Sometimes It Takes a Village

“You have to want it, you have to plan for it, you have to fit it into a busy day.
You have to be mentally 
tough, you have to use others to help you.
The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape.
The hard part is getting your mind in shape.” Amby Burgoot

I ran a 10K this past weekend.
Or, as my kids called it, a Quarter Marathon.
That’s right, I ran a Quarter Marathon!
It was a big race for me.
The last one I ran was a year and 3 months ago.
I crossed the finish line hardly able to run and limped for days afterward.
I felt victorious that I had finished a race, but terrified of ever running one again because I was in so much pain.
I wasn’t prepared, I hadn’t trained, and I tried to do the whole thing on my own.

What a difference this 10K was.
I ran with a friend.
Susan is helping me train for my first Half Marathon.
She encouraged me to run the race with her, and her encouragement motivated me to show up and run, even though I was nervous about the outcome.
And as we ran in the already hot, morning sun, her presence kept me going.
We finished the race in record time (for me), I wasn’t limping or in pain.
In fact, I felt really good.
Each mile we add to our runs makes me feel so much more confidant about the end goal, that 13.1.
I’m actually excited about it, because I know I have a whole team of people working with me and rooting for me.
I have a village.

This weekend’s race made me think of this piece I wrote a while back about how valuable it has been for my fitness journey to have people on my team.
I thought I’d share it here because I am sure many of you can relate.
And if you can’t, because you don’t have a team yet, I hope this will encourage you to start building one.

The very last thing I wanted to do was go running.
Up big hills .
I mean the VERY last thing,
My legs were so sore from yesterday’s workout that it hurt to walk.
I couldn’t imagine running on them.

But I knew Aaron was going to ride his bike home from work, pedaling as fast as he could, so I could go.
And he was going to be supportive and for me, even though I was leaving him with 4 kids at dinner time.
Because that’s the kind of guy he is.
Still, I emailed him and said, “I’m not going tonight. I’m too sore. I’m in pain. I can’t do it.”
He didn’t say, ” yes you are going running.”
Or even, ” yes you should go running.”
He just said, ” your legs will feel better if you run. It will stretch them out.”
How could I get offended at that?
Or accuse him of implying I needed to go running and therefore implying I was fat? (because you know I’ve done that to him before)
I couldn’t.

So then I texted my workout buddy, Jocelyn, and said, “the thought of running makes me want to cry. You better tell me a good reason to come or I’m going to bail.”
Of course she texted right back and said,”you need to be there. Your legs will stretch out while you run. You are strong. You will feel so good when you are done!”
How could I argue with that?
I couldn’t!

So I went.
And when I pulled up, Jocelyn and Shannon cheered for me, and made me feel like a hero just for coming.
It’s good to have people on your team.

The first 10 or so steps were brutal.
But after that my legs started feeling better.
And then they felt good .
I couldn’t believe it.

So much of exercise is mental.
If you can push past the excuses, then the exercise is the easy part.
For me, having people to support me is key to getting past those excuses.
I know the sacrifices Aaron makes so that I can work out, and I don’t want to let him down.
His support motivates me.
Knowing I have friends waiting for me to show up at boot camp, or for a run, also motivates me.
And having a trainer who will ask where I’ve been is another great help for the times I don’t want to lace up my shoes.
There are times when I can get there myself.
And there there are days when I need some extra help.



We ran down the last hill watching the sun set.
I felt like a million bucks.
Everyone was right; I felt so great after it was done.
It’s like that every single time.
I know that.
But sometimes I still need the reminder.
You know the saying about it taking a village to raise children?
Well, sometimes it takes a village to get me to exercise.
And I’m so grateful for my village.

I want you to think about this: who’s in your village?
Do you have a friend text you before workouts so you’ll be less likely to sleep in, and more likely to show up?
Do you have a spouse or significant other who encourages you to workout, who makes time in their schedule so you can get to class or go out on a run?
If not, can you ask them to do that for you?
Do you follow along with any fitness blogs or have workout friends on Facebook who motivate you and hold you accountable?
There are so many different ways to become involved and invested in your fitness lifestyle.
Being part of a team has made all the difference for me.
If you feel uncomfortable asking for people’s numbers at Boot Camp, become their friend on Facebook first.
Become friends with Long Beach Boot Camp, and look for motivating posts there.
Start with one small step, and then take another.
Before you know it, you’ll have a group of supportive friends around you who will be cheering you on as you race toward your next fitness goal.
I know it might be hard to imagine, but it will happen.
I promise.
To help you get started, you can look for me at Boot Camp, on Facebook, (greta eskridge) or on Instagram (@maandpamodern)
I’d love to be in your village.
Now keep on Living Fit!