Your fitness journey may involve some of the same races and accomplishments as mine. My hope for you is that reading what I’ve done will steer your journey into overdrive. The purpose is not to brag or boast…simply to illustrate and explain why I love to workout!!
My parents were not healthy people, eating red meat, smoking and drinking daily. They had me late in life with a 10 year gap between me and my sister. I like to think of myself as a “blessing” instead of a mistake. Anyway, I started swimming competitively at age 5 and we traveled for several years to swim meets. When my mom became paralyzed at age 10, I stopped swimming. I tried softball at age 13 but team sports were not my strong suit. I was athletic but uncoordinated. I swam for four years in high school and was the captain of the varsity team my senior year. I joined the crew (rowing) team at Loyola Marymount University during my freshman year. The workouts were intense, involved lots of running which wasn’t my strong point but I improved significantly during the year. I learned during my freshman year the power of our bodies. I figured out I could become faster and stronger if I trained seriously. My nutrition at that point was adequate. I drank too often, ate vegetables occasionally and didn’t realize the power of food. I ran out of money my sophmore year, changed schools and got 2 jobs. I worked out at a local gym when I could squeeze it in. I got to a point where I was going through the motions but never experiencing any real gains. I went to the gym and did my three sets of 10 of this exercise and that exercise. I used the life cycles but didn’t really challenge myself and I ran but I avoided hills and speed.
I got serious about running after I was married. My friend Vicki is an amazing athlete. She went to Olympic trials twice for swimming and was a fitness goddess..working out 5 days a week. She was already a great runner and helped me train for my 1st ½ marathon. I came to love slow distance running. It helped me eat better because I knew I had to fuel my body, hydrate and get ready for the next workout. I started incorporating sprints, and speed training into my runs during the police academy. I improved my running time from a 10 minute mile to a 7.5 min mile. It opened my eyes to the potential that our bodies hold. We can train it to accomplish amazing things!
I detailed the loss of my baby weight in a previous article you can find here….. I started to experience back and hip problems from my training and it was affecting my ability to deal with my three kids and all the laundry and grocery shopping they and my husband need. I found functional fitness which has helped me overcome all back and hip pains and helped me to really push myself to new heights by setting higher goals and not being afraid to try things I previously thought ridiculous -like a middle aged mother of three snapping out dead hang pull ups.
In total, I have run 5 half marathons, 1 full marathon with Lindsay, 5 sprint tri-athalons and lots of 5ks and 10ks. Mary and I completed the Tough Mudder (12 mile obstacle mud run) race in February 2012. We are trying to talk Lindsay into doing a Spartan Race (8 mile obstacle mud run) in January 2013.
Today, at 43 years old, I am the fittest I’ve ever been. I’ve found clean eating and its made a huge difference in my energy levels, exercise abilities, and has improved my life. My allergies are even gone. I’m loving this body and the journey we are enjoying. I’m still working on my goal of 5 pull-ups, three minute 800′s and bicep curling 30 pounds. Mary and Lindsay are doing a tri-athalon in October which is sounding like more and more fun. Cycling is my weak link…ugh, probably time to steer my journey atop a bike!