From the Mailbox to the 5K

Author: J. Taylor

I tend to be my worst critic.  I’m usually focused on reaching the next goal, without ever taking time to appreciate (or give myself credit for) what I’ve already accomplished.

If that focus is channeled in the right way, it’s a huge benefit.  But, if (as in my case) that focus is always on the next thing, the ways I’ve failed, what went wrong rather than all the things that went right, it’s not very healthy.  So today, I’m taking a moment to assess my progress with exercise from pre-surgery to where I am now.

Before surgery, I was not able to walk to the corner (about 1/8 mile) without feeling as if I would die.  Since that is a very unpleasant way to feel, it was quite easy to talk myself out of doing it.  So, I would give myself an “atta-boy” for merely walking to the mailbox.  Wow.

As I’ve mentioned previously, since I’ve had my surgery, I make sure I get plenty of exercise.  I joined a gym, hired a trainer for a few months, went to a dance class, walked, and began to run.  I really want to be a runner AND actually enjoy it.  I’m not there yet, but that’s the goal.  I want to be addicted to running.

I began by walking down my street, and then I would run from the first mailbox to the next mailbox, and then walk some more.  I would do that for a few days, and then I’d try to run for two mailboxes, and then walk some more, and so on.  Before long, I could walk/run for a mile.  That was a big milestone, and I was proud of myself for checking that goal off my list.

Then I challenged myself by entering a local 5k race (about 3.5 miles).  I was intimidated, but it provided the much needed motivation I needed to improve – after all I didn’t want to look like a fool.  My goal for the 5k race?  Do not be the last person to cross the finish line.  I did it, and there were many that crossed that finished line behind me!

I constantly fought (and still fight) the negative voice in the back of my head telling me I couldn’t do it; no one would know if I didn’t exercise that day;  I’d already lost quite a  bit of weight, so why not back off on my exercise, etc.  But I overcome it one moment at a time.  One thought at a time.  With God as my reservoir of strength, I trust that one day I will no longer hear that negative voice – that it will be replaced with encouragement, enthusiasm, and determination.

What about you?  Do you have a story?  Can you relate to mine?  Does my story encourage you?  Let me know.  Respond to this blog.


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2 Responses to From the Mailbox to the 5K

  1. Chris Bales says:

    Awesome article, Julie! I agree about that negative voice. It speaks to me daily and I do everything possible to ignore it. I know it will take time and that is something I will have more of because I took this step to get healthier and that gives me encouragement everyday.

  2. Julie Taylor says:

    Thanks, Chris. What are some of the ways you counteract that nasty negative voice? Whenever you have a negative thought, do you do ten jumping jacks? Think of three positive things?

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