Saturday, March 19, 2011

10k's and Challenges

Since moving to Guatemala in July 2009, I've met several personal goals. One was learning the entire (looong) Guatemalan National Anthem by heart. One was improving my Spanish. One was learning how to cook Guatemalan food. One was reading the entire Bible every year. One was losing 60 pounds. One was learning how to run.

Some of these, like having healthier habits, were made easier just because we were moving and everything was changing anyways. I strove to keep some of those changes going until I could form them into a healthier lifestyle. Other changes were made easier by the lower cost of living, like the price of fresh, healthy produce. Still others were easier because I am surrounded by amazing, active, supportive people at my job. I love the people I work with!

After forming many of these habits (I'm nowhere near finished) I realize how much I could have done at home, but didn't know how or where to start.
-One of the drawbacks here is safety, yet many times I didn't take the chance to walk outside when I could at home... much less run.
-Here, there is a voracious amoeba problem during the rainy season, but I still managed to learn how to swim thanks to an amazing friend. (I only got amoebas once.)
-I had a treadmill and friends with exercise equipment I could have used for free, while here I have to pay for it... but again I didn't know how to use it or where to start!

One of the motivations (out of many) that has been driving me has been that I wanted to get into shape before another baby came along. We plan on using a midwife here. (Hospitals have a 70% cesarean rate here, among other personal reasons.) That thought for me could do two different things: 1)Cause fear because I hadn't educated myself enough or prepared my body for what was coming or 2)Motivate me to educate myself and get in the best shape I could.

I started by walking for an hour every night after putting our child to bed at 8. Then a friend taught me how to swim a little at a time. Then, we started working out at the gym. Then, we ran around her (safer) neighborhood. Then I participated in my first 5k (walking but I knew I could do more.) Then we hiked a bit of a difficult volcano for beginners: Pacaya. Finally, we began jogging regularly after school.

When the next 5k/10k came around I was super nervous, but since it was the same price to enter for either one, I chose to challenge myself with the 10k. I had nightmares the night before... but I finished, though slowly, with a time of 01:03:30.

I have so much more I want to do in life. I will forever be cautious and easier to scare than some people, but I have learned how to not let my fear control me.

Now, I see something that interests me that I have never done and instead of feeling only fear, I also feel the adrenaline rush of a possible new challenge to conquer!

What are you scared of? Can you turn it around and face it as a challenge? I am no super person. Any of this that I did, anyone else can do!


  1. I want to run.

    I want to run....but,

    ...there's always a "but".

    I'm 190 lbs....I started at 249, so i'm happy about that. Just have a way to go till i'm finished.

    But i dream of being a runner.

    So glad i stumbled across your blog...i'm off to read more about you!

  2. Set small goals and get started! Don´t let the "but" hold you back!