June 28, 2010

Running Ahead

Now that I am a co-owner of a fitness company, people automatically assume I have a fairly stringent fitness routine - and they would be spot-on.  As an amateur competitive runner, I've run two full marathons, a 1/2 Ironman triathlon, and nearly 50 other road races from 5K to half-marathon to mile sprint.  I adore running.  I do it nearly every day.  And on the days I don't run, I Spin, row, do yoga or lift weights.

However, only five short years ago I was not a runner, nor a fitness buff.  Nowhere near it, in fact.

In college, a dear friend introduced me to the world of "recreational fitness" - a concept I'd never understood, because for me "working out" was synonymous with "practice," the conditioning aspect of playing varsity sports.  Without a sports-related incentive, I could not fathom why someone would continue going to the gym.  Furthermore, without a coach, I had no idea what to do inside a a gym anyway.

I decided to pick up jogging.  I'd seen a lot of other folks running the loop around our campus - about 2 miles - and I started to join them.  It took me 20 minutes to run the two miles, every time, regardless of weather or effort.  I timed myself every now and then just to make sure I wasn't getting slower, but I was complacent with the 10 total miles the runs added up to each week.

Three years after college, a friend of mine was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and she and her boyfriend asked me to run a 5K with them to support the CCFA.  "Three miles," I thought, incredulous at the idea.  But I went out there and ran my very first 5K race - in just over 24 minutes.  The friend remarked, "I didn't know you were fast!"  And the truth is, I didn't either.  Her single remark - and the renewed confidence that came along with it - spurned me on a mission to get faster, go further, and most of all, discover myself as a runner.

I share this story because here at bene-fit, we are huge believers in the power of peer support.  Sometimes we are afraid to share our deepest dreams and desires because we are afraid that we're not strong/smart/determined/good enough to reach them.  Other times we put ourselves down because we are convinced that our best effort will still be a failure.  Most often we rule out ideas before even giving them fair consideration because of past experiences that have made us think we can't.

This week, bene-fit asks you to reconsider some of your long-lost health and fitness goals and rediscover your own potential.  In other words, as they say and as my story suggests, give it "the old college try."  Find a local 5K race and contact bene-fit for a personalized training plan.  Download a diet tracker and begin being mindful about the food you are using as fuel for your healthy body.  Discover how good it feels to move your body by taking a dance class like Zumba at your local gym.  

Know that joining up with bene-fit is the first step on a journey toward lifelong health and fitness, supported and encouraged at every mile.  How long will you wait to find your bene-fit?  Contact us today for more information on customized fitness planning, personal training, and more.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I too just recently started running and surprised myself last Saturday when I ran a 10 minute mile (in the dead heat of summer at noon, and alone without the motivation of others). In fact this was quite an accomplishment primarily because when I first started running/jogging I could not even run a half mile before I had to start walking. I appreciate you sharing this story whereas it is inspirational and motivational.

  2. Congrats on the milestone (no pun intended, haha)! Keep running and you will continue to find joy in your small victories.