All You Have to Do is Decide!

Today is the one year anniversary for a client and great friend of mine at Train for Life! I wanted to share with you her progress and story through her words here for you today. We are capable of pushing ourselves beyond what we ever thought possible. All you have to do is decide and everything else will get out of your way. One year ago, Lauren decided to take it upon herself to change her life. Congratulations to her and all of her accomplishments! I'm very proud of all that she has! Thank you for letting me and the Train for Life family be a part of your journey!!

Here is her update since the original testimonial posted on the website last year, ENJOY!

Short update on my journey with Train for Life since you last heard from me at the end of October 2011. Weeks after completing the Rugged Maniac 5K, during a moment of temporary insanity and at the encouragement of the TFL crew, I signed up to participate in the May 2012 Tough Mudder race at Mount Snow. Tough Mudder events are 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by the British Special Forces; they proclaim themselves to be “the toughest event on the planet.” This stuff is no joke and I decided it could never be too early to start to train. I began to step up my running, registered for another 5K, and increased my mileage. But I still wasn’t feeling like that was enough. What better way to prepare my body for that kind of torture? Train for a half marathon… naturally. Clearly, my streak of insanity had continued, or so I thought. It’s important I mention that I have been following the lead of my fellow TFLer’s into these races. I was inspired by those around me setting goals and aiming high and I believed I should do the same. I set my sites on two things, hit 100lbs lost by March 15 (my TFL anniversary) and a February trip to Florida to run…or walk, the 2012 Disney Princess ½ Marathon. While it might sound like I made all these decisions lightheartedly and with an “I got this” mentality. I questioned myself and my ability every step of the way. At this point I had lost over 70lbs, had a couple small races under my belt and was stronger than I had ever been but it’s true we are always our own worst critics and I had some serious doubts about my plans. To be honest that doubt always lingered but the people who never doubted me were my friends at Train for Life. I have joked with Drew that if I announced that I planned to climb Mt. Everest next week his reply would be “yeah buddy!” So, on the days that I didn’t believe in myself I relied on the fact that others had faith in me. For those of us prepping for long races, half and full marathons, Drew put together a 15 week running program. I’m not exaggerating when I say I struggled through almost every training run. I would listen to my friends talk about their runs, their pace, their mileage, and their…runner’s high?! I started to loathe the nice lady on my Nike app who reminded me of my pace every half mile. I questioned myself, why I did I decide to train for this over the winter? How much money would I lose if I back out now? Why did I do this? WHY did I DO this? My weight loss was a different struggle. I plateaued, like we all do, more than once. I did my fair share of beating myself up over 1lb, 2lbs, and all that wine I drank last weekend. And I certainly had a few “pull yourself together kid” conversations with my friends, there was no doubt, this part of my journey had some bumps. These thoughts stayed with me for months, pretty much until race day, at which point my goal was finish… running, walking, crawling, just finish. There is a photo of me somewhere on this page at mile 11, I look happy but at that moment I’m pretty sure I could have stopped and walked the last two miles, no question. But my longtime friend and running partner that day kept running and so did I. It was in mile 11 that I let myself think back on the previous 11 months (coincidence? Hmmm). I thought about what a different person I was, not just physically but in all areas of my life. The goals I had achieved and the ones I had yet to conquer, the people who’ve told me I’ve inspired them and most importantly the incredible people who have inspired and supported me. When I was done I was amazed with myself, I spent the entire rest of that day saying “I can’t believe we ran a half marathon this morning!... No, seriously, I can’t believe it.” What I failed to recognize until that day was the challenge of training truly had prepared my body, it was my head that was creating the struggle. I flew back from Florida just over a week ago considering myself a runner for the very first time. Yesterday, March 6, 2012, nine days before my 1 year anniversary at Train for Life I hit the 100lb mark. I am not the first of us to reach this milestone and I’m certain I won’t be the last. When I started out a year ago it was never my goal to lose 100lbs or to run a race of any kind I simply wanted to be healthier and happier. And I am. It’s funny now that I’m here, what should feel like the end of something instead feels like the beginning of something much bigger. I’m still not sure what, but I can’t wait for whatever comes next.