The Olympics sparked an interesting debate between myself and my husband this past week. Someone asked us, “If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would you choose?”
My immediate response?
My husband’s response?
Absolutely no hesitation by either of us. And so the debate began. My husband said he would want to be the fastest runner in the world – and apparently winning the 100m at the Olympics makes this so. I would want to be the fastest too – but in a sport that involves endurance, fortitude and mental toughness. Although he would probably argue that winning the 100m requires those things too.
He mentioned that there is no room for error in the 100 meters. A glitch at the starting line could mean you lose the race. But in a marathon, you have time to correct mistakes. On the other side, there is a lot more time for mistakes to be made.
It’s interesting that this debate is a tiny glimpse into who we are as runners. I’m all about distance. For me, it’s not always about how fast I run (although I do love a PR like anyone else!) but it’s more about how far I run.
My husband is all about speed. Just this morning he took off on his run and I said to him, “Run fast!” He responded, “Is there any other way?” He has no interest in running long distances – a 5k is plenty long for him. But you better believe he’s aiming to cross that finish line first.
So now I’m curious…what would your answer to the question be?
If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would it be? And what does your answer say about you?
Every once in a while, something comes along that touches your heart in a way you never felt possible. Maybe it’s because I recently found out that I’m pregnant with a girl this time around, but when I heard about Headbands of Hope, I immediately knew I had to help.
Last week, Jessica emailed me to tell me about this organization she started last year after an internship with Make a Wish Foundation. She got to know some young girls who had lost their hair as a result of the aggressive chemo treatments they had to undergo. She realized that headbands would be the perfect way to for these girls to keep their feminine identity and have a constant reminder that they’re not alone. Girls just like Tori, who is fighting neuroblastoma.
Jessica started Headbands of Hope to help provide hope for all girls who are fighting childhood cancer – one headband at a time. Not only does $1 from each purchase go to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for childhood cancer research, but everytime you buy a headband – another one is given to a girl touched by cancer. (Click to keep reading!) Read more
A friend of mine posted this on Twitter last night:
A dream doesn’t have to be BIG to be a big dream. Big dreams come in all sizes
And it got me thinking about dreams.
I once dreamed I would become a pediatric oncologist. Then I realized math and science weren’t my forte and headed toward the law degree I now have. I dreamed about traveling the world – and have had some pretty amazing experiences realizing that dream. I dreamed about moving back to my hometown and becoming the Executive Director of an amazing non-profit – and that dream has come true.
On my fitness journey, I’ve had a few dreams too. I dreamed about doing a sprint triathlon.
I dreamed about running a half marathon.
I still dream about running a sub 30 minute 5k.
Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant and am “sitting on the sidelines” for the time being, but I really haven’t been thinking about big dreams lately.
Maybe it’s because part of me is afraid that I have achieved all this “wannabe athlete” is capable of achieving. Maybe I should leave the “big dreams” to others more athletic, more dedicated than me.
But then I remember that if I had that mentality when I started this journey, I still wouldn’t be able to run a mile. I wouldn’t know the thrill of crossing the finish line of my first half marathon. I wouldn’t know that I really am so much stronger than I thought I could be.
So maybe…just maybe…it’s time to dream big again.
What is your BIG dream?
I know that for many of you who read Fitness Magazine, running a 10 minute mile is no big deal. In fact, you may be like my husband who says it is physically painful for him to run as slow as I run.
So on behalf of all the 10+ minute mile runners out there, I have a few things I’d like to tell the rest of the world.
1. Yes, we ARE running.
It’s true. You may be able to walk as fast as we are running. It may look like a slow jog to you, but we are giving it all we’ve got. Please do not insult us by telling us we are not really running. We are giving it everything we’ve got.
2. It is OUR race too.
At a recent 10k race, we ran on roads that had to have some level of vehicle access. The volunteers did an awesome job of directing traffic. The drivers, however, weren’t so kind. I actually had a UPS driver honking at us, tell us to stop so he could get through. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You know there is a race going on! I turned and yelled at him, “I am having the best 10k of my life! PLEASE do not do this!” Less than half a mile from the finish line, a volunteer directed a car to cross across the road in a gap in front of me. It would have been just fine – except that the car behind him went too, blocking my access to the road. I got SO mad. I ran around the car, smacking it with my hand as I went past. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t believe that I had run over 5.5 miles without walking but that car tried to get in my way. It was as though I wasn’t even racing. As if I didn’t matter.
True, I may not have been racing against others in the race itself. The first place runner had long since finished. But I was in a race – against myself. Against the voices in my head telling me it would be easier to walk. Against those feelings of self-doubt. Of not feeling good enough. And you know what? I won that race!
3. We can use some encouragement too.
Sometimes it’s easy to cheer for the people running a ridiculous 5:20 mile on the race course. And yes, I’m sure they appreciate the cheers too. But please save some for those runners gutting out a 12 minute mile.
You don’t know their battle – what they have overcome. You may be tired of cheering by the time we pass by a half hour later, but please muster up a cheer. You never know how much your encouragement might mean to someone!
Any other 10+ Minute Mile Runners have something you’d like people to know? Please share!
Callie, 29, is a working mom in Venice, Florida who blogs about her journey to a healthier lifestyle and hopes to inspire a few other “wannabe athletes” along the way. You can follow her on Twitter at @AthleteWannabe or on Facebook at /TheWannabeAthlete.
As a working mom of a one year old (with another on the way!), I have discovered that “me time” is at a premium. I love my job as the Executive Director of a non-profit, but my workload isn’t exactly conducive for stealing away for a midday workout at the gym. My son “the Mini Athlete” is an early riser and that also means he goes to bed pretty early – between 7 and 8pm. Gone are the days of heading to the gym right after work – I want to soak up every moment with my little one before he’s asleep! So that leaves me with the obvious question…when do working moms workout?
I know I’m not alone in this. Thousands upon thousands of competitive runners, yogis and amateur triathletes also juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and a full-time job. Here is some of the best advice I have received:
1. Find Community
When I first went back to work nine weeks after having my son, I felt pretty alone as I navigated my new identity as a working mom. I quickly realized I couldn’t go at it alone. I found a wonderfully encouraging group of moms in the area where I lived at the time – the IRunMommies in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to meeting twice weekly to run – once on Tuesday evenings and again on Saturday mornings – the group actively participates in a Facebook group where you can always find another busy mom looking to squeeze in a run. I highly recommend finding a group like this – or if you don’t have one in your area, start one! Another great place to find community online is through Twitter or blogs. I cannot tell you the encouragement I have received from other moms in those places!
2. Establish a Schedule Read more