She had been my neighbor for several years. But we only crossed paths when out walking with our dogs or chasing kids around the neighborhood. When I opened up my studio last fall she reached out to me to start running and walking together.
She’s a mother of four and homeschools her kids and early mornings worked best for her. We would typically run together once a week at 5:30 am and this continued as the months passed by. We started with one minute intervals and continued on that path throughout much of the winter. Occasionally we would add in longer periods of running at the end of her workout.
She wasn’t interested in running outdoors or having anyone at the gym see her running (Can anyone relate?). But, once spring hit, I encouraged her that she should be proud of what she was doing – so we ventured outside. We ran around our neighborhood and soon I was showing her our city in a different way – on foot at various parks and trails. I could tell that something was changing her. She wasn’t dreading her workouts or asking for breaks. She was craving the workout – and the time for herself. It wasn’t so much of a chore anymore. I would see her out running when I was out with my family and it made me so happy. Others in the neighborhood noticed her lifestyle change, too.
During the time we got to know each other, she went through a difficult international adoption process. This involved her husband traveling for several weeks throughout the year. When early mornings didn’t work, we would run together with our toddlers in the strollers. She still made herself a priority.
During the adoption process, she also learned that she would need to have surgery. We met immediately before surgery and immediately after she was given the ok to return to exercise. She continued to keep her routine throughout all of this.
After these two situations were finalized and family routine was setting in, I saw another breakthrough. She was pushing herself longer distances. Going to the gym and running on her own. She was really becoming proud of what SHE was doing. And she craved more.
She asked me to schedule a 10K together on the week of our one year anniversary – of our first running date. Since I was sidelined with injury, we met at the gym at 5:15 am this morning and she ran alongside me while I walked. We outlasted everyone at the gym. She did that. The treadmill stopped because she hit the time limit and she had to switch machines. She did that. I saw another breakthrough this morning. Tears welling up around mile 5.5 and then more emotions as she approached mile 6. She realized that she could do that. She did that. Doubt was gone. And she is capable of even more. Because she chose to make herself a priority – and feel good about herself again.
I’m so happy that this neighbor became a client and then a close friend. Over the past year we have run together about sixty times. That’s a lot of miles and catching up and sharing.
When you think you don’t have enough time. Don’t have the energy. Don’t have the support. Think again. It’s there – you just need to find it and commit. You have it! Look around. Support is all around you. It could be right next door. But you won’t know if you don’t look.