Evolution of a Walk

I’m wallowing this weekend in an upper respiratory nightmare. I had high hopes of getting to the gym this morning, but I didn’t want to be found unconscious beneath a machine, nor did I think anyone wanted what I’ve got. So I invited my husband, who’s suffering the same malady, to join me for a gentle walk on a most beautiful day.

The weather was unseasonably warm for a February morning in Minnesota, so fitness plan B turned out to be the perfect choice. It’s amazing what fresh air can do to restore a person’s head, heart and health.

The thawing warmth, combined with the playful puddles and joyfully singing birds put me in a place of reflection. As we worked toward completing our leisurely 3.5 mile stroll, I considered the evolution of my perspective toward walking.

Here’s what I mean. As I thought back to the time before my weight loss, I remember feeling very differently…like back in 2011 when I didn’t consider shoveling a great workout, it was simply a chore. And if someone had asked me to take a walk after that, I would’ve been too exhausted.

About this same time in 2012…winter camp at my unhealthiest, should someone have invited me to walk, I would’ve recommended they dial 911 before we begin…not. even. kidding.

Friends, here’s where things get exciting because a few months after this picture, I set off on my healthy lifestyle journey and things began to change dramatically! About this same time in 2013, if you had asked me to walk, I would have suggested we do it in the hilly woods of Oxbow Park because I had some serious training to do with around 30 pounds strapped to my back in preparation for an upcoming backpack hiking adventure.

I had lost a significant amount of weight by this same time in 2014 and was in fantastic shape, but if you had asked me to walk then, I would have had to pass. I was very busy doing nothing, or rather healing from automobile accident injuries. Dang it, one step forward, two steps back…

I behaved my butt off during that time so I could return to an active lifestyle better than ever. It took lots of patience and pep talks, but I bounced back with a force to be reckoned with! And should someone ask me around that same time in 2015 if I’d like to take a walk, I may have recommended we do it above ground because I was pretty wildly into high adventure, like swinging through the trees in Flagstaff. Guess I had something to prove to myself, huh?

By this time the following year, I had replaced the adrenaline addiction for a longer sustained endorphin high. If you had invited me to walk with you in 2016 I may have suggested a half marathon!

A lot has changed between then and now. I ran myself silly that entire year and am now taking some much needed time to restore a reluctant knee. So if any of you are interested in a calm walk of any distance, now’s the time to ask…though you may want to wait until my germ circus leaves town. A walk with Eric this morning was exactly what I needed to get my compass pointing true north again, to put into perspective how thankful I am to be back embracing a walk.

This Year I Resolve…

Friends, we are a whole week into the New Year and I didn’t want to share my 2017 plans with you until I had a more firm understanding of them myself. I’m still motivated by and working on a resolution I began a couple years back involving my Facebook friends; I’ll post an update to that one soon.

Before devising my 2017 plan, I found it integral to reflect on 2016. It will begin to make sense why…bear with me!

In hindsight, 2016 was a year I threw caution to the wind in many aspects of my life. I was tired of stereotypes running a loop in my mind, and the more I walked away from them, the freer, more alive I felt. I also noticed many ruts I’d found myself stuck in, and busted out of most throughout the course of the year with amazing family and friends along for the tumultuous ride. Here’s a photo montage sampler.

Tried some relaxing new therapies like meditating in a salt room…


And floating in a salt tank…

Chilling in a cryotherapy chamber…

Surrendering to a sports med doc and my first cortisone injection…

Cozying up to the healing benefits of a laser at physical therapy…

Taking a crack at chiropractic treatment…

I employed a new mindset when it came to some normally tense healthcare moments. In dealing with a biopsy and subsequent surgery, fear and worry were not allowed any energy. I simply chose to believe it was nothing until it was something. It’s still nothing.

I was blessed with new friendships that provided an abundance of generosity and support…  

Which encouraged me to press beyond the struggles…

 

To encourage others to accomplish new milestones…

 

To inspire others to embrace new things, gain confidence…

 

It became ingrained; inspired me to share my love of adventure and fitness within a mentoring role…

But still taking time to fulfill my venturing needs such as these…

 

And these…

 

 

I embraced holidays in new ways…traded Mother’s Day Brunch for a delicious hike…

Replaced a traditional Christmas celebration for something a bit more rejuvenating…

I guess I could sum up 2016 as just that…

REJUVENATE (verb)

  1. to make young again; restore to youthful vigor, appearance
  2. to restore to a former state; make fresh or new again

In breaking with past expectation, trying new things, planning new experiences, I’m REJUVENATED! Friends, that’s my plan for 2017…I’m throwing conventionality out the window and continuing to explore all the many wonders life has to offer!

