Just Keep Running

Posted by connie b on

 width=Many, many years ago, a seasoned athlete was trying to help his clumsy young daughter become a better soccer player.  While always quick on a sprint, endurance was not my strong point. Lucky for me, my coach never let me pull any punches.  I remember, so vividly, trudging up a hill that felt like a mountain to my untrained lungs. I was gasping for air, and would have surely given up if not for my father's "encouragement".  He called out tips relating to form and function, in an effort to make my gait more efficient.  Exhausted and nearly hyperventilating, I heard my Dad say  "Just put your hands up and keep running". He couldn't have known, on that brisk October morning so long ago, how pivotal those words would become.  That simple phrase has gotten me through the toughest times of my life.  When things get hard, and every bone in my body wants to give up, I put my hands up and keep running. I am a pessimist by nature; limitation has been a recurring theme in my life.  But Ive worked hard over the years to make myself stronger than that ugly voice inside me that says "I can't".  Plenty of times, in various situations, the obstacles before me have seemed insurmountable.  My Dad's words echo back, and it reminds me that everything is possible. About six years ago, after feeling ill for some time, I was diagnosed with an incurable hormonal disorder, for which the only treatment was insulin injections.  Among the many unfavorable side effects, weight gain was one I was most concerned about.  I was told by my doctor to "accept my limitations", and not be so concerned with my appearance.  That sparked my initial passion for nutrition, as I learned how different foods reacted in the body.  Since then, clean eating has cured the "incurable". I haven't needed to take medication, I exhibit no symptoms, and I'm not overweight. Last year, after a pain in my lower back became too great to ignore, I finally saw a specialist.  I learned that, in addition to a few herniated disks, I also have a nasty ligament tear.  Ligaments can't repair themselves, so surgery is the only real solution. Again, I was told to accept my limitations, and to stay far, far away from the gym.  After six weeks of compliance, I was in severe endorphin withdrawal, and decided to take my recovery into my own hands.  The first month back was all about rehabilitation, strengthening my core and stabilizing the muscles surrounding my injury.  The second month, my  power and agility returned.  Within six months, I was in the best shape of my life.  I've had ups and downs since then, and it hasn't been an easy or comfortable road.  But if I'd listened to "can't", I might still be sitting around watching talk shows, and feeling sorry for myself. We all have challenges that can easily derail us, if we let them.  Whether internal or external, the right attitude can overcome anything.  I achieve my goals, sometimes effortlessly, and sometimes through sheer grit.  It's not that I'm stronger, or smarter, or luckier than anyone else, it's that no matter what lies ahead, I put my hands up and keep running.    width=Erin stays busy pursuing her own fitness goals, and helping to educate and inspire those she loves to live healthier lives.  A hair stylist by trade, she manages a salon, and is chipping away at a degree, ultimately in dietetics and kinesiology.  She lives in South Florida with her husband and a “pound puppy” named Pedro.