I was NOT opposed to races or running before, but I was most definitely not a participator. I have always tried to apply cardio to my workouts, but since I have always been weak at it, I was never motivated to push through that weakness.
A few months ago I had made a lot of decisions in regards to my goals and my life. I decided to make changes and make challenges for myself. One of which, was to develop a love for running (if it was possible.) So I started a training schedule and was running 5 days a week at first. I had been considering entering a race, but I considered a small one. Like a fun run, or a 5k, but then a best friend of mine approached me about my goal. This was our conversation:
Friend: "Let's do the race together and sign up for the 10k."
Me: "I don't know... I don't know if I'll be able to hack out 6.2 miles by the time of the race! I don't know if this is a reasonable goal to make!"
Friend:(with much emotion and tears welling up) "Colby, the only thing I've ever done that I consider 'cool' in my life, has been giving natural child birth. I need to accomplish something else that is 'cool' and for me this is it. I want to prove to myself that I can accomplish things that seem impossible. Not just child birth."
Me: "Well, first of all giving natural child birth is most definitely not the only thing you have done, that is 'cool,' but I don't know how to say no to that, so I'll do it, but you are gonna have to help me and motivate me every step of the way."
So that's what we did. We helped each other. We inspired each other. We pushed each other. And when race day came, neither of us had run 6.2 miles non stop yet, but that was our one and only goal. We didn't care about our time, we only cared about running the whole thing, and finishing.
On race day, we stayed close to each other the whole time. Sometimes she'd be ahead of me, and sometimes I'd be ahead of her, but we kept eyes on each other and set little milestones along the way and always ended up side by side, offering words of encouragement.
At several points in the race we wanted to stop. Our mind was telling us to just take a break for a minute, but then a sign on the side of the trail with a picture of a little child with cancer would pop up next to us and we both had the thought that, "At least my body is even healthy enough to do this. Some people don't even have a body that is strong enough to run, so I'm gonna make the most out of this healthy body and keep going. How can I quit when I know there are people out there who would give anything to do what I'm doing?"
It was an emotional experience. I never fully understood the magnitude of charity races until I raced one. It is an incredible experience to say the least.
After crossing that finish line I was on a proud-high the rest of the day. And it felt good to be proud of myself because to be honest, it had been a while.
If I can offer any motivation, or inspiration to those who think you can't do something hard. I'm telling you, YOU CAN. Not only will you feel proud and happy with yourself. Your attitude on life will change forever. If you have never participated in a race, I urge you to do so, not just to improve your cardio, but to improve your mind, your emotions, your spirit, your attitude, and to improve YOU!
Reach for the impossible and then when you reach it, keep going.
My support group: my sister Emma, my son Ryder, and my daughter Lainey