It was just about this time three years ago when I approached my Mom and asked her to join me in running our first 5k race together. Growing up I would always look at runners and could not believe how athletic and in shape their bodies were. For years I had dreamed of becoming a runner. I knew that achieving that goal was not going to be easy, and a goal I wasn’t going to be able to achieve alone!
After weeks of training, a few months later we were crossing the finish line at the Race For Your Memories 5k in May of 2010. Our first race ever! Looking back at that race I really had no idea what the future would hold for myself, my family — and friends — and running. I could never have imagined that becoming a runner would take me, and others, on this amazing journey that still continues to this day!
Getting us all running was no easy task! I clearly remember multiple times throughout 2010 when my Dad made it perfectly clear where he stood on running — if he was going any distance with the word “miles” in it, he would hop in his truck and drive! He swore up and down that we would never get him out there running with us! Well, I guess the saying is true — you can never say never!
When I think about everything my family has been through the past three years, and where we all are today I get this immense feeling of pride, joy and happiness. As a family, we have been through two surgeries for myself in 2010 & 2011, a multiple heart-bypass surgery for my Dad in 2011 and my Mom had surgery as well in 2011. The health challenges that the three of us have overcome have been monumental, including a total weight loss of 240 pounds between the three of us! I must say, that even though he has only begun to run, I am also immensely proud of my husband, Mark, who has lost 30 pounds since October of 2012; now making our family total a whopping 270 pounds!!!
Looking back at where we all started three years ago I would have never believed that as of today I would ran a marathon, 3 half marathons, a sprint distance triathlon, and so many 5k’s & 10k’s they are hard to count; my Mom would have ran 2 marathons, a sprint distance triathlon, and so many half marathons, 5k’s & 10k’s they are hard to count; and my Dad would have ran 3 marathons and so many half marathons, 5k’s & 10k’s they are hard to count.
On March 17, 2013 my Dad will run his 4th Marathon, my Mom her 3rd, as they run in the LA Marathon! (I am so proud of both them!)
If you have ever read through my blog, you will notice that in most races at least two of us family members are always running together! Although lately, it has been harder to run the smaller races together, for the half and full marathons you can rest assured that at least two of us will always be entered and running! I can honestly say, if it were not for our family — the support, encouragement, and competition we provide each other — I do not think any of us would have accomplished what we have today!
And in all honestly the support, encouragement, competition and our love of running does not stop with just my parents!!! My brother Daniel, my sister Emily and her boyfriend Don all run as well!
And… it doesn’t stop there either!
Each and every year during September members from my extended family all “go home” and run the Fort Wayne Fort for Fitness race(s) together. The Fort for Fitness offers a 4 mile walk/run, a 10k walk/run and a half marathon! This is perfect race for our family as it offers a distance that everyone is interested in doing — and it gives us the opportunity to see family from all over the country! Normally, the group consists of myself, my parents, two Aunts, an Uncle, my Grandmother, one or two cousins, and a handful of other friends of the family who head down to Indiana to run with us — in total we have people coming from at least three different states to run!!
For months my husband would hear us all talk about running, and each time he would remind us just how crazy he thinks we are for our love of running. He vowed that he would never run further than a 5k, maybe a 10k if I was an amazing wife and asked him nicely to run with me. Well, guess what?? In just three weeks, my husband is going to join me for his first race ever — a 10k! AND, he has now made it clear that he will be running at least one, if not two, half marathons this year! AND, he has made it clear that he will run a marathon with me in 2014!!!
I am extremely proud of what everyone in my family has been able to accomplish over the past three years — and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of us! My Mom and I are training for our very first half ironman triathlon! My Dad has talked about running a 50 mile Ultra Marathon, my sister and her boyfriend hope to run their very first marathon, my husband is planning on running a marathon — I know as long as we remain a family that runs together — we can truly accomplish any goal we each set!
We have transformed ourselves from a sedentary family to a family who enjoys running and living a health life style! However, what makes what we do even more meaningful is that we do it together — we have each other to help with encouragement and support! Mark and I are hoping to start our family within the next year. Three years ago I would have wondered how long my children would have with their grandparents and other family members around, and now I am hopeful that my children will have their grandparents and others, including Mark and I, around for years and years to come!