“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”
Andy had it right. I know from experience. My sedentary manner just…was…until I had a spark of desire to change. The catalyst was seeing a friend complete the 2009 New York City Marathon. That moment made me think: “She accomplished something amazing. We’re not all that different. So, what’s stopping me?”
In late 2009, I taught myself to run using Couch to 5K and said goodbye to my lethargic ways. Within two months I ran my first race, a four-miler. In 2010 I finished a half marathon and set my sights on completing the New York City Marathon.
I ran the 2011 New York City Marathon in 4:20. Six months later, I ran New Jersey Marathon in 3:53. To-date, I’ve trained for five marathons, taking 34 minutes off my finishing time. I’m still chasing my Boston-qualifying dream.
Running has become a lifestyle and a continuous source of improvement. It’s enabled me to embrace fitness overall – incorporating spinning, yoga, and strength training. It’s a change I’ve worked hard to achieve, and strive to maintain.
You know, according to Warhol, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Isn’t that the truth? My commitment to running and being fit is an ongoing process, and it’s my own responsibility. No one can run for me, nor finish my races, nor take credit for the sweat I produce. I value that thought.
For me, it all begins by being open to opportunities for change. Again, and again, and again.