I am Not Special

Last week a friend texted me after finishing up a run with a run club downtown. She said she was running with a girl who randomly brought my name up in conversation. The girl told her that she enjoyed reading my blog because I was easier to relate to then some of the other running bloggers she had come across. This was shortly after I posted the 'Are All Bloggers Liars' post where I shared a photo of myself beaming after hitting my first 5k goal of 37 minutes. That was less than two years ago and this past weekend I set a new 5k PR of 25:28. That is still laughable for most 'serious runners', but at an average pace of 8:12 it was genuinely unthinkable for me even just last year. As friends and readers have congratulated me on setting a new PR I've been reflecting more on what it took to get me here. I don't want new readers to stumble upon my blog, see the miles I put in every week or my pace time, and feel like that is unattainable to them.

Because, in the end, I'm really not special.

A few years ago I looked like this. {You can read about my weight ups and downs here}

Before

Fatty

I was also a chain smoker, fake food eater, and often binge drinker. Now, I'm a (predominantly) clean-eating vegetarian, personal trainer, and marathoner. I couldn't be more different than the person I was then, but at the same time I'm exactly the same. Nothing magically happened one day to give me the willpower needed to quit smoking or eating crap. I didn't wake up one morning and just start running with ease. Just two years ago I celebrated being able to run one full mile without stopping!

Workout7 I want you to know that whatever changes you want to make in your life, whatever goals you have, they are all possible. The only thing that sets me apart from those who have tried to lose weight and failed is perseverance.

Every single day I make the choice to be healthy. Actually, I make that choice multiple times a day. When I decide to workout instead of sleep in. When I decide to spend a few hours on Sunday prepping healthy meals for the week. When I suggest to friends that we catch up over a walk around downtown instead of drinks. All relatively small decisions that lead to huge results.

2014-01-04 10.20.50 HDR

Is it always easy? Hell no. Is it always worth it? Absolutely.

How many times have I regretted a workout? NONE.

How many times have I regretted skipping one? Almost every time.

When you are starting from ground zero big goals can seem insurmountable. It took me years of trying to lose weight and quit smoking before things finally started to 'click' for me. I let go of focusing so much on the future and tried to do the best I could, with what I had, and where I was. It took two years for me to lose 50 pounds, but I did it. It took one year of running 3-5x's a week for me to go from 5k to a marathon, but I did it.

IMG_7515As far as I've come I know that there is always further I could go.

And that is what makes me special.