I’m not a runner. My husband is the runner. He ran track in high school and even completed a marathon. I’m not a runner. Actually, I was never interested in running but that changed when I was invited to the 2014 Disney SMMoms Celebration this year. Every aspect of the conference was exciting to me: from hearing inspirational speakers, to meeting other Disney-obsessed moms. Plus spending time with my family at the theme park and attending exclusive dinners. Then there was the runDisney Fun Run event.
For some reason, I didn’t think twice about registering. I wanted to be a part of the race. I wanted to challenge myself, step out of my comfort zone, get healthy and lose the weight that I’ve gained over the past couple of years. Honestly? I was anxious about the run. (I’m not a runner!) It wasn’t even a 5K! But, I told myself that I would walk it. Was I afraid of hurting myself? Not finishing? Embarrassing myself? I told myself that I wouldn’t finish if I tried running.
My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m on Sunday. My family woke up early to support me at the finish line. I begrudgingly dressed for the race. I put on my cool runDisney athletic shirt and the brand-new, pretty purple New Balance running shoes. I looked at myself in the mirror, my stomach bulged and I didn’t feel that I “looked” like a runner. I made it downstairs after critiquing myself. Seeing the other moms motivated me, many were dressed in cute Disney themed outfits and there was excitement in the air. runDisney and New Balance reps gave us tips on posture, our stride and stamina. I took my place in the walk/run crowd.
We were off. I ran with a couple of other Moms but I decided to break away and get into my head. I wanted to focus on breathing (or gasping), and to take in the beauty of running through Disneyland! This truly was a magical moment for me. How many people get to experience a Disneyland before it comes to life?? As I ran through Fantasyland, I could see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I prepared myself to take a selfie but then my cell phone died. Of course it did! But, after talking about this moment to my husband. I realized that it was not about the photo but it was about ME running (not walking) through one of my favorite places in the world and being in the moment. Yes, I teared up and I was actually proud of myself.
The walk/running pace was perfect for my first time running but I was tired. I made it to California Adventure, my shins hurt, my shoes were a little too tight and the rest of my body was definitely in shock. I needed an extra push. I came out of my personal bubble and I saw Asha Dornfest of ParentHacks.com. I had met her earler in the year and I was happy to see her. We chatted, encouraged each other and could hear the cheers! We were close! We decided to run to the finish line where I saw my little girl’s beaming face, my supportive husband’s “I knew you could do this” grin and that big red Lightening McQueen cheering me on! I ran across the finish line. I AM a runner!
My husband showed me the photos he took of me crossing the finish line. I cringed because I looked out of shape, chubby. I realized at that moment that I haven’t been happy with myself or the way that I looked. But I didn’t care, because I just took my first steps to feeling better. Thank you to runDisney and Disney Social Media Moms for giving me the chance and inspiration to make a difference in my life! I may not run marathons but I have promised myself to get active, and change my lifestyle habits. Being a blogger (for me) means, inactive days at the computer, bad eating habits and sometimes very little contact with people IRL. Don’t get me wrong, I love the connections online, but I need a routine where I include daily exercise and where I make better food choices. After re-reading this blog, I realized that it is filled with “I”s. This race was definitely a turning point for me, a ME moment and again, I’m proud of myself. I’m a role model for my daughter and I want her to make healthy choices. Seeing my daughter’s face when I ran across the finish line was priceless. She told me that she was proud of me! My goal is to participate in the runDisney Disneyland Family Fun Run in 2015!
Don’t ever say that you can’t do something! I’m learning more and more that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Sometimes it’s hard to find the self confidence and motivation but believe in yourself!