Strong Together Spring 2015—Week 3 - MetroFamily Magazine
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Strong Together Spring 2015—Week 3

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You guys are on a roll! The weather has been crazy in the metro but we're so proud to know our Strong Together participants are pushing through it and finding ways to stay active. Most of your kids probably had snow days this week, totally throwing off your normal schedule. If that prohibited you from achieving some of your goals this week, don't sweat it. There's always room for improvement. This week we asked our bloggers about the best benefits of adding exercise to their lifestyle. Here are their responses. Catch up on the blogs from week 1 and week 2 if you missed them!

From Georgeanna: Getting moving and getting healthy is not always going to be easy. But I can certainly say it's worth it. Being happy and content with who I am for the first time in years makes it all worth it. 

The benefits of living a healthier life are many. But the peace of mind of knowing I am taking care of myself is the greatest benefit to me. For years I felt overwhelmed with being overweight. I had been a very athletic throughout my childhood, until I married and had kids. Most of my adult life I had been out of shape, not taking care of myself, and I hated it. I had been so strong and fit for so many years and I felt trapped in my fat body. 

I didn't even feel like myself. Even though I was so overweight and had not worked out in years, I felt deep down inside that I was supposed to be an athlete. I wanted so badly to get fit and feel strong. I would watch runners around town and wish I was them. I would just dream about how freeing it would be to be able run. After I began to lose weight and started running, it completely changed me. I felt so strong, so content, and so happy when I could run for miles. 

I'll never be the best runner or the fastest runner. I'll never run a marathon, but just being able to run a few miles makes me feel great. The feeling that comes with being fit, being strong, being able to run is worth every bit of work it took to get to this point. 

I hope you find the same contentment in running. It's like therapy to me now. I love to clear my head with a good run. I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel after a good run. I am so thankful to be able to run. 

From Courtney: Swoosh! When I clicked send on my nomination email to MetroFamily Magazine last January, I groaned, “This is so out of my comfort zone.” But, I waited and when waiting got old, I convinced myself to forget the email was ever even sent. 

Ding! The wait was finally over a few weeks later. I received the email notifying me that I had been selected as a Spring 2015 Strong Together blogger! I was thrilled.

The number one benefit of my new, healthier lifestyle isn’t waiting. It’s teaching myself to step outside my comfort zone to get training results and grow stronger. This week, I ran on a treadmill at Planet Fitness non-stop for 30 minutes. We’ll call that a 2015 personal best. The week before that, I braved temperatures not much higher than 30 and winds gusts that proved not every element of nature is supportive of my training to complete my first group run. I’m still here to blog about it. The sun still rose the next day. The blood in my veins didn’t freeze solid.

The benefits of learning to take a leap of faith extend far beyond my calf muscles, lungs and heart. The courage to do the uncommon, non-routine or unexpected has led me to run beyond self-doubt, procrastination and pessimism. My leaps have confirmed to me that doing something completely different can not only be effective, but healthy too. 

Are you running within your comfort zone or beyond it?

From Mae: After running in the snow last week without my kids, it has been interesting getting back into running with them this week. Truth be told, it really hasn't felt very good during the run, pretty miserable actually. But the feeling I got after the run, that I actually did it, was priceless. When I was working full-time, I always enjoyed the sense of accomplishment I felt after completing a task. Now that I am a stay-at-home mom I don't get that same feeling when, for example, I am done folding a load of laundry. Probably because there is always more to do as soon as I blink. But since I have started running again, my runs have given me the feeling of accomplishment I crave. 

I am not sure why running gives me that feeling of accomplishment; I still have to run again and it will hurt again, just like I have to keep doing laundry. Maybe I get the feeling of accomplishment because it is so hard and yet I am doing it. Maybe because I am one step closer to reaching my goal of running the Redbud Classic. Maybe it is just a benefit of running, exercise does clear the mind and help one feel good. Maybe it doesn't matter why, it just matters that it does and I love it.

I assume everyone's goals for running the Redbud Classic are different. This is my first time as an adult to train for a race. My ultimate goal is to be able to run the entire 5K and to train with my kids twice a week. When running gets tough, and it does every time, I keep the feeling of accomplishment I get after my run on my mind to help keep me motivated. I have gotten so use to having that feeling that when I wasn't able to run with my kids last week because of the weather I missed it. 

From Kristyn: For me, the top benefit of running has to be stress relief. There are at least a million thoughts zigzagging relentlessly though my head at any given time. Like you, I have a never-ending to do list. Do the laundry. Deliver the documents. Schedule the showings. Feed the family. You know the feeling, the struggle is real!

As I start out on a run, the internal battle begins. With each step, another random task comes to mind and the list multiplies upon itself. I start to question whether or not I even have time to be there. No matter how often I run, that first mile is the hardest. It would be so easy to turn around and go home, after all I’ve got stuff to do.

When I hang in there I usually start to hit my stride by mile two. That’s when the magic happens. The stress begins to slip away and I’m able to prioritize the list in my head. At the third mile my mind begins to shift again and creativity starts to surface. Some of the best ideas I’ve had for blog posts, projects and solutions to problems have come to me along the third mile of a run. By the time I get back home, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the day head on.

Putting myself on top of my daily to do list helps to keep the stress at bay one mile at a time. Well, once I get past mile one that is!

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