Yesterday morning I completed another 5k, the She Power 5k.
I had signed up for this 5k back in July 2018. A while ago. I had done this race in February and loved the race and the medal, so I knew I wanted to do it again. And the medal this year was beautiful! Who doesn’t want the bling from a race, isn’t that why we do it? Well I also signed up with the intention that this was going to be a PR for me. My fastest 5k race was in January 2009, 10 years ago. I was 10 years younger and 20 lbs lighter and had trained for a couple of months. 6 months was plenty of time to get ready to make this 5k a Personal Best. Sometimes the greatest intentions don’t always work out…..
I did not prepare for this race other than a couple of walks here and there and a 5k in November that told me I was REALLY out of shape…. But I still had time.
Everything was pretty much stacked against me for yesterday’s She Power 5k… no training, extra weight, my husband wouldn’t be able to be beside me and encourage and motivate me along the way…. Yes, things were stacked against me. And thoughts did enter my mind that maybe I would just walk and set a goal for next year, putting off my goal for a future date. The problem with that is that the future date usually doesn’t arrive.
Yes, circumstances, lack of preparedness and my thoughts were threatening to keep me from this 5k, until….
My Circle of Inspiration.
We all have a Circle of Inspiration, made up of friends, family, co-workers, strangers we meet or see on TV or read about, individuals who walk into our lives for a moment and so many more. Many individuals form our circle, inspiring us along the way. And we find inspiration and give inspiration within this circle. The great thing about a circle is it has no end; the inspiration is all around us. What a wondrous thing to be able to find inspiration in so many ways, from so many different individuals.
I have a wonderful and wide-spread Circle of Inspiration I can draw from. And it is in this circle that I find the strength to fight on, to work harder, to keep going when all I want to do is quit. Whether it is about just getting through my day, getting out of bed, stepping outside my comfort zone, continuing my journey of health, facing hard things in life or crossing a finish line when I don’t think I can, inspiration is there. My husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law, my extended family, my friends, the strangers I have met and so many others inspire me to just do it, to take the leap and fly!
So, with everything against me, what made the difference for me yesterday morning was these ladies, part of my Circle of Inspiration. Some had done a 5k before and for some of them this was their first. And they inspired me on my journey.
When I worked as a WW Coach (formerly known as a Weight Watcher Leader) I had the privilege of getting to know many individuals who inspired me every day, every week. These women met in meetings I led. And I was blessed these past couple of years to have been a part of their journey. I have laughed with them, cried with them, celebrated with them, and commiserated with them. And I have had the privilege of getting to know their individual stories.
Each of these women came to this race yesterday for their own reasons and with their own goals, inspiring each other along the way. That Circle of Inspiration. Some struggled with physical limitations, and some faced mindset challenges, yet each of them was willing to set aside the challenges that could have kept them from walking this 5k and instead they chose to step outside their comfort zones. I have often said that stepping outside that comfort zone is where our greatest growth happens, and these ladies were proving that to be true. Having the privilege of knowing their personal stories gave me the strength to show up and to cross that start line. And they gave me the courage to push myself beyond what was comfortable so that I could finish strong.
We gathered before the race and lined up at the start together. When it was time to go, we went at our own paces. Each of us had our own personal goal we wanted to reach. And that was scary for some of us, maybe for all of us. But because of this Circle of Inspiration, because of the support we found in each other, we were able to push forward. One-step-at-a-time, literally!
I was inspired by all of them, whether it was their first race or one of many…. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and excitement at completing a race. I was inspired by their determination to push past the physical barriers that had kept them from even dreaming of doing a 5k race, those physical barriers that at one time kept them from even walking around a block, let alone 3.1 miles. I was inspired by how they changed a mindset from “I can’t” to “I think I can” to “Yes! I can”. I was inspired by the support and encouragement they showed each other. I was inspired by those who conquered their fear and were willing to do this race with little preparation. I was inspired by seeing the empowerment that comes from believing in oneself. I was inspired by the resolve to finish faster than the last one. I was inspired by their faces, the joy, the pride after finishing this race. I was inspired by the courage shown to finish a race despite a fall and injury, and not just finish it, but finish strong, something I am not sure I could have done.
To say that these ladies inspire me is an understatement. Each one of them is an inspiration and I am so very blessed to know them and be encouraged by them!
We all finished this race yesterday morning, proud of each other and proud of ourselves. We each met or exceeded our personal goals. And yes, we are ready to do it again!
I know that without these ladies I would have still done this race, but I am not sure how hard I would have pushed myself without my Circle of Inspiration, those who inspire me every day in my life and these ladies who gave me the strength and courage to push myself faster and to see what I was capable of.
I didn’t finish with a PR, but I finished faster than the She Power 5k 1 year ago and faster than the 5k I did in November. I walked and I ran, knowing these ladies were somewhere amid the sea of women and they were pushing themselves too.
I was just 3 ½ minutes slower than my fastest race 10 years ago……imagine what I can do with a little inspiration, a little training, and being a little healthier…. Next year will be my year, I have no doubt!
With a vast and far reaching Circle of Inspiration, WE CAN…. I CAN …do anything!!