Last year I started training for a 5k. I had a hiatus after the injury that wrecked my rotator cuff leading to my subsequent surgery, but I'm happy to say that I've recently completed my 5th 5k!
I won't say they are easy, but the 5th was much easier than the 1st. Plus, I just love being outside on these gorgeous summer mornings.
This is part of my Radical Self-Care makeover. Getting outside and moving my body. I am so excited when I improve my mileage split or tack another quarter mile to my training. Getting up at 5am so I can get my miles in before I go to work makes me happyhappyhappy.
This is me and my sis-in-law Melissa, Mellie we call her. She is my biggest cheerleader. In fact, she did my first 5k with me last August. Mellie is a runner and in fantastic shape - I'm so inspired by her. She regularly runs 10k's, half-marathons, overnight relay runs - she's awesome.
My first 5k, The Garlic Festival 5k, happened about two weeks after I injured my shoulder, but I was determined to get it done. I walked the entire distance! I wasn't able to run it, but I got it done. Mellie, my super-runner-sis-in-law walked it right along with me, cheering me along the entire way. There was a low but steady incline leading up to the half-way turnaround point. I wanted to quit, but Mellie was right next to me saying, "You got this!", "You're doing great!", "Look at you go!". I got to the top of that little hill and finished my first 5k. If Mellie hadn't been with me, I'd have turned around early.
After that race, I felt like I could do ANYTHING! I felt so strong and proud and fierce! It was so awesome!!
After the race (and a hot shower!), Mellie gave me the shirt I'm wearing in the photo. I lovelovelove this shirt's message because, listen, I'm not a small woman and I'm over 54 years old. And I'm getting out there doing the best I can. Some days I run, some days I walk, some days I do a little of both. But this is my body, this is how it looks in lycra and a t-shirt, but hey, I'm out there, I'm moving it, I am fierce.
That night I went out for burgers at Helvetia Tavern with my brother Sean and Mellie and my nephew Alex. I had this t-shirt on still from earlier in the day. Shortly after we sat down, a woman about my age came by our table and said, "I watched you walk in with that t-shirt on and I just want to say you've inspired me." And then she thanked me. Thanked ME. Wow, what an awesome moment. I was really very humbled by that. I'm out there just doing the best I can do.
So, a year later, a "bionic" rotator cuff and many miles later, and I'm training for my first 10k! It's called Bridge of the Goddess, which I find to be appropriate for my first 10k - speaks to my internal fierce goddess. :) I'll take lots of photos to share because the course will be beautiful, starting at Bridge of the Gods and winding through the Columbia Gorge. I'm pretty stoked about adding a 10k to my list of fitness accomplishments.
Radical self-care is a commitment to making time for me. It's putting myself first so I'm a better me for the people I love. I can't pour from an empty cup, and training for these races fills my cup to overflowing. I'm not fast, I'm certainly not graceful, but I'm out there and (pretty much) loving every minute of it. This is radical self-care. And it's awesome.
I'd love to hear what kinds of things you're doing in terms of radical self-care. How are you filling your cup?