Tuesday morning. Driving to work. Jamming out to my favorite radio station. Nothing out of the ordinary, just another day like every other day of the work week. As I was listening to one of those songs that you know the words to but don’t really know who sings it, I caught a glimpse of a bumper sticker on the back of the car in front of me. It kind of stood out because it was this big white sticker on the back of a shiny new car, though the sticker itself was actually pretty plain with only one marking on it: 25K. I knew that this last weekend our city had its annual river bank run, which has races that run 5, 10, and 25 kilometers. I figured the person driving that car could have possibly ran in the race this last weekend, then I went back to singing the song on the radio. Then something hit me. I can’t explain it, other than this weird epiphany or something of that nature. Something deep inside me started telling me to register for a 5k. This may sound crazy, but I don’t know how else to explain it.
As a part of my journey to live a healthier life, I decided to make a list of 101 goals to complete in 1001 days (you can see that list here). One of the bigger goals of this list is to run a marathon. Well, if you want to run a marathon you have to start somewhere, which is why I have a few smaller goals leading up to it: 5k, 10k, half marathon, and 25k. When I first started this journey I could barely walk half a mile. There are a little over three miles in a 5k, so you can imagine how daunting the idea of completing a 5k was when I first started. I’ve told myself that I’m going to complete these goals, but I’ve been putting that first step on the back-burner far too long now. It’s time to really see what these lungs (and legs) are made of! So on Saturday, June 29th, I will be walking in my town’s annual 5k run/walk with my mom and anyone else that wants to join us!
If it weren’t for people like my mom and so many of my friends and family who have been cheering me on from the start of this crazy ride, I know that I would still be where I was a year ago: clinging to my inhaler, eating nothing but junk, and feeling completely miserable but afraid to do anything about it. But that was the old me. Things are different now. I’m still fighting for my life, but the odds are a whole lot better than they were before I decided it was time to fight back. I may not finish first, but just walking across that finish line will be worth more than any award or medal. A year ago the very thought of walking in a 5k was something that seemed impossible, even laughable. Not anymore. Today it’s possible. And who knows? Maybe a year from now I’ll be saying the same thing about a 10k or a half marathon. Maybe even a marathon. Some day I will be a marathon runner. Some day. Just wait and see.