Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chapter 2 page 31 paragraph 3 - what do you have to lose?

I believe this will be the final installment (at least for now) of "What do you have to lose?". Heads up - it's a long post (sorry), but I think it's worth reading - let me know what you think.

In today's episode -

I would like you to think of something slightly beyond your reach and possibly something you have never even given a moment's thought about doing . . . .until now. What is something you may have heard of but yet dismissed as something you would NEVER do for one reason or another (the reason(s) may or may not be valid)?

Here are some examples to help spark your own ideas-
My husband would NEVER think about downhill skiing despite my telling me over and over that it is fun. He dismissed my efforts to push him into compliance. He refuses to even spend a minute thinking about the possibility that he might indeed enjoy the experience. He will not allow himself a moment to think what it might be like to ski downhill - experience the wind blowing on his face, seeing nature, and enjoying the cold temperatures which he really does like (NUT!). One could ask - "What does he have to lose in trying it?" Perhaps the real question is "What does he have to gain in trying it?"

What is the point of this post? At the root - it's a plea to encourage you to occasionally try new ideas no matter how unexpected - something pleasant may be waiting for you. What do you have to lose in trying something new/different/unexpected?

In addition to encouraging you on a vast stage, I want to encourage you to think about participating in an organized race (a 5K = 3.1 miles, 10K= 6.2, 1/2 marathon = 13.1 miles, etc). I know - I know - I know - - - you all just said, "OH NO WAY!" Wait!!!!!! What do you have to lose (well, except the race of course, but would it really be a loss???)? What do you have to gain? I want to share my experience with you in hopes it might motivate you to try - just once (unless you love it, then do more than one).

1999-2003 I was in the U.S. Army Reserves. I was buff, amazing, awesomely athletic, and had confidence oozing out of me. I wore a size 10/12 Misses. In 2 minutes, I could max the Army PT test by doing 60 men's push ups and 95 sit ups (the Army doesn't do crunches). I could run 2 miles in about 12 1/2 minutes. I could easily run 3-5 miles at a time. I rocked Basic Combat Training like it was daycare. Sounds like I'm gloating and I am (I'm sorry) - but it was a definite high point in my physical and mental health. I ran almost everyday; however, I don't remember hearing one word about a 5K or 10K - and if I had, I'm sure I would have said, "I'm that kind of person." (not really sure what "that kind" of person is - but I'm sure it is one who wears spandex and can run without sweating).

Skip ahead to 2009 and 100 pounds heavier and a little program called "Parlor City Trot Training Program" held June-September. To me, this was a just one more work duty - coordinate a program which would be led by someone else. I had no intention of participating - why would I want to train for a race - UUMMMMMMM ---I wouldn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm morbidly obese and out of shape - I have zero intention of running a race. After all, "I'm not that kind of person." I reluctantly agreed to participate for a few weeks - BUT just until everyone else got faster and could go further since they were all training and I wasn't "REALLY IN" the program.

Come to find out after the 12 weeks, most races allow walkers and they are welcomed participants - WHAT????? Why on earth would I want to enter a race and walk? A 10K - that could take nearly 1 1/2 hours - WHY WHY WHY would anyone want to walk that far? I absolutely had ZERO interest, but because of my cohorts in the training program (and a little thing called peer pressure) - I decided to walk the actual course a week before the event - and guess what????? I did it and LIVED to tell about it. That gave me confidence to know that I COULD do it - still left the WANT to part missing from the equation. In the end, I decided to walk the 10K race and had trained hard enough that I could "run" (read that as slowly jog and look like I was having a seizure the entire way) the last 1/2 mile. I huffed and puffed and pretty much couldn't believe I was doing it the entire way. My friend "V" that walked right next to me step by step was walking like it was a day in the park, but she was right there to chit chat with the entire way (also to call 911 in case I went down which I was sure would happen). Along the course, there were water stops and police officers blocking traffic that willingly gave me high 5's. There were words of encouragement from racers who were "lapping" me (NICE!) and when I was nearing the end I saw the ambulance - I didn't need it, but it was like a miraculous thing to have it just parked there. After 6.2 miles at 14 1/2 minute miles, I finished and it was one of the greatest feelings I have ever experienced. Such joy!!!!!!! I almost got choked up and nearly cried in elation when I crossed the finish line (shhh, I haven't admitted that to anyone before).

I loved it so much that from Labor Day to Thanksgiving, I entered a total of 6 races and have entered races already in 2010. I LOVE IT!!!! WHY? Well, for starters, there are plenty of people who walk, jog, or walk/jog in these races - within 10 minutes, you can have 10 new friends!!!! Second, I HATE walking!!!!!! Hate it with a passion especially doing so alone - but when you are doing a race - you are getting the benefits of exercise, but NO WAY does it seem like exercise at all - it's fun!!!!! Third, you may get something cool like a t-shirt or even cooler like a trophy! Fourth, you can hang your hat on the statement "I DID THAT!" Fifth, some of the races even support a good cause - like cancer research, or missions work, or youth groups.

I have no delusions of winning a race (though I did get 3rd in my age group for walkers at my 2nd race - a 5K called Girls Night Out - ROCK!!!!!). I just have fun, get a GREAT workout that doesn't feel like a workout, and I get the chance to say to myself "I did that!". My only 2 goals are to finish the race and hopefully not get last (I always take a friend who will at least finish one hundredth of a second behind me to ensure I'm not dead last - thanks "L" you're the best!!!!!).

So I ask you - what do you have to lose in participating in a 5K? What do you have to gain? Most of you already walk 3 miles anyway - why not get a cool t-shirt while doing it? Why not meet new people? Why not get a great sense of accomplishment? Enlist your friends, and go for it!!!!!

FYI - The Parlor City Trot Training Program will be held Tuesdays at 7 p.m. from the first Tuesday in June through the first Tuesday of September. It changed my life - think about joining us this summer!!!!!!

What do you have to lose?????
(Thanks for reading all the way to the end!)

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