New Year's Resolutions were never really my thing. Until I started running, I had this really cynical view about them: if I don't have one, I can't disappoint myself when I don't achieve it! Way to set the bar high, Ray.
It wasn't until I did a charity 5k walk in the fall of 2015 that I started to wonder if maybe I could run a 5K. I was walking it with Kara Sewell from Fox 19 and she was just lightning fast walking this thing, I was feeling the burn just walking trying to keep up with her. I never walked that fast unless they said there was free food in the work kitchen (your coworkers look at you strange if you actually run in front of their office). But I felt really good walking it and didn't feel that exhausted afterwards and it sparked this weird thought in my brain, "can I run a 5K?"
It was that moment that started it all, really. Now, in typical Ray fashion, I didn't actually start running as soon as the 2016 New Year hit, I procrastinated quite a bit, but that's also when I met my best friend who would wind up becoming my running coach. She was a fairly new runner who wanted new people to run with and I needed someone to provide me with the structure to actually learn how to run.
"Learn how to run" is a funny phrase, you know how to run as soon as you walk, but my mindset is always when I start something new, I expect myself to be perfect at it right out of the gate. If I would've just tried to run three miles without a proper build-up, I never would've got to where I am now, I would've quit almost immediately, because spoiler alert: running is hard.
I was completely out of shape, I couldn't run for 30 seconds continuously, and I wanted to run a 5K? My coach taught me the Couch to 5K
method and when I ran my first mile without stopping, I felt a sense of accomplishment I haven't felt in perhaps my entire life. Oh! That's why people make New Year's Resolutions!
I started running in late March of 2016 and didn't run my first 5K until that August, and it was not an easy journey ... it's still not an easy journey. But with every accomplishment, I felt like I could do a little more. A 5K felt like a cakewalk when I did a 10K. A 10K felt easy when I did my first 15K. And then in May of 2017, I ran my first half marathon. I never set out to do that, but something about running -- an activity I hated growing up – rebooted the part of my brain that was averse to goal setting.
And as I head into 2018, my goals just keep getting bigger: running a full marathon. 26.2 miles. But I have to know if I can do it ... and it all started with a resolution of running just 3.1 miles. If I can do it, anyone can. For tips to help you stay active this winter, check out Fun Winter Exercise Ideas.