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How To Turn Blocks Into Miles

So it really did happen the way it’s told in My Story.  The BMI calculator happened.  Telling my mom I was going for a run (and her laughing) happened.  My first block happened.  I walked home, spent.  All happened as described.


What I didn’t know the day I ran my first block was how that single decision would change my life forever.


Now listen, I’m not going to say that I was “nobody” and when I found running, I became “somebody” or that I would be “lost” without running.  What I will tell you is that running, or whatever fitness challenge you happen to like, is powerful stuff.


And it’s because of this “powerful stuff” that I set a goal to run 70 miles this month.  That’s right, 70 MILES (that’s a lot of blocks)!  I want to take this time to reflect on the 70 pounds I’ve lost through (mostly) running combined with a complete diet overhaul.


After all, sometimes looking back is exactly what you need to move forward.


Picking up from where My Story left off… here’s how and why I decided to run 70 miles in a month:


I decided to lose weight.  I googled quickest way to lose weight.  I laced up my shoes.  Headed out.  I ran one block.  Walked home.  The next day, I ran two blocks.  Walked home.  You know this part.


Here’s what happened next:


I got this fire in me.  Two days into my journey I ran 2 blocks.  I may have walked home, but I ran 2 blocks.  The day before I could only run 1.  Progress.  I think I’ll try this again.  I wonder how many blocks I can go?


Blocks were easy to count at first.  Small rewards.  Instant gratification.  Sure, I had weight to lose.  Sizes to drop.  But I didn’t care.  It was just about the blocks right now.  And I decided to see how much I could challenge myself.  The outcome was up to me.


2 blocks out became 2 blocks back.  I ran both ways.  4.


4 blocks out became 4 blocks back.  I ran both ways.  8.


6 blocks out became 6 blocks back.  I ran both ways.  12.


Sure, I had weight to lose.  Sizes to drop.  But I didn’t care.  It was just about the blocks right now.  And I decided to see how much I could challenge myself.  The outcome was up to me.


I joined the Y so I could mix up my routine.  They had a summer events brochure displayed in the lobby.  I grabbed one.  There was a 5k advertisement in there.


5k?  Googled that too.  3.1 miles.  3.1 MILES!?  That’s a lot of blocks!!


I wasn’t good at math, but I knew this much:  a few months back, I couldn’t run one block.  Now I was running into the teens, twenties even.  I got there by running one block at a time.


And that’s exactly how I finished my first 5k at the Y.  One block at a time.


Sure, I had weight to lose.  Sizes to drop.  But I didn’t care.  It was just about the blocks right now.  It was about crossing the finish line at a 5k and saying I did it.


I was by no means “breaking the tape” (runner lingo for winning the race), but I was winning my race.  The journey to lose weight.  To feel better about myself.  To know that I could accomplish the goal.  To explore this new world of confidence.


I decided all this.  To challenge myself.  The outcome was up to me.


Blocks turned into a 5k.  Done.    I felt so proud of my accomplishment


Another newspaper.  Another ad.  This time for a 5 miler.  5 miles was a lot different than 5 kilometers!


One block at a time.  I can do this.  All I have to do is run one block.  Then another.  One foot in front of the other, one block at a time.  Forget the 5 mile finish line.  Just get to the next block.  I can do this.  I decided to sign up.


Blocks turned into a 5 miler.  Done.  I felt like superwoman


Do I even dare attempt a 10 miler?  The Broad Street Run?  Potentially the biggest 10 miler on the east coast?  That was the next ad I saw.  I mean, 10 miles.  That’s freaking far!?  But so was a block.  One block was far.  And now look.  I signed up.  I decided to tackle the distance and I signed up.


Blocks turned into a 10 miler.  Done.  I felt like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.


My favorite place on earth is Long Beach Island.  Always was, always will be.  And those crazy skinny, pale people have been running the length of the island for years.  18 miles.  18 MILES!  From one end to the other.  In one straight shot.  Literally one side of the island to the other feels like traveling from one end of the universe to the other.  But so did one block.  So did setting out on a mission to lose the weight.  I signed up.  I decided to run the daunting LBI 18Miler.  I decided I’d get there one step, one foot, one block, one mile at a time.  And I did.


