Guest Blog: Stellar Fashion and Fitness
I am so proud to have Jennifer from Stellar Fashion and Fitness guest posting today. A few months back I met Jennifer at a See Jane Write event. I was a fan of her blog and very excited to connect with her. Over the past few months I have grown to admire her for many reasons, including her acute eye for fashion, her love for fitness and her ability to write from the heart. She has become a dear friend to me over these last few months and I am so grateful for it! Let me share a bit of her mission statement with you.
"I believe that finding peace with your own body — and by that I mean the full body: brain, heart, soul and the physical body that moves us through our world each day — is an important step in finding success in this life because if you can’t love yourself and move yourself forward, no one else will. It’s time to look at doing good things for ourselves as actually doing good for others in our lives. This blog will be a place where we can learn and explore how to live a stellar life — fashionably."
Wow! As if that alone isn't motivating enough, she is going to share with us a bit of her heart and passion for running today.
A Rebel Runner
I can clearly remember the words going through my head as I rounded the indoor track at the Gold’s Gym in Vestavia: “You can do it. Show them you can do it.”
I was finally finishing my last couple of weeks of the Couch to 5k program. In nine weeks I had gone from just walking to running a full 3 miles … slowly, but I was still doing it. I was training to run my first 5k race, and I was determined.
As much as I wanted to accomplish something for myself, and lose weight and become a healthier person along the way, I had another reason for wanting to run my first 5k — for wanting to become a runner at all. And it had to do with them.
It had to do with all the people who looked at me funny as I huffed and puffed my way around that indoor track. Who looked at me worriedly, wondering if my sweaty red face was a serious symptom. “Should I get her help?” I could almost hear them thinking. And it had to do with the stranger who called me “fat ass” in the Target parking lot, the kids who picked on me in school for being chubby, the guy in the club who once said, in earshot, that the easiest way to make your way to the bar was to follow a “fat girl.”
I didn’t care that I was still overweight. I didn’t care that I had and would continue to struggle with my size for years to come. For me, starting to run meant that I was more than what those people thought. Starting to run meant that I could look all those people in the eyes who thought fat people are lazy and say, “No, actually, I run three or four times a week.” I could look at them and truthfully say that, in addition to running, I’ve done Zumba, Body Pump, yoga, kickboxing and any number of workouts. I could say that I literally went from sitting on the couch to running an entire 3.1 miles flat out.
That mantra would repeat over and over in my head as I made my way around that track, watching others do their workouts around me. Watching the tall, lanky man run on the treadmill, each stride equally several of my steps with his long legs. Or the girl on the stair climber whose buns of steel were awe inspiring. Or the lifters downstairs, grunting their way through multiple sets of deadlifts, cleans and military presses.
“Show them. Show them you can do it. Show your family. Show your friends. Show yourself. You can run 3 miles. You can do it.”
The day that I did, the day that I finally ran 3 miles, around and around and around that indoor track, I cried. I slowed to a walk, with a smile on my face, and made my way around the back of the spinning studio where no one could see me, and I let those tears fall. Sheer joy. Pride. Accomplishment.
Every time I finish a race now, I still have those thoughts. I am still overweight, still exercising several times a week, still trying to eat healthier. And I’m still trying to run.
I’ve run several 5ks now, two 10ks, a 10-mile race and two half marathons. But no matter the distance, even if it’s a 2-mile jog around my neighborhood, I hear that voice. That voice inside that says, “You can do this.” That voice that fights the naysaysers, that fights the stereotypes and rebels against them.
I am a rebel runner.
Edit: I was way too motivated by Jennifer's words and had to make a picture. Isn't this chick awesome!!!