A Wonderful Start to a Healthier Life

I only just began running about six or seven months ago. Back then, if you had told me that I was capable of going any further than a single mile, I would have called you crazy.

However, last fall when I turned 23 I decided that I wanted to get myself into shape, and started to work out with a co-worker who was going to get herself back into marathon shape.

During one of the first weekends of my "new life", we met at a lake in the center of our city, and started to run around it. It was very, very cold that day, and it started to snow on top of us. I felt like I was in a Rocky movie, running down a sidewalk while the snowflakes flew. We ran...and ran...and ran...and somehow I kept myself going the whole time, never pausing for a break. The lake that seemed so small from the road was a never-ending road once I started running on it, and I couldn't help but wonder how far we'd go.

My running buddy would tell me every once in a while, "Okay, we'll run to that bench up ahead, then take a break." So, we'd press on, and as soon as we reached the bench, she'd tell me, "Okay, let's just go a little farther ahead to that tree, and take a break." I didn't realize it then, but she was teaching me a trick that I still use to this day when I run a race - set small goals and keep pressing on to improve yourself.

By the time we finished, my legs felt like they were in overdrive - I wanted to keep running to get the restlessness out. My running buddy smiled at me and said:

"Congratulations, you just ran your first 5K."

I was blown away - I had never ran that far continuously before in my life. From then on out, I started to participate more and more in 5K events around the area, gradually improving my run time and finish place.

Although I keep doing more and more, it's that first 5K that's going to stick with me the longest, as it showed me that I can keep going, and I don't need to set limits in my mind - just goals.

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