Nothing is Impossible

Friends, it’s very hard for me to believe what blessings this past year has brought my way. Exactly one year ago this morning, I was in Honolulu starting a marathon…A MARATHON! I admit, if you had told me two years ago I’d run one, I would have told you, “Impossible!”

I’d only just begun running the year before, and never imagined in a million years I would run 26.2 miles. In one day. For fun. Yet I found myself meeting up with Rhonda and Matt, complete strangers at that time, to do exactly that!

honolulu-start

Just a few short years before, this concept was impossible. Unthinkable! Because at 246 pounds, the first few miles would’ve surely induced cardiac arrest!

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But having lost the weight, adopted healthy eating habits, a love of fitness and a wellbeing in my soul, I allowed myself to think crazy thoughts. And when certain thoughts just couldn’t be ignored, I set goals. Little by little those goals became realized dreams I never even knew I had a few short years ago.

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It took everything I had to give that day, but I knew all along it was there.

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And when it was done, I was able to say what I never thought I could…I was a Marathoner!

honolulu-medals

And better yet, with continued determination, the astounding generosity of others, despite injuries, health setbacks and mental blocks…these further impossibilities became realities:

  • Carlsbad Half Marathon, Carlsbad, CA (January)
  • Donna’s Half Marathon, Jacksonville, FL (February)
  • San Diego Half Marathon, San Diego, CA (March)
  • Beginner’s Luck Half Marathon, Henderson, NV (April)
  • La Jolla Half Marathon, La Jolla, CA (April)
  • Rockin’ Robin Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (May)
  • Med City Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (May)
  • Mammoth Lakes Half Marathon, Mammoth Lakes, CA (June)
  • Bubble Run 5K, Madison, WI (June)
  • Mini Iron Man, Many Point, MN (June)
  • MN Nuthouse 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (July)
  • RAGBRAI 420 miler, IA (July)
  • Ragnar Great River, WI/MN (August)
  • America’s Finest City Half Marathon, San Diego, CA (August)
  • Med City Fall Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (September)
  • Mankato Half Marathon, Mankato, MN (October)
  • Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, DC (October)
  • Rock’n’Roll 5K and Half Marathon, Las Vegas, NV (November)
  • Silver Lake Walk with Friends Half Marathon, Rochester, MN (December)

And to think it all started a year ago today; all of it seemingly impossible, yet…

impossible

Friends, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to…ANYTHING! Believe in yourself, your hopes, dreams and ambitions. Set multiple short and long-term goals to get yourself there. Tell yourself I’M POSSIBLE and put your Best Foot Forward; there’s no telling where we can take ourselves if we remember NOTHING is impossible!

2016 Mission Accomplished!

It has been a fantastic day of multi-tasking, and I’m so excited about that, Friends. I finished something I’ve been working all year to complete! My 2016 goal of a half marathon each month was realized today in a unique and heartwarming manner. Yesterday I told you how I intended to fit in those last 13.1 miles here at home. With several participants along for the walk, it was a blast!

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I walked 7.2777778 laps around Silver Lake with great company. As a few friends finished a lap or two, others arrived. I was thankful to have someone with me for each and every mile from beginning to end. Their presence really warmed my heart on this 30 degree day!

We shared wonderful conversations and bounced some ideas around for a new challenge or two for 2017…something I’ve been trying to figure out for weeks; but you’ll have to wait to hear about that.

So remember the part about multi-tasking? Not only did I finish my 2016 goal, I continued to chip away at my Facebook Friends Resolution…you know the one, to do something fit/active with each of my Facebook friends. I’m happy to report I marked Sherri and Marisa off my list. Thanks for your willingness to join me, Ladies!

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But the awesomeness didn’t end there, fellow FIT BFFs! I was also able to record today’s activity on my December challenge…the Advent Calendar of Activity!

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If you haven’t joined in on the fun this little calendar provides, stop by here to read about the challenge and print off your own little gift of motivation right now! It’s never to late to get with it…start today!

It feels great to have achieved my goal, but I must admit, I am tired. I plan to retire to the couch tonight. But I won’t plan to get too comfortable, because tomorrow is another opportunity to be consistent…one more way to put my Best Foot Forward!