A few months ago, one our guest bloggers inspired a healthy change for one of our readers. This story is from Charis, and here is her story:
I first started running while on maternity leave, I was determined to get back in shape and have more energy. After a few weeks, I had made lots of progress. I had developed a nice exercise routine, gotten into decent shape, and I was confident that I could keep it going when I returned to work.
However, upon returning to work I found solace in the excuse that so many of us use, “I don’t have time.” What I realized is that the only person I had to convince not to run was myself, and with nobody else to answer to, it became way to easy to quit. That was in October.
Nine months went by, and I still hadn’t gotten back into my running routine. I was disappointed in myself, but I realized I wasn’t equipped to make this journey back to health on my own, I needed some help.
Luckily, one of my co-workers, Alexa, gave me the inspiration I needed. She wrote a blog post about how she teamed up with her friends to get back into shape after having twins (click here to see her post). Initially, I dismissed it. Her kids are five years old, and she runs like the wind. I’m more of a slogger (slow jogger) and have never encountered a “runners high” or really any positive message from my body during running (only shortness of breath, pain and dizziness). But when I read the blog again, it hit me. I needed a buddy, someone to keep me honest.
This is about the time when I started to stalk my neighbor. I knew her casually, and I’d noticed that she frequently ran through our neighborhood with a stroller. After a few weeks, I finally got the nerve to knock on her door. While I felt very awkward, I kept remembering my co-worker’s advice, so I asked if she wanted to be my “running buddy.” It was similar to asking a stranger on a date, but I was desperate enough that she said yes!
During that that first run, I only finished half of what we had planned. I probably apologized 15 times in less than 2 miles. I worried. Would I drag her down? Could I contribute anything to our partnership? I was prepared to be dumped. But, as we finished the first “run” with a brisk walk, she confessed that she was only going once a week and half the distance. She too needed my help too!
That was September. Since that day, we have run 3 times a week. We run in the sun, in the black of night, in the moonlight, in the driving rain, in the sleet, and the snow. We’ve also become more than neighbors, we are friends. We discuss the daily grind (I can run and talk now, another benefit to a running buddy) and we push each other. But the best part, we have more energy and patience for our beautiful babies (look at this picture, how could you not want to get in shape for them?).
Thanks to Alexa for the fantastic advice. While I’ll never run with Alexa (seriously, the woman runs like a deer), I will gladly follow in her footsteps. And thanks to my neighbor turned running buddy, without you, there’s no way I would have kept with it!