Ditch The Diet! Eat Right. Move More. Move On!
Supposedly I cheated. I can remember it clear as day, too. I didn’t think I cheated, I just figured why not shave off a little of this daunting run? And when I say a little, I mean a little. The road came to a point and I ran across the guy’s front yard to make the point more of an arc. A small arc. I remember just running to the right of the mailbox, on the grass. I was supposed to run to the left of the mailbox, in the road.
And that was that.
I got back to the finish line. Face beat red. Mouth totally dry. Legs screaming. Gasping for air. Sweating bullets. Completely exhausted. Sure of the fact that I hated running.
It was the longest run of my life up until that point.
And I had just completed it. Thank goodness it was over!
Yeah sure, Coach Haines told us about the 4 mile run we were going to do during field hockey camp. She also gave us this great training plan. It was a printed calendar with all of the days we’d be off for summer break, and how to progress our training runs up gradually until we hit the 4 mile goal.
So Coach Haines told us about the run. Gave us the fancy calendar. Told us to meet her at the school for the 4 mile run. In August. It was June then.
Do you think I did any training?
I guess I just figured I’d gut it out come August. Running 4 miles. The longest run of my life. On blacktop. Did I mention it was in August?
You get the idea.
So I didn’t do the training. I didn’t put in the time. I wanted to cross the finish line, but didn’t want to put the time and effort into following the fancy training plan she gave us.
At any rate, there I am at the finish line. Completely spent, super relieved it was behind me. Never again in my life would I subject myself to a torture run like that. At least it was over!
Or so I thought.
School starts and all of a sudden Coach Haines calls in a small group of us (who were on the torture run with me) to talk.
She tells us that some of our teammates turned us in for cheating on the run.
I was totally shocked! I didn’t cheat! I ran on that stinking hot day on the stinking hot blacktop and crossed the stinking finish line just like everyone else! I didn’t cheat!
She tells us someone saw us cutting the point off on that one road in front of the guy’s house. She tells us she knows we ran on the grass. Made an arc. It was supposed to be a point. The 4 mile run course was measured with the point. We didn’t complete the 4 mile run. We didn’t cover the whole distance.
I was mortified. And angry. And dreading the consequence of (supposedly) cheating.
Coach Haines delivers the news:
You have to run the distance again.
All 4 miles.
This time, not on nice scenic back roads. With all of your teammates.
Nope, this time we had to run the 4 miles on the track. With just us cheaters. 16 times around. Like a freaking rat in a wheel.
The day came. I sucked it up. I ran around that track 16 times.
Still no training.
Still just as exhausting.
Still sure of the fact that I hated running.
Fast forward to last week. I was running 4 miles on my treadmill. Before work. To get my day started off on the right foot. To take care of myself before I dedicate the rest of my day to taking care of everyone else.
iPod blaring. Belt screaming. Running for my life. For energy. For health. For confidence. For my sanity.
I started to smile while I was running. All by myself. On my treadmill. At 6:45 in the morning.
Smiling! From ear to ear. While running 4 miles. Every mile. Every foot. Every step. 4 complete miles.
I was smiling because I was thinking about that 4 mile run. About Coach Haines. About not putting in the training and showing up like I deserved to cross that finish line. About getting called a cheater and having to run the distance again.
It’s funny. I was just running. And smiling. All by myself. At 6:45 in the morning.
Reflecting on how I got to this point.
On who I used to be. Who I am now. And what got me here.
This overweight out of shape cheater has come a long way.
When I cut corners, the only person I’m cheating is me.
When I don’t put in the training, the only person I’m hurting is me.
And I never want to forget that.
Sure, there are days when I want to give up. There are days that you want to give up.
Days when I want to cut corners. Days when you want to cut your workout short.
Consider looking back to get the motivation you need to move forward.
Looking back: I have lost 70 pounds through running and eating right.
Motivation to keep moving forward: I will run 70 miles this month to reflect on what a crazy, rewarding, life changing journey this has been!
If you’re curious how I’m doing, follow me on Instagram @aprilschetler where I’m counting down to 70 miles!
And a huge thanks to Chris Haines for the life lesson! :o)