I Have a New Fitness Goal

By , SparkPeople Blogger
When I took inventory of my life for 2010 and shared it with you, there's something I didn't tell you. I hope you can forgive me. I didn't intentionally leave it out, and it was really firmly planned then. However, it's something I think you should all know about.

See, I have trouble labeling myself as athletic or fit. For the first 26 years of my life, I loathed running ("I only run when chased," I said.) and couldn't really ride a bike. I worked out to keep my weight in check, but I hadn't yet found a form of cardio that I enjoyed. Yoga was the only form of exercise I liked then.

In the last two years, much has changed. I rode 85 miles in one day on my road bike, became a yoga teacher, did 10 "boy-style" pushups, conquered my fear of headstands, and ran my first 5K, a second 5K and my first 10K.

Though I work out six or seven days a week, run regularly and teach yoga to others, I have never really considered myself to be an athlete--or a runner.

This new challenge I've set for myself will change that.

I am training for my first half-marathon.

I started training two weekends ago for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon on May 2. I'm running with a few friends and training at a running store here in Cincinnati called the Running Spot.

Like so many of you, I have a weight-loss story (another tale for another time). I lost 40 pounds five years ago and have kept it off. But long before that, I was a skinny bookworm of a kid who wore skirts to get out of gym class, cried when her mom tried to sign her up for T-ball and thought being skinny was more important than being strong.

When I look in the mirror these days, that girl is long gone. In her place is a woman who filled out a bit, signs herself up for fitness challenges and built some muscles.

I have plenty of friends who grew up being active. Though I danced as a young child and was always busy and skinny, I preferred stationary activities: reading, cooking, talking on the phone. Walking for 30 to 45 minutes a few times a week was my only form of cardio.

I was clumsy, self-conscious and hesitant to try new things.

It's no wonder I have trouble labeling myself as athletic or fit today. But I am. I can't run a six-minute mile, I've never competed in anything physical except for dance competitions, and I still don't enjoy organized sports. But I can keep running--and trying.

I'm not making excuses. I cleared those hurdles, and I'm looking forward to this challenge. I don't have a goal in mind, other than to finish.

And starting now, with this confession, I proudly will call myself a runner.

(I have to end this blog by thanking Coach Nancy, who encouraged me to sign up for my first 5K, who hugged me after I crossed the finish line and assured me I was a runner. Without her loving push, I wouldn't have signed up for that first race.)

Is there a goal you've been apprehensive to share with others? What was it?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: motivation running goal


REDROBIN47 9/15/2019
Wow, great job. I hope you are continuing to make new goals and achieve them. Report
KOALA_BEAR 7/28/2019
I don't recall ever having a great desire to do anything physical that would qualify as making me an athlete.
I was lousy at sports like softball, tennis, water skiing.
Fair at bowling & okay at canoeing & ice skating. I am a very good swimmer but since I don't get a chance to do do often, am horribly out of shape. Not sure I know what it would take to swim competitively however if we buy our lakefront house next year, I would love to swim a mile two or three times a week & if my knee replacement holds up, I'd like to race/walk 2 or 3 times the other days. I SO want to be Thin & Fit again. Report
ANHELIC 6/16/2019
Thanks for the information Report
ALUKOWSKY 12/11/2018
I'm always impressed by people who are willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones and try something new. After all, how do you KNOW something isn't for you unless you give it a try?

As for me, my secret goal that I'm reluctant to share is...I'd like to get into body building. I feel a little ridiculaous admitting it even to myself because I'm 55 and have never been especially toned. Report
Keep on pushing, you can make anything happen! Report
Great inspiration Report
congrats Report
Absolutely great Report
Absolutely great Report
I would like to train for a half marathon. And do not consider myself a runner, although I have run/jogged/moved forward with arms swinging for a few years. I like to buy running gear, and I love how I feel when I am running. I hesitate to call myself a runner, because I too cannot run a 6 min mile, and I feel like they are the "real" runners. But it is people like you and me that make up the middle of the pack, that make races and running FUN!!!!

