Monday, September 14, 2009

How Running Changed My Life: Jessica's Story

Have you ever started a fitness or running program that lasted only a few days before giving up on it? Many Americans do that time and time again. Jessica, however came back to a running program she gave up on back in college. This time, however, she stuck with it and is feeling Great! Here's Jessica's story in her own words:

Running gave me a new outlook on the world and a greater understanding of what I was capable of! In college I tried the Couch to 5k program. After the third workout I gave up on it. I wasn't a runner in my mind—it wasn't for me. If someone asked, my motto was, "I only run if someone is chasing me." I would jog occasionally or walk fast on a treadmill, but I never really ran. I didn't think I could and I never pushed myself to try something outside of my comfort zone. I was content walking and felt that I didn't want to stress my knees or participate in any high-impact exercise. This time around though, I wanted more. I wanted to accomplish for the first time in my life something that wasn't the typical me—I wanted to be an athlete.

I decided to give the Couch to 5K program another try. The first few weeks weren't bad. I realized I enjoyed the five minute running intervals more than the three minute walking intervals. My legs felt better when I ran and I felt like it was more enjoyable than walking. I arrived at that mentally challenging 20-minute interval and did it twice before moving on and feeling like I had actually conquered the run. To be honest I was completely intimidated about the 20-minute run and had just about talked myself out of doing it when I stepped back, took a deep breath, and just went for it.

When I ran those intervals with my husband and was able to just keep going, it made me feel like I had really accomplished something. It truly is a simple program and you're able to run after just nine short weeks. Now when I go for a run, I go for a brisk warm-up walk and then just start running. I have a whole world that has opened up to me because I was willing to try something outside of my comfort zone.

Running has given me more than I could ever expect, the knowledge and strength to push myself further than before, and that's a true accomplishment!
—Jessica Harbison Weaver

Jessica's story is a testament to the human will and the power of determination. Jessica also recently accomplished another awesome goal—her first double-digit run! Check it out on her blog.


gene said...

wahooO!!!! I, too, have started, stopped, started, stopped. THIS time, however, as I am now 40 working on 41, i am NOT giving up. did a 4 mile hill climbin june, and my first half marathon 3 weeks ago. setting goals (races) really works for me, and having the support of my wife is HUGE. glad to hear your story, Jessica!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Gene! That's awesome! Keep it up!!

Thomas said...

What defines an athlete?

“Anyone who trains on a consistent basis, tries to achieve those goals, and have a long-term outlook and involvement in the process, is an athlete.”

Congratulations, Jessica!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Thomas! I second that!

Zoƫ said...

My sister-in-law is currently doing the couch to 5K and she just ran her first race last saturday. She's been running since June and now she's hooked. Jessica's story is very awesome and I'm so excited for her to run her first Half! Way to go, Jessica!

trailgurl said...

Way to go Jessica! I started running using the Couch to 5K program myself! Very proud of you!