Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Haunted Half Doesn't Scare Us

Well folks. I have changed a lot over the last couple of years, and done quite a few things I said I never would. (Number one on that list would be nursing school. That was a hard no. But it turns out you cannot actually give Heavenly Father a hard no, or he will test you on it.) 
Kylie, Rick, me, and Steven keeping warm pre-race
Running was something I always despised growing up. I hated being sweaty, I hated feeling slow and out of breath, and I hated feeling weaker than everyone around me because I just thought I could not do it. I always told myself and others that I simply was not athletic; it is easy to blame things on what is out of your control and rationalize that you therefore have no power to change it.

Spider Man, Harry Potter, Leonardo, and Super Man ready to rock.
As I have grown and matured (or like to believe I have..) I have come to reject the idea that there are a lot of things outside of my control. I have come to love the challenge of being told I can't do something or can't change something. My parents raised me to believe that I could accomplish anything I wanted if I planned and worked hard enough for it. A few years ago I decided to take my health into my own hands and started doing research on healthy eating/lifestyles/etc. I came to truly love how it felt to eat and be healthy. I started swimming a lot to get my exercise in. But the problem with swimming is it is sort of a seasonal sport. Every winter would come and my health would decline for a few months, and I once again would place the blame on the weather; something outside of my control. Last year when I left on study abroad I became determined to continue exercising year round. I realize the only way to make that happen would be to start running...
family fun 
I was lucky enough in London to have a bunkmate who was an avid runner and got me up every morning to go with her for a half hour. It only took a week or two to learn to love our morning jogs through Kensington Gardens. It was gorgeous trails, perfect temperature, and just felt good to move my body and feel my heart and muscles growing stronger.

This summer I made a goal to run a half marathon. Daunting to my beginning runner self, but I wanted to prove I could do it. Fast forward 6 months and I am thrilled (and shamelessly proud) to announce I have conquered that goal. Yesterday me and my roommate/best friend ran the Haunted Half! We've been running every morning together since school started and training for longer runs, but the farthest I had ever run was 10 miles.. How different can 13 be, right? ha.
running 13.1 miles is fun folks
We had two goals going into it:
1. Don't walk/stop running
2. Finish in under 2 hours.
shamelessly proud of ourselves and thrilled that I can now go eat all the pumpkin cookies I want..
We did not stop even for one second and ran an 8:47 mile to finish a few minutes under the two hour mark!  #success. WE ARE SO HAPPY. It was so fun! Can I say that? It was 2 hours of running, but I had the time of my life pushing myself and accomplishing a big goal with Erika. My brother-in-law decided last minute to run it as well, and the three of us ended up running the last few miles together and crossing the finish line hand it hand. Ashley came down to support us at the finish line, and Erika's parents came so we saw them several times on the trail. They are adorable.
Rick's cute fams signs
I would be lying if I did not say it was hard, and I definitely had to push myself. I don't know if I could have done it alone, but Erika is a champion friend and encouraged me in my moments of doubt and up the hill at the end. It was definitely an experience for the books, and we are already looking into future half marathons for us to run. It might be an addiction.. We love to say that we run because we can. Our bodies are strong, and they can do amazing things. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for my incredible body. The more I study it in anatomy and physiology the more I am blown away by the complexity and perfect intricate workings of our bodies.

Health/exercise has become one of the subjects I am most passionate about. I love that I have grown to love running and pushing my body to its limits. It is so empowering and humbling at the same time. I run because I can; I will keep pushing myself and running until I can't. And even then I am not sure I will accept my fate.. Who knows what adventures are in store for me and Erika now. We feel like we can conquer the world at this point! Everyone should go make a health goal and then work until you reach it. I have such a testimony of goal setting. IT IS SO FUN. Go! Get up and move. You won't regret it and I promise your body will thank you for it now and in the years to come.

Spider Man and Harry Potter on cloud 9

Happy Halloween!

Love Always, Aimee
medals are for winners.