In February of this year, I finally admitted to myself that I needed to make some changes with a few things in my life. One of them was to be more active. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post about the Sole Sisters Race Weekend in Dartmouth. On impulse, I signed up for the 5k fun run and immediately decided I had lost my mind. 🙂 The next day, after giving it some further consideration, I decided to go big or stay home, and I signed up for the timed 5k on the following day. Two races in less than fifteen hours. Say what????!!!! I had decided it was time for a 5K redemption walk, times two, and I was in a race against myself.

Five years ago, I did a 5k fundraiser walk and it didn’t go quite as I had planned. I did no real training ahead of time, but I was on my feet all day at work so walking should be no problem, right? It was an Ugly Christmas Sweater Walk and I had chosen to wear a black sweatshirt with a really sad little snowman on it, because in my head, that made for one ugly Christmas sweater. When I arrived I realized that maybe I had not chosen so wisely, because my kind of ironic ugly Christmas sweater really stood out as bland, in a sea of red and green, ornament encrusted, Christmas light, glitter and tinsel bedecked sweaters. Awkward!!! LOL

It was ok though because I had some good friends with me and we cheered each other on. I finished the walk, and I do mean walk. Like, super slow. Turns out that being on your feet at work and being a couch potato the rest of the time does not mean that it is easy to walk 5K. Go figure. About 15 minutes in, my shins were burning and my face was red. Talking was not optional because breathing was happening instead. Heavy breathing! In every race, someone has to finish last and it was me that day. My poor old ego was bruised because I used to be a runner but I had struggled to walk 5K. The following year I hurt my back and I had trouble standing up for more than 2 minutes. Walking the twenty minutes a day my doctor recommended was excruciating. Suddenly, doing that walk, in my ironically ugly Christmas sweater and finishing it, even last, felt like a pretty big deal. 🙂

” I was doing this race for me because I want to be more active. I had already succeeded, because I was there. “

Fast forward to this past weekend and a much more fulfilling personal walking experience. I prepared ahead of time with some indoor walking (so much rain this Spring!) and yoga. My husband came to cheer me on for the first walk and it was a great event filled with amazing energy and lovely fellow walkers. I was pretty happy with my time and felt good about myself.

The second day, I had a bit of a moment of panic and commented to my sisters, who were in the race with me, that I wasn’t worried about my time, but I just didn’t want to finish last. As soon as the words left my mouth, I felt disappointed in myself and did an immediate mental reset. I didn’t want to worry about where I placed compared to other people. I was doing this race for me because I want to be more active. I had already succeeded, because I was there. Plus, I had already walked the course once, and as I lined up to start on day 2, I decided I was in a race against myself. The time to beat was my own from the night before and it was so freeing! I enjoyed the experience so much more because I was walking for the pure joy of walking. I took it one step further and ran part of the course too, coming in about 12 minutes quicker than I had during the previous race.

My upcoming, big adventures in movement will be a hike at Kenomee Canyon Trail, The Three Peaks Challenge and the Not Since Moses Run. I’m showing up, getting moving and staying motivated. I think that’s a win already in the race for me.