Strong Together Fall 2014—Final Thoughts - MetroFamily Magazine
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Strong Together Fall 2014—Final Thoughts

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Our Strong Together Fall 2014 team has completed eight weeks of fellowship and training! We are thrilled with how far everyone has come. If our bloggers are any indication of the group as a whole, we can see that the Strong Together experience will go on long after the Susan G. Komen Oklahoma Race for the Cure this weekend. 

We asked our bloggers this week to discuss what they are most proud of concerning the progress they made during the eight weeks of training. See their responses below.

From Georgeanna: Here we are! Eight weeks in and the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure is here. I have loved running more often as I have prepared for the race. I never knew I would enjoy running as much as I do now.

I have really loved seeing the posts in our Facebook group after the morning meet-ups on Saturdays. I hate that I live too far away to make it to those, because the camaraderie and support is what make this type of experience so great. I hope that you have each found someone to continue running with after the race.  

My favorite moment from the last few weeks was while I was visiting my family in Nashville. I stuck to my workout schedule, even though I was out of town, which is not always easy to do. Nashville has a really great Greenway system that has paved trails that run through a huge portion of the city.  

On the Saturday of my visit, I hit the Greenway trails, and decided to push myself and see just how far I could run. I have been running on intervals and it was getting easier to go farther. On that particular morning, I did NINE miles! I couldn’t believe it! I have always thought I would never be able to do more than three or four miles. And there I was, on a lovely Saturday morning, in a beautiful city, running nine miles!

Having come from being so out of shape just over a year ago, I was amazed and super proud of myself. I remember the first time I ran a full mile unbroken. It was last September. It took me over 13 minutes, but I did it! And now, I am pushing myself and running farther than I ever thought possible for me. I hope that you have each had those moments during this process. We are all stronger than we know. We can all achieve more than we believe we can.  

As I lost weight and got fit, people would ask me if I wanted to run a marathon or a half marathon and I always said “No way.” But after these eight weeks and my newfound enjoyment of running, I have decided to run the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. I can hardly believe that I even want to, but I do! I think I thought it would be too hard, and something I could never do. But now, after having been a part of Strong Together, I am certain I can do it. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone at the Susan G. Komen OKC Race for the Cure, and I will certainly be thinking about you all as I train for the half marathon. Let’s do this!

From Christina: “I’m Not Who I Was” is a song by contemporary Christian artist, Brandon Heath. I’ve heard him describe the song and its meaning to a radio audience. It was written for his stepmother, but he mentions that the song is about how there are people in our lives who we want to go back to and forgive or ask for forgiveness because we’re not who we once were. This song resonates with me right now as I think about what I am most proud of in the past eight weeks of Strong Together training.   

I wrote a bit about my progress and things I was proud of last week. Today, I am most proud of my commitment to training. In the last two weeks, I haven’t been as consistent as I had hoped I would be, but I haven’t thrown in the towel, either. The fact that last weekend I still got up early on Saturday morning and did three miles while I was in Indianapolis visiting friends is something that I wouldn’t have imagined I would do eight weeks ago. If I could continue working out while I’m out of town with no accountability check from fellow Strong Together or runhers members, I am confident I can continue after this session of Strong Together ends. I also have developed friendships with women who can serve as a workout network that I hope will continue after this session. Finally, a few days ago a friend invited me to sign up for the Go Girl Run Half Marathon which takes place in March 2015. I couldn’t come up with a reason (excuse) not to say “yes,” so I now have incentive to keep moving forward with improving my fitness.   

While I still have a ways to go to reach some of my personal fitness goals, I would like to say to the me who tentatively began this eight week journey “I’m not who I was!” In the eight weeks that I have passed, I have forgiven myself for the feelings of guilt that I had about not working on getting fit sooner. I have forgiven myself for the many times I made excuses for or justified my inactivity. I really like who I’m becoming. 

From Shannon: Proudest moments? That is a tough question, but I would have to say perseverance. To continue on the running journey on days when you just want to quit, or just don't feel well. This past week, I have been attacked by the Oklahoma allergies. They have caused a small setback, but I am proud to say I will not quit and I will continue to go forward. I have established good habits, and will continue to run and cross-train weekly! Remember, I love my cross-training. I am a boxer. Notice, I didn't say fighter, I just said boxer. I also will always remember how hard it was to start my fitness journey, which is the hardest part of all. I will not quit and have to start over. So I remember that, and I will press on to get faster, stronger and do my personal best! 

From Piper: I read a quote the other day that said, “There are seven days in a week and someday isn’t one of them.” This helps describe my proudest accomplishment of the progress I have made in this process. For me, this was not about how far or how fast I could run, although, I would have loved to become much faster! The process of training was more about urging myself to finally get out there and do something, even when there was no time and it didn’t make sense to add one more thing to my life. Do I think I reached my athletic peak during the last six weeks? Not hardly, but I am proud of the progress I’ve made and hope this is the start of a much longer journey to a healthier life. 

When the Strong Together journey is over, I hope I can take the things I’ve learned and continue exercising on a daily basis. As winter approaches, it becomes a lot easier to sit inside and stay warm but I know that to stay healthy and happy, doing a little exercise each day is important. I also hope to find more friends along the way who are excited about continuing the journey with me. It was so much easier being able to exercise when I knew someone was waiting on me and depending on me to complete the workout with them. I hope you have found this group to be helpful in your journey to fitness and have realized there are so many more people cheering you on then you ever dreamed of.

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