good luck with your training
are you using a specific plan, or just training with a group?

janine Report
You are a runner! Good luck with your first half-marathon. I am 53 years old and never considered myself a runner. But four years ago, I joined a marathon training group and have since done 21 half marathons and just completed my first marathon one month ago.
I can't wait to hear how your marathon goes. Report
I will never be able to run a marathon.
But, I salute you all.
I'd be happy to just be able to do my own pedicure, lol! Report
I don't think I ever will be a runner. I have never found a sports bra that is comfortable. Even skinny I was always top heavy so I have never been comfortable with running. I do enjoy my walking and my WII Fit Plus. Sparkpeople has taught me that I can enjoy exercise. Also found it relieves stress like nothing else.
Andi Report
Isn't that just aweful, to be called a runner? That Coach Nancy ought to be given a good talking to! She did the same thing to me too. I think her punishment should be..... a big fat juicy...HUG! Report
You ARE a runner! It's my goal to run a 5 k by my birthday. Thanks for the inspiration !! Report
Your blog is very timely for me, as I have been asking myself a lot of the same questions lately. It seems that a true lifestyle change involves mental changes that lead to physical improvements, but for many of us, there is yet another step, and that is catching our own mental pictures of ourselves up with the new reality.

I used to be a runner, but then I wasn't for many years. Now, I'm running again, and just recently felt I had begun to cross back over to "getting my running legs back". I'm not sure if I am becoming a "real runner" again, but I am close to being the "little Jane" again instead of the big one.

Thanks for sharing! Report
i really loved your blog. and to me you are an athletic to ride your bike that distance you go!! but you have gave me something to think about thank you. Report
thanks for this blog-I started training for my first K late last year, was so close to running it, then got laid up with illness then surgery, so I'm feeling a bit bummed, but also ready to hit the road again-I too want to feel proud and comfortable calling myself a runner! Report
Very inspiring..thanks for sharing. Report
WTG!!! I have always wanted to run the Cincy Pig Marathon!! Your goals are awesome! Report
Congratulations on your first goal! I also didn't consider myself an athlete for my first 3 or 4 marathons. Then I got a confirmation card in the mail for a marathon that I had signed up for and it read "Dear Athlete". I figured if they thought I was an athlete then maybe I was. Seventeen marathons later, I finally see myself that way when I am training. Good luck with your race - it will be a great experience. Report
Congratulations and good luck! ^_^ Report
awesome example Report
This week I started reading Spark people. I am now setting some goals. I want to lose 35 lbs. I am now meaning business to get this done. If I just lose 5 lbs a month I should be there in August sometime.
I also went back to the gym. I rejoined yesterday and did 40 min of cardio yesterday, weight training today. I started with 10 min cardio. I will add 30 more min tonight while watching TV.
I am also writing down some other goals in my life too. I like "write the vision, write it plain. It will come, wait for it." Report
you rock stepf!!!! Report
You rode 85 miles in a single day and you don't consider yourself an athlete or fit?? You are both! Report
I walk a 5K every May Race for a Cure. I am a breast cancer survivor. I would like to run the 5K one of these years...... Report
I wouldn't consider myself a runner either, but I signed up for my first race this year. It's an 8K at the end of March! Training started this week. I am excited, and my goal is also to just finish. Report
Way to go, keep up the good work. Report
I have never been athletic, never participated in any type of sport but I always wanted to do a marathon. Since I have a lot of joint issues, I new running was out of the question so instead I trained and walked a full marathon the year I turned 50. It took 6 hours and 20 minutes and it was the most incredible feeling to cross the finish line and get the medal. Its silly but getting the medal at the end kept me going that last couple of miles. I was surprised by the respect the walkers received from the runners. I am now 54 and still hope to one day do another marathon. Report
Ok, Stepf how did I know you'd pick the PIG? Now you're making me consider changing my 1st half to the PIG and join you (and BOBBY from the sounds of it). My plan was to do the Cap City Half in Columbus the day before, but this could change things. If we could get a BIG group of Sparks I may just have to change plans.
Best wishes for injury/pain free training! Report
Oh, and YAY for new fitness goals - whatever they may be. That's what keeps things interesting in this healthy lifestyle we're living. Report
Best of luck, Stepfanie! We'll all be rooting for you! Can't wait to hear about your race.
I signed up to run a 10K with my hubby in March. I've never ran in a race before. Just hoping to finish... :) Report
Last year I did a 5K walk with my grandchildren for charity and didn't think I was doing anything and last night I shared with a friend that I am thinking about a goal of running a 5 K in 2011. I will be 55 then and now I don't run unless someone is chasing me. Well now you made this great blog and am faced with looking at why I want to put this off until 2011. What am I afraid of. Thanks for giving me something to think about. Report
Good luck with your HM!! I have just signed myself up for my first 5K. I am very nervous about if I will be ready in time or not. Like you, I have never considered myself fit or athletic, but want to become a runner. Report
I inspire to run 1 mile much less marathon. Go Stephanie! Your a true inspiration! Report
Love your fitness journey story! I can see myself in it, but I'm just not where you are now. I've come to love challenging workouts and building more muscle, but I'm no runner - I only dabble in it from time to time.
Good for you! I'm excited for you, good luck! Report
Running is addictive....after the HM, you'll be wanting to do a full!
Good luck and have fun with it! Report
I was a very good sprinter in High School and I probably could have run in college if I would have set my mind to it. I am repeatedly starting things that I don't finish. I turned 45 this year and wanted to really make some changes in my life. I would like to run a 5K in May of this year. I haven't told anyone because I don't want them thinking exactly what I would think...yeah..I will believe it when I see it!! I am so thankful that I found this website and have been so motivated by a lot of the stories!! Thanks to all and I will keep you posted when I accomplish my first goal!! Report
wow that is great Report
THanks so much for sharing. I'm so looking forward to the day when I can reflect BACK on my 1st 2nd and 3rd 5K's. And a half marathon in the works!! THat's great!! Report
I walked my first 5k in September of 2007. Now I too am training for my first mini-marathon. May 8 is coming quickly- I'll be one of 35,000 doing the Indy 500 Mini Marathon. I can't wait, but yet I can. Report
I know how you feel! I am not quite there yet, but I am getting there! Report
You are an "athlete" with the soul of an intellectual!! Congratulations!! It is so exciting for you to be planning on the half marathon!!

