Good morning ladies,
This is another magical weekend for Your Turn as we have met our goal of getting the Runners of Kalamazoo to their goal of a 5K race, the Jingle Bell 5K! This is one of my favorite things to write about, setting a goal and the accomplishment of such goal.
In July Your Turn received the message that there was a desired goal for some Your Turn Inspirators and some women outside of the tribal confines of Your Turn who wanted to train to run a 5K, 3.1 miles. I had a conversation with the Kalamazoo Foundation and filled out the application to receive funding to support this group. Dawn researched where we could meet and we found the race to train for.
On September 11th at 6:30pm the training began. We met at the Fitness Spot in Downtown Kalamazoo ready to run or at least ready to think we were going to be ready to run.
Rene, an AMAZING INSPIRATOR took it upon herself to be the main support of this group by giving of her experience and support.
Stacy, a woman who had recently lost well over 100lbs and not too long ago was unable to walk up her basement stairs was now ready to take on the challenge of moving forward for 3.1 miles. Kathy, new to YT, wasn’t new to running but was new to running consistently toward a goal. Sarah, a woman who has run/walked many 5K’s and even trained for Sprint Triathlons but never as a group and never without having to spend much time walking was ready to take on this challenge. Monica, who will try about ANYTHING fitness wise wanted to make sure she was a part of this group. Ann, the President of YT, was once told she ran like a duck in college and never tried again decided she was going to put that negative tone in her head away and DO THIS!!!
There were more signed up for this training program that were unable to make it to night 1 so they did that week on their own and they accomplished this first week of run 60 seconds, walking 90 seconds for a total of 20 mins. I don’t know that there was too much fear about not being able to accomplish it being said but I know there was quite a bit of nervousness and excitement!
Week 2 we had EVERYONE show up that originally committed to be a part of this group and they got amazing news that this group had been funded and they would each be able to receive new running shoes and their race fee being paid for. Cheers went up all around!!
Already conversations were being had about how they could get together for more of the runs because support means so much. Maybe a Thursday, maybe a Sunday…..let’s set it up. Rene went above and beyond when she offered to run with anyone almost at any time, “just let me know” she said. And let her know they did, she found herself running on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s, a few Friday’s and Sunday’s with one or more of the women as they needed it.
And then an AMAZING thing happened; Cindy from the Runners of White Pigeon who broke her toe 3 weeks before the race she was training for decided she wanted IN!!! She didn’t want to give up on this goal she had, she was healthy and ready to RUN (I’m crying as I write this, Cindy I am SOOOO proud to know your strength and courage!!!) Jessica, who had fallen in an accident at work who was unable to run wanted to join to walk, “is that ok”. OMG, OF COURSE!!! Our tribe was growing!!! My friend Amber and I were talking one day and I mentioned she should join in, so she did AND so did her mom Sue.
All of a sudden our group of 8 was a group of 11 and sometimes more!
Even as the darkness crept in earlier and earlier, even though the parking lot to the Celery Flats closed up at dusk, even as the cold become colder the Runners of Kalamazoo were determined! This group, this TRIBE was a priority and everyone loved it. Conversations were had on FB, friendships were generated and love was felt by all from all!
Tomorrow we meet at our running spot, the Celery Flats of Portage at the BIG RED BARN ready to run the race we have been training for. Our love and support for one another got us to the start line of the Jingle Bell 5K and our perseverance, determination and strength will get us each from the start line to the finish!!!
During this training program we have talked about most everything but amazingly enough negativity was not a part of this group. We cheered, supported, missed the ones who weren’t able to make it, and laughed. We spoke of runner trots (poops), prolapsed bladders, larger stronger muscles, weight loss, pants fitting just a little better and keeping up the group after the “official” training was over.
If you have the opportunity this afternoon to come out to the Jingle Bell 5K to cheer these women on you will NOT regret it! They give off an atmosphere of STRENGTH and COURAGE that is contagious!
Great job Runners of Kalamazoo and beyond! See you at the BIG RED BARN ready to GET YOUR SWEAT ON!