Mission accomplished!

This simple 2 word phrase is among my favorite 2 word phrases. A few others are “Thank you”, “Package delivered” and “Let’s eat”. I am an achiever – at times an over achiever – but I’m working on that too.

What was the mission? To run an entire 5k without stopping. Now I totally get that some of you might be marathon runners and you’re chuckling right now. Aw, how cute – a little baby 5k? Only 3.1 miles? Some of you do 5 times that distance at a much faster pace. And good for you if you do!

The point I’m making is that this was MY goal, one that had haunted me for a long time. Ten years ago I had attempted this but always fell short and ended up walking.

But as you may have read previously, I started training in July, and continued with the goal scheduled for early November.

The event was Wanderlust, which is a Mindful Triathlon. I would never consider a real triathlon. Don’t you even know me? This event was right up my alley. It began with a 5k, then 75 minutes of yoga, and finishing with 25 minutes of meditation.

During the one hour drive to the event, I was focusing on the fact that I could – and would – run the whole thing. At check-in, this intention was confirmed so clearly. See, the 5k was not hard core with numbers and microchips and such. It was casual. Each participant received their word for the day to stick onto their clothing instead of pinning a number. Some were affixed with “Peace” and “Joy” and other lovely words.

As I arrived at the front of the check-in line, the word on top was this one.

When the volunteer saw the look of surprise on my face, she asked if I wanted a different word. After a moment of hesitation, I replied, “No, this is the word I am supposed to have.”

With this word plastered on my shirt, I knew for certain I would not be stopping to walk. No way! It had been declared that I was a runner. And I was. I ran the whole entire thing.

The rest of the event was amazing! Practicing yoga outside with 1000 people was an incredible experience. Holding a chair pose after running was another challenge for sure. I found people who shared their face paint, met a cool lady selling bracelets, and enjoyed this view during the meditation.

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The really great part is that I am continuing to run. At least once a week I am getting in 2 to 3 miles and plan to do a few more 5k’s. Of course I’m still practicing yoga, and have even wandered into a studio a couple of times this month. Faithfully engaging in an at home practice for several years, I had forgotten about the energy shared with others in a group practice. The meditation is still a work in progress, but isn’t that the idea?

It really is all about the practice, and the process. But also, there is something transforming about reaching a goal! My good friend Kris was the photographer for the event. I think this photo she took captures the joy I was feeling in doing just that.

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What goal are you working on? How can you state your intentions so that you have the best chance of success? A little goes a long way. Keep after it and you’ll get there my friends!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

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See Sherri run…

Actually, just read about it. There are no photos to post just yet, but it’s happening. Over the last ten years, I have made the occasional attempt at running.

I chose a helpful app called Couch To 5k, which takes people from the couch to running a 5k in 9 weeks. I am definitely more fond of the couch.

Each week has 3 sessions that are each 30 minutes. Incrementally, the walking time becomes less and the running time becomes more. The “coach” tells you when to start and stop, so it’s super easy to follow. That is, once you have your shoes on and decide to actually listen.

Here was the general sequence of events around my running escapades:

1- Realize I need to lose weight.
2- Decide it’s time to begin running.
3- Convince my friend Julie to join me.
—Note, this was often Julie convincing me to join her.
4- Load Couch to 5K (C25K) and buy a cute running outfit.
5- Begin training for a few weeks.
6- Hit scheduling difficulties.
7- Hit physical difficulties.
8- Hit (substantial) mental difficulties.
9- Quit training before completing all 9 weeks and/or 30 minutes of running.
10- Participate in a couple of races, but fail to run an entire 5k.

This pattern continued for several years. There were occasions when we killed it and did so great! Other nights we skipped it altogether and drank wine in the hot tub. We both believed having a running buddy was our best strategy. It was absolutely more fun, but we never actually hit our goal.

I decided I would try it again, but as a solo mission. While it was easier to plan and schedule, it was more challenging to force myself to get up and go.

With much pride, I can now report that I did not miss a single run! Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday for 9 weeks, this girl put on her shoes and hit the ground running, literally.

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Bonus – early morning sunrise on my running path

While I’ve successfully increased my run time to a full 30 minutes, I’m a bit short of the 3.1 mile mark. I’m going to keep with it though – we’re almost hitting acceptable weather for being outdoors in Florida. This is also the beginning of racing season. Sane people do not run outdoors in the Florida summers.

As my friend Susan put it, “You just have to throw your hat over the fence.” With that, I have committed to a 5k in just 3 more weeks, so it’s over the fence alright. I get to prove to myself that I can run this entire thing without stopping.

This is amazing! Not only am I seeing the positive physical results from running, I am noticing the increased self discipline. It’s for me, my health, and my sense of integrity. It feels fabulous to know that I will reach this goal by remaining focused and committed.

Once you get some momentum going, it’s easy to keep moving in a positive direction.

What goals are you reaching for? It doesn’t have to be a Marathon or an 8 minute mile. Maybe it’s just to work towards something that you didn’t quite accomplish before. You don’t have to wait for New Year’s to set a goal and give it your best shot!

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Up for the challenge!

Yes, you can take this literally. I am getting up early every day to do these exercise challenges. Like dark early. Even when I was traveling last week. It’s become a good habit actually. And I learned last week that we spend HALF of our day on auto-pilot, so maintaining good habits gets easier once they are in place. I think that is true, and I love the idea that I won’t have to try so hard to do things that are good for me.

Anyway, back to the challenge…



You’ve seen these before. You have friends who are all fit and fabulous and post this stuff so you can feel more lazy and out of shape than you already do right? At least that’s how I felt when I would see these. Like who really does that? Who has time to do that many squats in a day? I have attempted them in the past, but have never been able to finish them. And that actually made me feel worse. So why did I start again? Well that’s the story I’m about to tell ya!

Last month my friend Evan, who is a personal trainer, invited me to a Gladiator Boot Camp. The name should have been enough of a warning right? I am not a gladiator, but it was free, and I really wanted to be a support to my friend who is launching his training business. So I went.


The camp was awesome. But my fitness level was beyond pathetic. Now granted, I am over forty, but even when I was young I was never very athletic. This one hour workout was a glaring look at the reality that I could barely do 5 pushups. Girl push-ups. I was part of a team of warrior beasts who managed to carry the load and I did not contribute much at all to our objective. 


It felt awful. I’m too competitive, and maybe a smidge too proud, to be that poor of a teammate. That experience could have done a couple of things. It could have discouraged me, and I would continue to feel old and weak. Or I could use it as some motivation to strengthen myself. I decided to use it for the good, and am working on this at home. Maybe I’ll try it again, but not yet. I want to feel GOOD afterwards, not ready for an ambulance!


Today I completed Day 16 on ALL of these challenges. I am over halfway there! No squats or crunches today but arms feel like rubber bands. But I am determined to finish these. And what I’m learning is that it is totally a MENTAL game, not just physical. Deciding to do this, telling others for some sort of accountability, and setting aside time each day to do it is all a huge factor in my success. Or failure. By the way a full day only takes 20 minutes, and that includes time in between to catch my breath!


I am not competing with anyone but myself on this. I want to be stronger. I want to be healthier. I want to feel good about how I take care of myself. It’s the only self I’ve got!


There are many things in my life I can’t change. But this. This I have some control over. And it honors God when I can be better, to reflect his glory.


“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinth. 6:19-20. 


There’s some good motivation right there!

So how do YOU rise to the challenge – whatever that is for you? How do you mentally tough it out, whether it’s the homework assignment, a new workout, or whatever God has in front of you? I’d love to hear….

Thanks for reading…til next time,
Sherri