Dear Allison, or at least I think thats what your friend called you. I saw you on the treadmill tonight. I saw me in you. You were winded. You were struggling. The look on your face was of disgust, exhaustion and defeat. I was that girl once. I struggled, as you did, to run a mile. I saw you looking over at me as I ran and ran and ran, for what to you probably seemed like forever. I used to do that. I would wonder how someone could keep going. You probably thought that I was judging you. I wasn't. I was cheering for you. I wanted you to keep going, to push yourself, to believe in yourself.
Don't be ashamed, Allison, and don't give up. People will tell you that 'you can do it' but you will feel like you can't. You will cry. You will go home and eat a cookie because even though you went to the gym to work off the other ones you consumed earlier, its the only way you can make yourself feel better. You'll be sore tomorrow. You will have an internal battle of whether or not to go back to the gym. You should go. No, not because you're a bit overweight and not because society tells you that you should weigh 100 pounds. You should go for you. To feel good. To be better. To be the better YOU. I wont tell you that running a mile is easy, because its not. I certainly wont tell you that getting in shape is easy, because it definitely is not. Don't go to the gym because your skinny bitch girlfriend is dragging you. Go for a purpose. Run for a purpose. Set a goal, achieve it and move onto the next one. You can do it, Allison, and you don't have to be 100 pounds. I'm not! I see me in you. Just keep going....
I wish I could share this letter with "Allison," the girl I saw today at the gym. She reminded me of myself. Someone who never thought they could run a mile and definitely not a marathon! I had more people tell me "you can run a marathon, anyone can run a marathon" but there was no purpose behind it. Its not true, not everyone can run a marathon. There are physical and mental barriers that you have to overcome when you train and compete in an endurance race and not everyone can do that. Its hard, really hard! Who knows if I'll actually be able to complete 26.2 miles, but you better believe that I will try. When I ran 11 miles (alone) last weekend I had time to think. To think about where I came from, how this whole thing got started. Training for a marathon has taught me to eat and be better, to push harder, go longer, not to take anything for granted, especially my legs and most importantly to believe in myself. My advice this week is to set a goal. Your goal could be to go to the gym once a week, volunteer for a non-profit or not fight with your mother this week. Set a goal because achieving any goal is the best feeling in the world. I crossed into double digit (consistent) miles last week, that was my next goal and I achieved it.
Please support my next goal, to raise $4,000 for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. I am running the Boston Marathon in honor of those who can't. Please consider giving up that one coffee from Starbucks tomorrow and contributing to this amazing organization. Every dollar counts and no donation is too small, or too big! ;-) Donations can be made by clicking here.