YOUNG VOICES: Challenge yourself to go the distance

2013-07-29T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: Challenge yourself to go the distanceBy Abby Greaney nwitimes.com
July 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

It seems every year I start my summer with a long list of things I am going to do. But then I blink and all of the sudden it’s August and I’m getting ready to go back to school. At least that’s how it usually seems to go.

This summer I was determined to not let that happen. I wanted to challenge myself and do something I’d never done before.

One thing I’ve always wanted to do was run a 5K, but I have never been that great of a runner. In fact, I’ve always hated running. It was something I dreaded during gym class, and I never would have thought that I would take it up for fun and exercise. But that’s exactly what I did.

I signed up for a 5K race and found a training plan for beginning runners that stressed the importance of taking things slowly and giving your body time to rest. So three days a week I would go on runs, gradually increasing the times and distances.

To my surprise, I found I actually enjoyed the time I spent running, and it became easier each day.

I felt confident I would be able to perform well on my race and maybe even run the whole thing without having to walk.

However, near the end of June, I accidentally injured my knee and the pain kept me from running for nearly two weeks.

I felt discouraged, knowing that even if my knee was better by the time the race rolled around, I would be completely out of shape, having taken so much time off of running. However, I knew this was part of challenging myself, and I continued to do what I could. I was not going to let my hard work go to waste, and I was going to be in that 5K race.

I participated in the Color Run in Indianapolis with some of my friends. My knee was still a bit sore, but I knew I would be able to do it.

I am so glad that I stuck with the running, because we had so much fun at the race. Was I able to run the whole thing? No, but I ran a lot of it. And I ran more than I would have if I had never tried.

I reached my goal; I participated in a 5K run. Not only that, but I also feel so much healthier and more in shape than I have ever felt before. And I know this is only the beginning. There are more races in my future. One day I will run an entire 5K.

So I urge you to challenge yourself and do something you never thought you could. It will take a lot of hard work, and there might be some setbacks, but the sense of accomplishment is worth all the effort.

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