#MondaysWithMelissa on "WHY 13.1?"

Happy Monday, heifers! Today's question comes from Kelly, via Twitter.  Kelly wanted to know what's a race distance I want to complete, but I haven't, and why haven't I completed it?

This is really a great question.  I talk about it in my video, obviously - but let's break this down. This was me, most of my adult life: 

Me, at various stages of my adult life

Me, at various stages of my adult life

I was not-so-blissfully unaware of my own inability to do MANY things, running one of them. Actually I never even WANTED to run, even after I lost 110 pounds. It never occurred to me to start running until a friend challenged me to a "little" 13.1 mile race a few years ago.  It was rough going, even WITH training.  Can't lie.  It beat me up, that first 13.1.

I would LOVE nothing more than to say I've run a full 26.2.  But realistically, I gotta face the forlorn twangy country music.

I abused my body for almost 40 years.  I ate things that would eventually kill me if I wouldn't have stopped.  I was sedentary, getting up only to rummage around for snacks or to chase the occasional toddler that was out of reach.  I was lazy.  It's not self-loathing, heifers. It's just the facts.  I look back and while I am not proud of how I treated my body - I'm proud now of how I've recovered the health I was missing for so long. I'm also proud of the fitness journey I continue down, every single day.  It's like paying rent on your own fitness.  It's a conscious decision, every single hour of every single day for me.  That's how it will always be. And I'm ok with that. 

I run 13.1 in about 3 hours.  I'm slower than a snail in mud.  Truly.  I run/walk it all the way in, because 13.1 is 13.1 no matter how you get there. Am I proud of that? ABSO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY. Why? Because I did something. I got up off the couch one day, and made a positive change in my life.  I decided to be a better example for my kids, who take notes on what I do, how I do it, and silently emulate me.  Nothing is worse than 4 little people, staring back at you, mimicking your own bad habits.  It's like looking into a mirror of all your bad habits ... and it's terrifying.

So many people struggle with "doing" part. The pulling of the proverbial trigger. It took me YEARS and YEARS of thinking about how overweight and out of shape I was before I got up off the couch, stood up for my own health, and did something about it.

Not really sure why.  Maybe I was lazy. Maybe I was in denial.  Maybe I was apathetic even towards myself.  Don't really know. But one day, that all changed.  And it can change for YOU too.  There's no diet pill, as we've talked about many times before. There's nothing magical about it. No Keebler Elves show up, lighting the path for you with magical calorie-free fluorescent fudge stripes.  (that WOULD be cool though, dontcha think?)

You just have to make up your mind to DO it. And then you gotta get to doing it.

Simple as that.  Simple, and complex. It's hard. Losing weight was tough - but maintaining it is even tougher for me.  That's where running comes in.  13.1 is a great distance for me to use as a 'goal' in my training.  I actually never train up to more than 10 miles, because, my body is 9234 years old in dog-years.  (HUH?) All those years of abuse show up, in every step I take. I envy those of y'all whose runs are effortless. Those of you who say "I had an easy 6 mile run today!" Those words have never graced my lips because I fight for every step.  But I love the struggle.

It reminds me to not take anything for granted anymore.  The struggle reminds me that even though I was unkind to my body for so long, it still loves me back. It loves me enough to carry me those 13.1 painful miles, and it loves me enough to remind me when it needs attention (hello, massage therapy!!!).

13.1 is MY magical distance. because at the end, when I cross that beautiful finish line, I know that I worked so hard for each of those miles.  Just like each of you do.  Whether it's a 5k, half marathon, full, or ultra- we are all RUNNERS.  We can stand back in amazement that our body will allow us to do this, and I for one, appreciate every single, painful step. It's a great reminder to think of running as a metaphor for life (I know, I say that a lot, are y'all tired of that??). But it's true - one foot in front of the other, repeat.  That's it.  Your body WILL go where your mind leads it.  So be strong in your thoughts, in your self-confidence, and be steadfast in your training knowing that if you put in the time to train both your body and your mind...


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