Monday, January 25, 2016

A Personal Story: What Doesn’t Kill You…

This post is from Melissa, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

We all have moments in life when the reality of a situation overwhelms you. This recently happened to me on my second attempt to finish the Disney Half Marathon in January.

When I ran my first half last January, I attempted it simply because I set a goal for myself to do it before my 44th birthday and to prove to myself that if I could do something I didn’t necessary like for 13.1 miles, I could never tell myself I couldn’t do anything again.

While I didn’t finish the race because I couldn’t keep up with the pacing requirement and was picked up after 5 miles, I still felt pretty good about it and a few months later, decided I wanted to actually try to FINISH this year so I signed up again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I hopped a plane to Orlando to give it another go. Once again, life got in the way of my training and I didn’t exactly prepare as best I should but I still felt good about it, that is until I woke up with a sore throat the day before the race. It progressed into something more as the day wore on and when I went to sleep Friday night, let’s just say I wasn’t feeling all that great. My fiancé kept telling me NOT to participate but I made him a deal that I would not run if I woke up feeling poorly.

When the alarm went off at 2:30 a.m., I felt pretty good. Still a bit congested but my throat felt better so I decided I would give it a go. I boarded the bus at 4 a.m. and made sure I used the restrooms before getting to the starting gate so I wouldn’t have to stop and lose time like I did last year. I started off great and  was on pace when I hit the 3-mile mark. It was after that when the problems began.

About a half mile into the fourth mile, medical personnel began talking to me because I started wheezing and having a hard time getting air in. Everything hurt but I was not going to quit. They kept telling me it would be OK, that I would still get my medal but I told them the words “I quit” or “I’m done” would never escape my lips and that they would have to physically stop me. Four and a half miles in, that’s exactly what they did.

On the medical bus, I met a wonderful man named Seneca from Tennessee and he heard my story as I told it to another woman who suffered leg cramps and he chimed in to share his experiences and to give me encouragement not to stop after hearing this was my last half marathon.

Looking back, I realized I was overmatched and there was truly no way I could’ve finished that day. I was disappointed and when I got back to my hotel, I had a good cry, took a warm shower and went to breakfast with my brother. It helped but I still felt a void, until I checked my Facebook feed. I had an overwhelming response to the video I posted after the race where I let everyone know I didn’t finish. I truly was speechless.

What I learned, once again, is that it doesn’t matter to others that you finish, it simply matters that you start. I never realized how much people actually cared about my fitness adventures but now I do. I’m sure your clients and students feel the same about you so when things seem overwhelming or frustrating, remember that you are an inspiration to others no matter what. The fact that you have courage to teach, train and share your experiences to help folks get fit is the gift you give, not to mention the health benefit they gain.


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