This is my year for change - for doing things I've never done before or even cared to do. I have a running list going, because, at the end of this year, I want to look back and see all the things I have accomplished. I want to be able to SEE that I haven't wasted a moment of time. I have become very tired of monotony. I want EXCITEMENT! I want to be out making memories and living life!
So far, this is what I have on my list. At the first of the year, I bought a treadmill and started walking and running several days a week, because I wanted to get my heart in shape and build up my stamina for all the exciting things I had in my mind to do. A few months ago, I was on the news talking about how the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will be affecting vacation plans for people locally. Brient and I made the decision to join in our homeschool co-op this fall for the school year, and I even signed up to teach 3 classes. While on vacation last month, I faced LOTS of my fears head on. We went spelunking (caving), and I had to face my fear of heights as well as claustrophobia. That cave was DEEP and narrow and dark and - well, you get the idea. A few weeks ago, our church had its annual Singspiration, and I played my mandolin and sang. It was the first time in YEARS that I have played and sung in front of anyone! And about 2 weeks ago, I took a chance and sent in an article to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for consideration, and they immediately wrote back and said they loved my article and wanted to publish it. WOW! And we're only about half way into the year!
Last week, I decided to add something else to my list. There was a 5K run scheduled for Saturday in town, and it was to benefit the Shelby's Wish foundation. This group provides funds to local hospitals to make improvements to the pediatric floors by way of adding a play room for hospitalized children, and it also provides a stuffed bear for each child that is admitted to the hospital. It was founded in memory of a little girl, Shelby, who died at the age of 8. It is a great organization. So, I decided to enter the race. This would be my first 5K, and I was super excited! But I didn't want to do it alone, so I asked my mom to join me. The race was so much fun! It was in the evening, and after the sun went behind the trees, the breeze began to blow and the night was just beautiful. I will admit, I didn't even come close to running the whole thing! I am lucky if I can run an entire mile without stopping, let alone 5K. But we finished, and we had a great time!
After all the fun of that evening, I just couldn't stop thinking about it and wishing I could get out there and run again! And then, a very sweet friend told me about another run this weekend. YAY! I was so excited about getting out there again, I could hardly wait.
So this morning, bright and early, I was up in town getting ready to run my second 5K. Let me just say, I was very misled to think that, by running at 8:00 in the morning, it wouldn't be too hot. In the Deep South, it's hot even at that time!! This race was to benefit the Jake Owen Raborn foundation. It was started in memory of a boy who died of a rare childhood cancer, and the money that this group raises goes to give financial and emotional support to families dealing with pediatric cancer. (I have to tell you, I have watched the physical, mental, emotional, and financial effects of adult cancer, and it's not fun! No child or their family should ever have to deal with that!) And so, when the race started at 8:00, I was ready to go! It was for a good cause, and I was ready for more fun!
This race was much harder than the first one I did last week. The sun was pounding down, and there was only a little shade. However, even in the heat, I managed to shave 5 whole minutes off of my average time. Usually, on my treadmill, it takes me about 45 minutes to walk and run 3 miles. And today, it only took me 40 minutes!! (Now, for those of you who can do it in a lot less time, just don't tell me!) By the time the race was over, I was drenched and I felt like I was about to pass out! But I went into Smoothie King, and picked up my free small smoothie that they were giving away to all race contestants. They gave out strawberry banana, and it was fantastic!! That really helped perk me back up and get me going. After the prizes were handed out, none of which went to me, I headed for home. It was a great race.
Just to give you a little background history here, I have never EVER liked to run! EVER! And I really HATE to sweat! Those 2 things are what caused me to get into the poor shape I was in. Now for those of you who know me personally, you would probably say something like, "You're not overweight." But being overweight and being out of shape are 2 totally different things. I have always eaten pretty healthy, and so I have never been very big. But by living a sedentary lifestyle in the air conditioning, I had allowed my heart and lungs to get so weak that I could barely go shopping without having to take several breaks. I would just get so tired, I would need to go home and take a nap. I had no stamina at all! And that was frustrating to me, because there were things I wanted to do, but I knew I couldn't because it would make me too tired. I'd like to take my kids to Disney World one day, but I always knew it would be a waste of money. I'd spend most of the time in the hotel napping, because I would be too worn out to do any more. And I was completely tired of living like that. Which is why I bought my treadmill in January. And for the first few weeks of walking and running on it, I was completely worn out! But after I kept up with it for awhile, I could feel myself getting stronger. I could tell my heart and lungs were getting in shape. And when we went on vacation last month, I was able to out walk Brient and the kids!!! YAY! And much to my surprise, I actually enjoy walking and running and getting sweaty and stinky! It feels yuck at the time, but I know I'm going to be able to clean up right after I'm done. So I have come to a point now where I love to run! I look forward to it, and I'm disappointed if I don't have time to get in a run. Crazy!
So all in all, this year has been pretty great. I have done LOTS of things that I have never done before, and even some things that I didn't really think I liked. But turns out, I tried it, and I really DO like running! So come September, I'll be running in The Race for the Cure 5K! And I can't wait!! (No, there is no way I'm running any more races before September. Summers in the Deep South are BRUTAL! I'm waiting on cooler weather!)