How are you all feeling after your first week of Strong Together? We hope you've pushed yourself to be a little more active. If you missed the introduction to our bloggers, get to know them here. For even more encouragement, visit our Strong Together homepage to see archives of photos and articles from previous seasons.
This week, we asked our bloggers to tell us a little bit about their motivation for starting Strong Together. Here are their responses.
After losing 165 pounds on Extreme Weight Loss, my goal is to keep it off! Joining groups like Strong Together give me accountability and keep me motivated.
Weighing 315 pounds, I couldn't run for 30 seconds without being completely winded and worn out. Over time, my stamina got better, but I never felt like a great runner. I still may not be a great runner, but I have learned to love it.
I celebrated when I could run three miles without stopping and this past fall, I even ran/walked a half marathon. After the cold of winter and not running much, Strong Together has given me a new motivation to get back on the sidewalks and run! I love the feeling of running and how it always clears my head.
I encourage each of you, no matter what your fitness level is, to find something you love about running. I have never felt worse for having gone on a run or a walk. It's so rewarding. I hope you find the same reward that I have when you get out there.
Don't worry about how fast you are, or even if you walk every step and never run. Just enjoy the process and be proud for investing time in yourself!
“Who is she?” I silently asked myself. “She’s baaaad!”
She glistened under a glowing Tahitian sun in multi-colored bikinis, cutoff shorts and not much else. She moved with such confidence and joy the locals couldn’t help but notice.
She was me. And baaaad meant good.
That was May 2010. A date I time traveled back to while watching my honeymoon video in beautiful Bora Bora. I cracked coconuts with toned arms. Kneeled down to feed friendly stingrays on strong, slender legs. I dipped my kayak through the still waters with a lean back and strong shoulders. In HD.
Fast forward to today. My post-pregnancy body isn’t all it can be. It would be easy to become obsessed with getting that honeymoon body back. Instead, I imagine how I can take her best and the best of my current body and marry them. The current version, though not as slim, is stronger, wiser and more resilient. For the past two years, it has nurtured an embryo into a 20-pound toddler.
I joined Strong Together to re-commit to making time for my health and fitness, guilt-and-excuse-free, to meet local moms who will hold me accountable and to model an active lifestyle for my daughter, Parker.
During the first six months after Parker’s birth, which included countless 24-hour, on-demand breastfeeding sessions and exhaustion due to sleep deprivation, it was my desire to work out consistently. However, when I had a rare free hour, a workout just couldn’t compete with my number one postpartum craving — zzz’s. Deep, uninterrupted, peaceful zzz’s. Day after day, my fitness goals finished last. Now, I’m declaring an end to coming in last place. I am learning my responsibilities must include my needs at the top rather than the bottom of the list.
As Parker started to sprout last summer, I challenged myself to work out for 100 consecutive days just to see if I could do it and what the results would be. I was very proud that I didn’t miss one day despite all the creative excuses I could have used. Completing the challenge taught me that working out should be like brushing my teeth or washing my hands—skipping out on it cheats me out of valuable benefits and puts me at risk for unhealthy consequences.
Joining Strong Together is a bold move for me. I avoid treadmills when I visit the gym. I have never run a 5K. I’m not jumping for joy about running outdoors in Oklahoma City’s schizophrenic weather. However, I love a well-organized, thoughtful plan. I’m looking forward to completing runhers’ 5K sofa2success training program with a group of local mommies who will encourage me and hold me accountable. And I have new running shoes!
The most important motivation for joining Strong Together is rooted in my desire to show Parker how rewarding living an active lifestyle can be. I want her to grow up with rich experiences that involve exercise and outdoor play with friends and family. Therefore, she needs to see her mom working out, running 5K’s, riding her bike, taking walks, swimming, practicing her downward dog and doing other activities to challenge herself physically.
It’s no coincidence that one of my fondest memories of my mom and me is an active one. Mom and I regularly competed in the three-legged mother-daughter races during our annual family picnics. During those special moments, we both were so proud of ourselves and each other. I felt like we could accomplish anything. We were side-by-side, wobbling to the finish line together. I hope to create the same memories with Parker. It’s a scary thought, but soon she’ll be old enough to run in our first three-legged mother-daughter race. And if I am blessed, my husband will capture it on video. In HD.
Courtney's photo courtesy of AmberMichelle Photography copyright 2015
I have a number of motivations for participating in Strong Together. My first is a desire to stay in shape and be an example of an active and healthy lifestyle to my kids. I participated in Strong Together last fall and decided to run with my kids instead of running in the mornings by myself. I ran with my dad as a child and it has helped shape my active lifestyle. I hope to do the same for my kids.
Second, as a mother of two it can be hard to make time for myself and exercise. Strong Together helps me find the motivation to continue making running a priority. The emails are a good reminder to make time for exercise as I am planning my week on Sunday and the Facebook group doesn't let me forget the rest of the week.
Third, I love the running program, Sofa2Sucess, provided by runhers. I have run off and on my entire life but I stopped about eight years ago. I was excited to start again last fall when I discovered Strong Together but I was not looking forward to the pain. I have found it much easier to make the transition back into running using a set program. There are built-in easy days and I saw progress even though there was some pain. Plus, I love that I don't have to decide how far to run. One less thing to worry about.
I look forward to running/walking together in the coming weeks.
Growing up I was never very athletic. Exercise wasn't a part of my life until I started walking the dog every evening after dinner. Then one night I was in a hurry to get back from my walk (probably to catch something on TV) and decided to try jogging a bit. To my surprise I was able to run all the way around my neighborhood! A few days later I saw a sign for the Redbud Classic 5K hanging in a restaurant window. Back then, one of the events was a one-mile run. Running a race was absolutely outside of my comfort zone but I signed up anyway.
Since that first one-mile race I've reached some awesome milestones including completing several half marathons. One in the freezing hail in Oklahoma City, another along historical streets in New Orleans and through old railway tunnels in the Nevada desert. However, it has been over two years since I completed my last half marathon. I’ve become a steady 5K runner but still have bigger goals. I’m not ready to say the Memorial Marathon is something I used to do. I need to prove to myself that I can still run the distance by participating in the half marathon this spring.
We hope all our Strong Together participants will head to our closed Facebook group to tell us what motivated you to get started!