Time to share - be inspired to run

to share a special email that I recently received.  I hope it will
motivate you and warm your heart to take the first step to a healthier
life.  Jennifer lost 57 pounds on her fitness journey and continues her
path "running" a busy lifestyle.

Hi Andrea,

I always feel like I am a royal pain in your butt when I write to you but meeting you in NYC
was a highlight for me and I don't want to lose touch. I'm still thrilled by the idea that you would
want to put anything regarding an old fart like me into your book!
Anyway....way back when you had asked me about writing something about my experience.


Jennifer Weese lost 57 pounds and completes her first half Marathon

I'm not sure if you meant the weight loss journey or the half marathon in NYC, but recently
I had one of those moments where you sit back and go WOW! and I wanted to try to tell you
about it.
You know about the 57 pounds I lost. I got started with the half marathons by a fluke of fate.

The MORE half marathon was the first one, and the experience was so totallly perfect. I was running
on pure adrenaline that day and crossing the finish line was such an accomplishment for me.

Since then I've done local halfs for charity, and will be completing my 4th half of 2010 tomorrow
in Philadelphia. I threw in the 10K mud run for fun and it was wonderful, if not just for the fact that
it was the first event I've completed with my daughter at my side.

Next to the New York experience, which was life changing for me,
the second most moving experience for me with this running gig happened
to me in Baltimore last month. I ran the half marathon as part of the
Baltimore Running Festival
10th anniversary. It was a new course for me and I was looking forward to doing it as yet another
challenge to me.

I had never  experienced the "runner's high" they
talk about, the endorphin surge or whatever you want to call it. That
day was sunny and warm, unlike the other races I'd done this year (rain
rain go away) and that alone put me into a good mind frame for the
event. Once I got started I was almost mesmerized by the experience.
I looked all around me at the new scenery, the spectators were
wonderful.....cheering and yelling and singing and  little kids were
grinning from ear to ear as you "high fived" them on the run.

I came around a corner and down a small hill and started around Lake
Montibello.  As I looked out at what was ahead of me, I could see all
around this 1.8 mile circle around the lake and was amazed to see that
I was in a line that never ended.....runners moving in one constant
line for almost 2 miles. I realized for the first time that I was part of something so much bigger than myself.

I'd never been able to grasp the concept of being part of 20,000 people. All I ever saw was my little bunch of people,
my little corner of the race and it never seemed big at alI. Knowing you are part of thousands is one thing, but
finally being able to SEE it is another. I started to cry at the beauty of it and muttered an "oh my God...It's incredible!"
The entire race I felt like I was in a parade, waving and smiling and saying hello to strangers.

I waved and smiled at cameras just trying to get my photo taken
because I had this huge smile plastered on my face! I was on such a
natural high that entire day.  It was incredible. I'd never felt like that before and I'm not sure I will again. I cry every time I try to explain the experience to anyone. 

I told one of my patients about it the other day and she remarked that God sends us each different experiences
to mark our lives....things to remember that help to make us what we are.

I think that day was one of those moments for me. (I'm crying now
writing this). I can't totally explain all the emotion of it. I'm sure
you of all people know where I"m coming from. It was almost euphoric. I
felt like I was floating through the race instead of run-jo-walking it
(my term for racing :))  I cried when I got home and was filing away my
bib #, thinking about how some day my great grandkids will be looking
through that notebook and seeing my numbers and looking at my
medals and photos and wondering what they will think and hoping that all of it will  mean something to them.

Maybe I'm a  sentimental old fart, maybe I"m just crazy, but I wanted to try to tell you about that day
and what it meant to me. I don't think I can ever totally communicate to anyone how it really felt. Emotion isn't
really something you can put into words is it?

I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I'd be doing half
marathons in my 50's but here I am and there I go. I run in Philly
tomorrow and might have a new PR!

This holiday season, remember your loved ones, be thankful for your
memories and do something to make your heart sing.  You are never too
old to try and never to old to begin.  Start with taking the first step.


Andrea Metcalf is author or Naked Fitness, Vanguard Press.  Pre-orders are available on line at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com

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Jennifer Weese crossing the finish line of her first half marathon and losing 57 pounds!


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