As an employee for Horizon Fitness, it’s difficult not to be motivated by all of my athletic and physically fit co-workers. Despite my best efforts, I had a difficult time keeping up with any type of regular fitness routine. Turns out, all I really needed to kick start my track to fitness was to focus on training for something that I believed in. I found that in Girls on the Run©.
Horizon is Racing for a Reason
Each year, Horizon Fitness participates in an event to help raise money for a great cause. Previous years’ events include the American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk and the American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk. This year, we were proud to support Girls on the Run of Dane County in Madison by participating in the Diva Dash on Sunday, July 13. This race promotes the positive message Girls on the Run (GOTR) has strived to create. We had a good turnout from Horizon Fitness, including some race veterans and even some who completed their first 5k, including myself.
My Success Story: From Start to Finish
I began working out again at the start of the New Year as I usually do, inconsistently. My mornings were spent walking and running on the treadmill- sometimes five days a week and sometimes not for two weeks. Gradually, my lung capacity and cardio vascular strength increased and I was running for a mile or so at a time. Once I learned about Girls on the Run and the Diva Dash, I knew I had found my first event to train for. As a child, I struggled with self-confidence and was always searching for a way to fit in so I can relate to the mission of the GOTR program.
Once dedicated to running my first 5k, my training became more consistent. In the beginning, I didn’t push myself to run 3 miles but I did run and walk 4-5 days a week on the treadmill along with some strength training. Some days I would focus on long runs and other days I would do speed work. Several weeks before the race, I accomplished 3.1 miles without stopping. A few of my co-workers and I work out together in the morning which is a huge motivator for me and makes me want to try harder and do better. The day of the race I, alongside my coworkers, finished my first 5k within my goal of 35 minutes and I am ready to start training for a 10k in the fall. Oh, I’m the diva in the pretty princess tiara.
You Can Do It Too!
Whether it’s supporting the teaching of young women, breast cancer research, or a cure for MS, you can find an event to train for that may have even affected you or someone you know and love. Not only can you support these causes, you can help yourself set fitness goals that you may not have thought to be possible. If someone had told me 6 months ago that I would complete my first race, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here I am, proud of my accomplishment and motivated to start training for my next race.
Find a Race and the Motivation Will Follow
Setting goals will lead to accomplishing bigger and better things and training for a race is an amazing method to motivate you in your fitness goals and expectations. With that goal in mind, it will be easier to commit to a workout schedule because you have a desired outcome to focus on. For me, it was supporting a national organization that stood for a great cause- strengthening the minds and bodies of America's young women. Races come in all lengths and usually focus just as much on the fun as the fundraising. Start with something small—like a 5k—and before you know it, you’ll be hooked. You don’t have to run to win, just run to do your personal best. Some easy ways to find a race are to look at your local community calendar or newspaper, tune in to your local radio or TV station, and even search online. A few great race calendar websites include: www.marathonguide.com, www.marathonwalking.com and www.runrace.net.