Ditch The Diet! Eat Right. Move More. Move On!
In high school, my impression of the cross country team was this club for all the tall, skinny, pale kids. They seemed kind of odd, kind of introverted, and always looked kind of hungry. What the heck was cross country anyway? Why would you want to voluntarily just run? No ball. No hockey stick. No bases. Just run. Whatever it was, “cross country” seemed way farther than I felt like traveling on foot!
Fast forward to yesterday. 18 years (ugh, is that for real??) after graduating high school. My friend (and running-partner-in-crime) Jennie and I crossed the finish line of the Runner’s World Half Marathon. 13.1 miles of just running. No ball. No hockey stick. No bases.
Agh! Did I become one of those odd, introverted “runners” without realizing it!? Do you think I look pale?? Tall? Skinny? I mean, that’s what real runners look like, right?
Isn’t that who people want to see when they come out to cheer us on? Real runners?
If I’m gonna ask my wife to drag herself out of bed before sunrise on a Sunday, I better hope she sees some Kenyans breaking the tape (runner-speak for winning a race). That’s what real runners look like. Skinny. Muscular. Effortless. Right?
I see it a little differently.
I mean, I like to see Kenyans fly by me at 5 minutes a mile, but the real runners to me are the ones at the back of the pack. The one’s that don’t necessarily “look” like a runner. But at the same time, are way more of a runner than half the people on the course.
They’re not skinny. They’re not pale. They don’t “look” like runners.
They breathe a little heavy. They move slowly and methodically. They may seem like they have weight to lose.
These are my favorite athletes to watch in the whole race.
I get overwhelmed with how much grit and determination they have. The desire to get on this journey, one step at a time. To run right by the “runners” just as focused as the next guy.
On our run yesterday morning, I saw this girl. Running by herself. At 8am. In a half marathon. In 31 degree weather. If you go by “ideal” body weights, she could have had 100 pounds to lose. Or did she just lose 100 pounds?
She had the gear. She had the look. She was totally determined. She didn’t stop. One step at a time.
And you know what? She was killing it. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Don’t stop. Start the journey right here.
Get it girl. I’m your biggest fan right now. Silently cheering you on. Forget the “ideal” runner. The “ideal” body weight. Make a step toward the next challenge. Keep moving toward that finish line. Get it!
She was the best looking runner I saw on the whole course.
Determined. Focused. Overcoming an amazing challenge. One step at a time.
She crossed the same starting line as the Kenyans. Ran across the same finish line as the winner. Got the shirt. Got the medal. She deserves it more than most of us.
I love runners like this. They show the rest of us that anything is possible if we just try. We don’t have to try to run a half marathon, we have to try to take one step.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
This mantra is perfect for running. It’s perfect for making the choice to get healthy. Perfect for making the decision to lose weight. For good. No more yo-yo. No more diet starts Monday.
The journey begins today.
Take your first step.