Welcome to Week 8 of our Strong Together Training Program—our final week!
Important things to note this week:
- Week 8 of the Sofa2Success 8 week plan will start tomorrow, Monday, March 31.
- Find the training plan for Week 8 here.
- Refer back to Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7 info here.
Here, our bloggers share their perspectives heading into their final week of training. This week, Carrie, Alicia, and Serena all answered:
What are your plans for continuing to improve your health once the Redbud Classic is over?
Continue. That’s my simple answer. I’m just going to continue. I’m going to stay focused on eating right & moving more. I’m also going to participate in more walks and more runs this year. In fact, I’ve already registered the family for the Walk A Mile event on April 26 in OKC. It’s only a one mile walk but it is designed to bring focus and raise awareness of children in foster care, which is something I am incredibly passionate about, as a former foster care kid and a social worker. I’m also planning to run in at least two more 5ks and at least one 10k this year. Those were my New Year’s goals on January 1, so I’m going to stay committed to those goals. I’m even hoping I can get the hubs to join me, now that he’s going to be working a normal shift!! (Shhhhh, he doesn’t know I’m going to get him to go running with me yet! )
I hope I get the chance to continue to develop the friendships that have been planted through this journey. I have gotten the chance to know the other blogger moms, like you, through their posts and I’ve so appreciated the way the four of us have come together and offered encouragement, support, and prayer at different times throughout the process.
I’m going to continue working toward my goals of losing weight and feeling better, to not allow the old bad habits to run my life or to allow the obstacles to the process become stumbling blocks that keep me down! I’m going to continue to make me, my self-image, my health a priority. I’m going to continue to think about the life-long impact that this process will have on my family. I’m going to continue to encourage my children to exercise and take care of themselves and to live a healthy lifestyle. I’m going to continue to focus on the fact that these things are definitely not impossible even when life gets in the way! I am simply going to continue to run the journey set before me!!! I am not going to allow this to be the end!!!
For me, leading a healthier life post-Redbud goes deeper than just exercise and diet. Sure, I want to maintain my running schedule to keep me strong. Who knows, there could even be a marathon in my future. I definitely want to continue being healthier in my food choices for me and my family. But the real take-away from this experience is that I want to continue my healthier relationship with God and my family.
I cannot tell you how many times I have called on God to get me to the top of a hill, or just make it back to my car. But I have also been able to take my runs, especially the ones outdoors, as a time to be with Him. It has been a time for me to reflect on His awesomeness and be humbled by my many blessings. Running has given me time to clear my head of the worry and anxiety that plagues many moms. By leaning on Him for the physical strength to get to the finish line, I am also reminded that I must lean on Him for all things. As moms we fret about our children’s social, emotional and academic well-being. We wonder if we are doing all we can to be the best wife. We hope that we have done a good enough job at work to still be employed the next day. The weight of all of this becomes too much to bear. This experience has reminded me that it’s not my burden to bear; He is there to shoulder the burden.
My family means everything to me. My husband, my children, my mom and my sister look past my occasional craziness and sass, and love me—the good and the bad. Through this experience, I fully appreciate the time we spend together. Before, I wasn’t always fully present. I would check emails, get lost in my thoughts about how to handle a situation at work, and I would miss moments with the people that mean the most. Running has given me an outlet to relieve the stress of the day or the worry about tomorrow so that my relationships are healthy. It clears away the tension so I can be the best wife, mom, daughter and sister that I can be.
8 weeks. In just a short weeks, something I had always believed was impossible for me to do became not just a reality, but something I enjoy. And in eight short weeks, a door of possibilities flung open. Because if I CAN actually run 3 miles without being chased, or dying, what else can I do? Run a half marathon? A WHOLE marathon?
One time, MANY years ago after my much-fitter-than-me mother and father in-law ran the Chicago marathon, my husband promised me he would take me to Hawaii to run my first marathon if I could prove through training I was ready. It was a big joke between us back then, when I couldn't run to the end of the block. But in just two months time, I have become strong enough to run a little more than one-ninth of that distance. My job requires me to sit in a fifth grade mathematics class each day, so I can say with confidence that on the current trajectory of training, my husband will need to book tickets in about 18 months. Sounds like a reasonable, and do-able, idea!
On a more serious note, (even though I am seriously considering taking his deal) the mental benefits this training program has provided are just as much of a reward in my eyes as the physical ones. The old adage, "seeing is believing," proves true in this case. I have seen myself become a better wife and mother because I took time to focus on myself. It didn't just make me a better me for me, but also a better me for them. Taking time made me a better giver.
So, I want this running and all the healthy living choices we have been making through this process to continue. I want my husband to run with me in my next 5K, half- marathon, and of course, in Hawaii! And my kids, too!
I want us all to spend more time out exploring God's world around us and less time sitting watching other people do that on Discovery Channel. We are gearing up to grow our summer garden so we can have a greater control over the source of what we eat and hopefully continue to find ways to share the blessings God has given us with those who need to feel loved. I want my children to know the truth I have learned—take care of yourself so you can can take better care of others.
I can't wait to see all of you on race day. The crazy side of me wants to go all out in my outfit and make this a real celebration. The more sane side of me says, "grow up." My friends know which side usually wins out on these kinds of things, but we'll see. I am so excited to be able to support such a great organization as Anna's House through this race, and encourage each of you to check out their mission and see what you can do to help. Foster parents are not just taking in kids who need homes. They are taking in broken hearts, and agreeing to walk through the trenches and try to build a bridge to healing and hope for these small people who have seen more big hurts than most adults ever do. It's a cause worthy of praise, and these parents need a village to give them the support and encouragement to make it through the rough days. I know.