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.