Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fulfilling a Dream

 Two October’s ago, I was logging onto the Boston Athletic Association’s website to register for the marathon and a screen popped up which read, “Registration for the 2011 Running of the Boston Marathon is now CLOSED.” A registration process that took nearly two months to fill up the year before had filled up in a matter of hours. The fact of the matter is that I had been locked out of running my dream race for one more year. Devastated and mortified that this was the case, I worked my aggression out in a CrossFit workout with Fitness Director Adam Martin who happened to witness my dismay. I think if you probe him a little bit he’ll tell you just how upset I was.

 I thought to myself, this can’t be? How can I find a way to secure a race number? Qualified since December 2010 and now getting locked out of registration left me absolutely frustrated. After a few months of exhausting my resources on finding a bib number for Boston, I quickly realized it wasn’t meant to be that year. Why fight it? I’m now sitting here nearly two years later with the Boston Marathon approaching in 9 short days, about to fulfill a dream that I never even thought was possible.

 What’s interesting is that when I came to Hilton Head Health for my internship, I had never run competitively or even entered a local 5K race. I actually had no idea it would be something I’d crave. Growing up playing team sports such as hockey, baseball, and golf led me to that basic conclusion. In October 2010, I ran my first 5K out in Bluffton finishing second overall in a time of 18:10. I was honestly baffled by the fact that it went so well. Lots of H3 guests know that I’m nothing short of “ALL IN” now when it comes to these events, but many have the assumption that I ran in college. I can honestly say that before I came to Hilton Head Health I was not a runner.

My number one takeaway from this personal growth experience and unexposed talent has been to alert guests that they need to uncover something similar. Without a goal or a dream in front of us, it can be difficult to create a sustainable fitness regimen. Regular exercise becomes a big challenge if there isn’t some sort of sense of satisfaction, intrinsic motivation or need for achievement behind it. It could be as simple as getting your kids involved in a local 5K or attending an exercise class because all your friends go or doing it so you are healthy enough to spend time with the ones you love. What I am calling each of you to do today is to uncover your dream or reason for exercising? What makes it important to you? Once you do that, I promise you that you’ll simply be unstoppable.

Everything happens for multiple reasons, but what’s unique about the Boston Marathon is that it symbolizes just one for me. My reason for toeing the start line on April 16, 2012 is to inspire. Inspire you to step outside your comfort zone. Inspire you to achieve something that you didn’t think was possible. Ultimately, inspire you to create change.

I run because I love to compete, but more importantly I love to see that smile on the face of a guest who has just finished their first 5K. To me, that’s impactful….That’s inspiring.
If you’d like to follow me fulfilling my dream via updates the morning of race, please sign up for AT&T’s Athlete Alerts. TEXT the word RUNNER to 345678 using your mobile phone and enter my RACE BIB Number 1037 … Have a dream, make a plan, go for it. You’ll get there, I promise.

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