This is a big one! I'm going to share a link from my BFFs over at AfterShokz because we've got some PRETTY EXCITING NEWS!
For those of you out there in the HeiferHood who aren't a fan of clickin' the links, allow me to share some of the coolest news I've ever had to share...
#SHOKZSTAR TAKEOVER: THE UNLIKELY ATHLETE
December 11, 2017
Today, we're passing the pen to AfterShokz ShokzStar Melissa Kahn. Melissa is training for the Himalayan Rush Triathlon in Nepal, also known as, "the most brutiful" (beautiful and brutal) cross country triathlon. You can follow Melissa's journey on the AfterShokz blog and by searching #iKahn on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Six years ago, mother of four Melissa Kahn had a choice: get busy living or get busy dying. Morbidly obese, sedentary and on the doorstep of multiple health crises, Melissa decided to get busy living. After losing 110 pounds, she took up running, finished her first triathlon and found her inner-athlete. She writes about her journey and connects with her global community at Run, Heifer, Run.
THE UNLIKELY ATHLETE
- by Melissa Kahn
On March 31, 2018, I will stand at the starting line in Nepal, probably totally shrouded in fog and existentialism and inner-peace, ready to start the next leg of my journey toward the fittest, healthiest self I can imagine. The training alone has been humbling. Just the thought of it inspires fear in my tiny little heart.
The very idea of boarding the plane makes me want to reach for an oxygen mask. But if I’ve learned anything through this six-year journey from a morbidly obese, depressed, insecure housewife to a fit, healthy, happier human it's that obstacles are meant to be overcome; fear is a constant companion, and old habits have to be crushed repeatedly. I’ve learned that having your tribe is the key to success because my friends, my fellow marathoners and triathletes, and everyday moms keep me going, push me to go beyond my own limits and keep me grounded. I’ve learned to lean on other people, to support other people and to learn from other people.
That’s why I’m so excited to partner with AfterShokz! I’ve been using AfterShokz headphones for quite a while now, and they have been amazing. I can run and listen to my favorite music without worrying about missing out on what’s going on around me. I get to have my music and listen to it, too. (Which is much healthier than having my cake, and eating it too!)
When I hit up the mountains of Nepal (I still can’t type that with a totally straight face), I’m taking along all my best gear and all the support of my tribe along with me. I mean, most of my friends have to stay home. My AfterShokz headphones get to come along. Those are the perks of fitting into a carry-on.
I’ve started training - working with serious professionals who are helping me build my lung capacity, learn to swim like an orca and figure out how to cycle without contemplating walking the bike every few turns of my clipped-in feet. Through all of it, I still wonder: why I am I doing this? What is my goal? What will success look like?
I always come back to the same thing: I want to push myself a little further than I pushed last time. I want to see where I can go and what I can do, when I’m not worried about what people will say and listening to that devil on my shoulder, the one who says I’m too old, too fat, or too unlikely to compete. And by sharing my journey with all of you, I want to inspire people. I want someone to see my struggles and know that if I can stick it out til the end, they can too. I want someone to NOT GIVE UP because giving up on ourselves is not an option. Ever.
My goal is first to train for this event. My next goal is to show up in Nepal, gear in hand and heart pounding inside my chest. My final goal is simple: to finish.
I’m not going for time. I’m not trying to kill it or beat anyone else or finish in the top three. I’m doing this for myself and for every other unlikely athlete out there.
Some of you might be training for your first 5k. Some of you might be thinking about a cycling class or a Zumba class or your first-ever run. Some of you might still be on the couch. But all of you, all of us, have a FINISHER inside, just waiting to be unleashed.
I’m truly honored to have an amazing group of people supporting me, cheering me on, telling me to get up off the floor and back on the bike and into the pool one more time. I’m grateful to AfterShokz for seeing the unlikely athlete in me, for supporting a mom who doesn’t have those taut muscles and chiseled cheekbones but who is still an athlete.
So…what’s next? Well, MORE of everything. More training. More blogging. More details from the suburbs of Phoenix to Nepal, where surface elevation is 827M and the water temperature is 18-20 degrees.
Yep. That’s right. I’m doing it, and I’m taking you all along with me. I’ll be blogging here at AfterShokz and on my own site, Run, Heifer, Run. You can also follow my journey by searching the hashtag #iKahn on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
I would love to hear from the #ShokzSquad. Ask questions, leave comments and please, give your best tips, advice and encouragement (use hashtag #iKahn when you do!) for this Phoenix heifer on her way across the world. #iKahn and #uKahn too!