And I always liked to exercise(dance, yoga, walking) but reading and eating did take precedence too when I was younger. NO organized sports for me but when my bad knee allows I do like to walk fun runs. I hope to run again one day.

Be blessed Coach Stepf!! Report
Be proud! That was a touching blog. It gave me inspriation that I am going to get to "that place" in running too! Report
Congratulations, I think it's wonderful that you've acknowledged your accomplishments and can now comfortably call yourself a runner!

I understand your hesitation, I would never in a million years call myself an athlete, although it is my burning (and until now secret) desire to become one. Unfortunately, my inner critic's voice is too strong and for now is preventing me from reaching that goal. She says that I'm not an athlete and never will be, that I'll never reach my weight loss goals, and might as well give up now and have that second (or third or fourth) slice of pizza.

I would love to know more about how you overcame your fears. I admire you so much and wish you the best of luck in training for your half-marathon, I'm confident that you can do it. Your success only fuels your readers' desires and you are such an inspiration, thank you! Report
Good for you. Congratulations! When I ran my first 5k I felt like I had done the unthinkable. I hope to follow in your footsteps and do a half marathon down the road. I'm back in the swing of things since having a baby and it feels so good.
Good luck with your race. Report
For the first time I have made a long term fitness goal and have been open about sharing it. I am training tow alk a half marathon with my niece to celebrate her 5 yr survival after a breast cancer diagnosis. I am excited and cautious at the same time. It is inspiring to have such a goal and be in good enough shape to know I can do it. Report
You may not have been athletic as a child, Stepf, but I would call you athletic as an adult! If I were you I would be proud of my accomplishments.

Best of luck on your training and running of a half-marathon. You go, girl! Report