrates that if you really want to make a change you can. And that your change can happen regardless of age, running ability, fitness-level, or injury.
Have you found yourself saying “I can’t”? Why can’t you? What is stopping you? You’re not fit enough? You’re too big? You’re too old? You don’t run? My answers to these self-created barriers? You’ll become more fit as you train. You’ll lose weight as you run/cycle/swim. You’re never too old (just chat with your doc beforehand). And of course you can run. If you don’t like it than find a different activity that is both challenging and fun.
Never ever say never.