Blocks turned into an 18 miler.  Done.  I realized my mind is the most integral part to my weight loss and fitness success.


I figured the pinnacle of a running journey would be a marathon.  A FULL MARATHON!  26.2 miles on my little (alright, big) feet.  One step, one foot, one block, one mile at a time.  The ultimate journey.  The ultimate mission to accomplish.  Losing weight was the ultimate journey too.  Losing weight was my life’s mission to accomplish at that point.  As long as I can run one block, I can do this.  One block turned into two.  Two turned into four.  I can do this.  I signed up.  I decided to tackle the distance.


Blocks turned into a full marathon.  26.2 miles.  Done.  I realized that the only thing that will ever stop me from reaching a goal is me.  If I decide to get there, one block, one step, one decision at a time, I can.  And I will.



Me running up the “Rocky” steps after finishing the Philadelphia Marathon!



Now listen.  My point of this story is not to toot my own horn.  That’s my absolute last goal in putting this out there.


My goal in sharing this is to show you that it’s possible.  Anything is possible.


Losing weight.  Getting in shape.  Accomplishing a challenge.  It’s all possible.


Start with one step.  One foot.  One block.  You got this.


As I run my 70 miles this month, I’m thinking about how far I’ve come.  How the blocks turned into miles.  How my decision to run one block changed my life forever.  How losing 70 pounds is a side show compared to the incredible pride and self-confidence I’ve gained from making one decision.  To run one block.


I decided I was worth it.


Make the decision that you’re worth it.


And I’ll be cheering for you  :o)









11 comments on “How To Turn Blocks Into Miles

  1. crazyphatmommy
    January 12, 2016

    I love this!!! It’s so true. For me it has been minutes on the treadmill. 1 minute seemed impossible at the start and now I’m 6-8 minutes of straight running. It’s amazing how the mind works when you break things down into acehivable steps. I will be running my first 1Ok next month and at first I was scared that I was pushing to hard. I’ve only ever done 5k, but then I though the same as you, just one step at a time, one minute at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • aschetler
      January 13, 2016

      Wow that is just awesome! It really is amazing what we can do if we just decide to try. I remember my first 5k felt like an eternity!! I’m sure you did too. Now look at you! A 10k next month!? That’s awesome!!!!! Thanks for reading, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet
    January 13, 2016

    Very inspiring.
    Thank you for sharing because it proves that if the likes of you and I can do it then anyone can.
    This story even inspired me to continue with my running training even though I have aches and pains from yesterday…!

    Liked by 1 person

    • aschetler
      January 13, 2016

      Great!! What I am trying to accomplish in sharing this is that anyone can win their own race… It’s never going to be easy and without aches and pains, but man will it be worth it!! Thanks for reading as you always do!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet
        January 13, 2016

        Pleasure and you made your point very well proving that anyone can do the things we do. I am still learning but learning I AM so as I will get better. I was going to run today but if I am honest I honestly did not have time in my schedule and my knee was really rather tender to say the least after a session yesterday. Don’t want to push it too much in one go…!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Joyce
    January 13, 2016

    Woohoo YOU and here’s to 70! The only way we stretch ourselves is to set a goal and try with all we’ve got. WTG!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Judy Schetler
    January 13, 2016

    Great post, April. 

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie Benson
    January 15, 2016

    Congratulations!! What an incredible journey to that finish line!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • aschetler
      January 15, 2016

      Yes it was!! I still feel like I’m on it actually… Running is still an effort and it’s still a mind game to me… But I’m up for the challenge. :o)


  6. Pingback: What I Want to be When I Grow Up | Eat A Cheeseburger

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This entry was posted on January 12, 2016 by in weight loss.

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About Me

Hi! I'm April - a Dietitian on a mission to help people ditch the diets, eat right and move more! Check out MY STORY to see what fuels my passion to help people!

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