I am hoping to start a new series on the blog called Running Inspiration, because I believe we could all use a little inspiration in our lives!
The first post in this series is a guest post by Laura Hall. Laura is a busy working mom who has struggled with her weight since high school. During a plateau on her weight loss journey, Laura received an amazing opportunity to run her first 5K in Disney. I am inspired by Laura’s story and hope you will be too!!!!
Running in Disney
I’m thrilled to serve as a guest blogger for Toni today! As a busy mom trying to stay healthy and active for myself and my family, all of the stories shared on this blog have really resonated with me. And I hope you all will be able to relate to my story as well!
I’ve struggled with my weight since high school. It’s always been something that bothered me, but I never took any serious steps to live a healthier lifestyle. Last year, I found myself at 325 pounds and unable to engage in physical activities with my nine-year-old son. I knew it was time to make a change.
In February 2013, I joined my local YMCA, where I started taking fitness classes, including a new class called Piloxing, a combination of boxing and pilates. The YMCA is also where I met my trainer, Diane Butwin. Diane was willing to train my son and me, which was huge. After I began training with Diane, I loved the way I felt. For the first time, I felt healthier and like I could tackle any physical challenge that came my way.
After losing 83 pounds, I hit a plateau. The weight wasn’t coming off and I started to feel discouraged. That’s when Diane advised me that I needed to shock my body by running. She also found out another friend had challenged me to run a 5K. We started with baby steps and I would run thirty seconds at a time on the treadmill.
Soon after that, I learned that my employer Cigna was hosting an internal video contest for a chance to participate in the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (Cigna was a presenting sponsor). As part of the contest, Cigna employees were invited to submit videos explaining why they run. Finalists were selected in three categories: 5K, half-marathon and full marathon, and employees voted on the winner.
I was shocked when I was selected as the winner for the 5K category. I could hardly believe that I was being given an opportunity to meet my personal health goals and travel to Disney World for the first time. I had never even been on a plane before! It was extremely exciting and overwhelming.
I’m proud to say that I completed my very first 5K during the Disney Marathon. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to run the entire way, but I did. My motivation? My son. I wanted to run the 5K so I could show him that it’s possible to accomplish anything you set your mind to. And who knows? Maybe I’ll run my next 5K with him! For now, I plan to stick to my weight loss goals, which include eating smaller portions and drinking more water. I’ve lost a total of 102 pounds so far and I don’t intend to stop there!
If you or anyone you know has an inspiring running story and would like to participate in my Running Inspiration series, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with Running Inspiration in the subject line.