How does a 284 pound woman walk 6 miles on a Saturday morning in June? One. step. at. a. time. My plan when I went to bed last night was to try 5 miles today. But I woke up and wondered if I could walk a 10K (6.2 miles). I decided I would, and that is where the adventure began. Like Mel Robbins says in many of her talks, if you could amplify my thoughts for the rest of the world to hear, I would not be allowed to walk around unsupervised. If you are not one of the 9.4 million views on her Ted Talk linked above, take some time today to listen!
I want to do this blog post to let you know that the end result of what you see people do is not the whole story. Six miles may not be a big deal to some people reading this and to others it might seem impossible. For me, it is a big deal. Four months ago, I was 51 pounds heavier, and completely sedentary. I could probably walk two miles under duress and could knock out a 5K if given enough time. But it certainly wasn’t part of my routine to exercise. My sister and cousin were running a marathon and I was going with them to walk a 5K in March, so I started walking more and have built up to walking more regularly now. My friend challenged me to join a virtual event to do 200 miles in 100 days this summer. It is keeping me on my toes!
So anyway, back to today’s walk. I like to listen to audiobooks when I walk. Today I pulled up some YouTube videos by Mel Robbins to listen to. It is a great way to stay motivated. I was listening to her talk about how we never feel like doing difficult things in our life, so if we wait until we feel like doing something, we won’t. Her advice is that if you have a thought or idea, move on it within 5 seconds or your brain will stop you – especially if it is out of your normal realm of behavior/action.
I had multiple times during my walk when I wanted to just turn back and call it a day. It was hot, I ended up with some blisters, the sun was beating down on me. I had to remind myself multiple times that taking a 6 mile walk was just a series of taking one step at a time. And that is what I focused on – the next step I had to take. And every time the lady on the RunKeeper app would announce that I had completed the next .5 mile increment, I would glance over my shoulder to make sure no children were in the area and mutter “fuck, yeah!” or “your’re a badass” or both!
I had a couple of encounters during my walk that made me smile. One was a lady who was walking in the same park I was and was walking toward me. We shared some encouraging words with one another. The other was a very sweet lady when I was at about mile 5.5 who was also walking in the park. She stopped me and asked me if I needed some water because my face was so flushed. I assured her I was almost home and thanked her for her offer. You know you are reaching for the stars when even an innocent bystander wonders if you are about to keel over. If that lady ends up reading this, thanks so much for asking. I know when I about fell over when we stopped to chat, I wasn’t super convincing, but I did make it home just fine.
Do I have plans to do 6 miles any time in the near future? No. Did I enjoy it? Not really. Am I glad I did it and really proud of myself? Absolutely!
What will you challenge yourself with this week? What will you stop talking yourself out of doing? Go after it! You CAN DO IT!