Running a marathon to me always seemed like an impossible dream. Until I made up my mind to make the dream a reality.
The holidays are here and it's the season of dreams, a time when my greatest joy is making my friend's and family's dreams come true. While it's beautiful to give, it feels really really good to get too. Every year, I give myself a personal fitness goal that's a gift not only to myself, but ultimately to my husband and my family too. I was so excited when I made myself the promise that I would become a marathoner and scared to death of the prospect of achieving that goal. That was 2009. Today, having completed two full marathons, at 26.2 miles as well as three half marathons at 13.1 miles each over the last seven years and I've never looked back.
I was really intimidated to start running at first, but you can't be good at things that your don't try right?. It's the same advice I'd give one of my kids. I'm competitive and that's great at work, but not when it stops me from doing things that would improve every part of my life. Once I got over my ego when it came to running, I'm still working on my ego in other areas, and accepted that I wasn't going to win a marathon, I started laughing at myself and then I started running.
The other big revelation? You can always stop and walk during a run if you need to. So, armed with a little self-forgiveness and a smart run/walk training method training, method I told myself, with a wink and a smile, "all you need to do is just go a little further everyday". What makes me proudest of all the work I've put in to become a runner and a marathoner, is that my kids got the message from the time that were little girls, that time spent taking care of yourself and testing your limits is a daily essential, just like food and water or brushing your teeth.
As a woman, I think we owe it to ourselves to challenge our bodies in positive healthy ways through fitness. For me, exercising for endurance and stamina, as opposed to focusing on size and shape, counteracts a lot of the negative or confusing media messages and self-deprecating thoughts that I find come my way.
Running is a great sport for busy women juggling family, work and a budget. No equipment. No schedule. No fees. It's such a thrill to enter a group race. Most people participate in anything from 3k fun runs up to marathons in an effort to raise money and awareness to support a charity that's meaningful to them in some way.
You know the old saying, "Charity begins at home"... but I don't think it's the charities that get the most out the people who run on the organization's behalf. It's the people just like me, and maybe you too, who thought they could never run so far or cross the finish line, but they reach their goal through bettering themselves and in turn inspiring the people they love helping everyone around them.
Maybe make this your year to get your run on and maybe by next year you'll be in your first marathon. What do you think?
Story x Veronica Webb Photos x Federica Photography Styling x Chad Tucker
Sneakers x Nike / Bandier
Windbreaker x Nike
Leggings x Noli Yoga / Bandier
Tank Top x Lululemon
Shirt x Bandier
Clutch x Joanna Maxham
Sweater x En Avance x Maison de Pappillion