I’ve Talked the Talk, and Now I’ve Walked the Walk!

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The journey of a 5K starts with the support of two amazing friends, one of whom is walking beside me in this picture!

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So, like I said, no idea if this will work or if it is just another lame-ass attempt on my part that will fall by the wayside in a few hours/days/weeks.  I hope not, but my track record is not good in this department.  I do know this:  since the idea came, and Christy asked, I have been to the gym every day.

-Quote from my post, The Dreaded Topic, published June 5, 2013

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Before I talk about Saturday, some very, very important details need to addressed:  I would not be writing this post at all, I would not be feeling the amazing accomplishment I feel, if it weren’t for two very special people.  First and foremost, a teary-eyed thank you to my mentor Christy who writes Running on Sober.  Had it not been for her inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and dedication, I would not have this accomplishment to brag about!  Thank you seems inadequate, but it’s all I’ve got.

Second, and equally important:  Kristen, who writes Bye Bye Beer.  I can now claim Kristen as an “in-person friend” as well as a blogging friend, a miracle in and of itself!  If Kristen had not jumped in right away, volunteered to participate in a 5K with me, further volunteered to slow herself down to a walk when I injured my leg, I mean it when I say:  I never, ever would have followed through with participating in this race.  It was the personal connection and accountability that truly motivated me to see this project through to the end.

With all that build-up, it seems almost anticlimactic to say:  I participated in my first 5K this past weekend!  I still can’t believe it’s over, I have been working towards it for what feels like an eternity, but really it’s only been a few months.  The nuts and bolts of the day:  the weather was perfect!  Brisk and cool, some sun but not too much, in a beautiful state park in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Kristen and I found each other with no problems at all, and it was such an amazing thing… meeting up with someone in person whom you have gotten to know so personally, but online.  Is this what a live date with Match.com feels like?!?  I also met a friend of hers (she lives much closer to the race site than I do), and that was really fun, also, and of course my kids and husband got to meet Kristen.

5K logo

All too quickly they made the announcement to line up, and that is where the nerves started!  Remember, I have never done anything like this in my life.  Again, the miracle that is Kristen, patiently talking me through the process:  what was happening in the present, what was about to happen, in a calm way that put me at ease.  A woman from the Caron foundation said some beautiful and inspiring words about recovery, which served as a reminder for me as to why I was even doing this in the first place, and put me even more at ease.

Then the yell for the start began and we… walked!  We walked, and talked, and walked and talked some more.  The trail was quite a bit hillier than the trail where I trained at home, but otherwise it felt just as good as all the 5K’s I practiced in preparation for this day.  Actually, it felt better, in that I was so focused on talking to Kristen, I was completely unaware that I was exerting myself at all!  Before we knew it, we were at the halfway point, and a volunteer was handing us water… I couldn’t believe it!

I had resigned myself to the idea that I would be the slowest walker there, but the halfway point was actually a turnaround, and the second half is the same path as the first half, and I was amazed by how many people were behind us…so we weren’t the slowest!  Yeah, my training did pay off!

As we approached the finish line, my husband jumped out to take pictures, my daughter stood at the sidelines cheering, and my son jumped onto the trail, took my hand, and finished the last steps with me.  It’s hard to describe the feeling of joy that comes with all that.  I was reminded of how far I’ve come, in the race, in my exercise goals, and, in the largest sense, in my recovery from addiction.  All those feelings within me as I crossed that finish line, it is definitely not a moment I will soon forget.  A truly spectacular day!

Today’s Miracle:

This is technically yesterday’s miracle, but… Kristen and I were milling around after the race, and the DJ makes an announcement:  “we’d like to send a shout-out to a fan favorite, Josie!”  Turns out, my daughter was befriending the DJ throughout the race, and asked him to give me some props.  How lucky am I to have such a supportive family?

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Posted on September 15, 2013, in Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Your husband and kids are amazing. Actually got a little choked up reading today’s post. So proud of all you have accomplished and continue to accomplish.

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  2. Awesome! Congrats Josie! That’s a huge accomplishment! And, so fun that you got to meet and participate with Kristin!

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  3. Josie, what a beautiful post! It is hard to explain how touched I am by the kind words in this post, much like how I felt after meeting you and your lovely family. I felt like I’d known you already, which is a great thing about blogging, and the easy conversation made the walk pass quickly for me too. Your cheerleading section was so sweet to witness, a clear sign of how much your family adores you. I’m glad your 1st 5k was a good experience for you. It’s hard to know what to expect until you’ve done it, and I look forward to the next!

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  4. Congratulations! What an awesome accomplishment and then to be surrounded by such love and friendship. It’s beautiful!

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  5. Congratulations! Sounds like a brilliant day!

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  6. There aren’t even words to describe the joy that I get to feel because you shared your joy.
    I just love you so …. xox

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  7. So sweet to see how you have connected personally with the other bloggers. It really does feel like a small community doesn’t it? Love it!

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  8. What an awesome experience for you and Kristen! Woo hoo! You go ladies! And thank you for this post filled with joy and power and ah, I am so happy for you, you have come a long way indeed! You rock. Sobriety rocks!

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  9. WOO-HOO!!!

    I knew you could do it, Josie! So very proud of your dedication and your courage to follow through with this goal. You could’ve taken the easy way out at any time—but you didn’t. You earned every bit of this accomplishment, celebrate yourself!

    The race is much longer than 5k, it’s all those weeks of training and effort and perseverance. The actual 3.14 miles is just the icing on the cupcake.

    Now go have a celebratory cupcake for me. Salted caramel, please. 😀

    Way to go, chica!
    xo, Christy

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    • Thank you, thank you, thank you… a million times thank you, Christy. I am going out this morning with my extremely fitness-minded sister to see if I can’t work towards that new goal.

      Here’s something strange: the night before last, guess what I made? Salted caramel pretzel brownies! I’m guessing you would have loved them!

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  10. yippeeee! awesome that yiou took the leap. (and i knew you wouldn’t be last!)

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  11. What beautiful women in the picture! Sounds like you’re making lots of progress spiritually, mentally, and now physically…5 kilometers’ worth! Way to go.

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  12. What an awesome post and picture…and the comments are another cheering section on its own. Shows the power of the community here and the power of changing our lives for the better. You have really broken out here, Josie, and I can almost feel the joy and sense of accomplishment here. And thank you Kristen for being there too – how wonderful is that??? And I am with my brother Al here – lovely ladies indeed 🙂

    Look forward to hearing about the next run and even 10K???? I know, I know. One step at a time 🙂

    Blessings,
    Paul

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    • Uggh, I’m just realizing that I did not respond to you on this Paul, I have developed a chest cold, and so exercise has fallen by the wayside this week. I think my reading this late was a gentle nudge from up above, time for me to get back on the wagon!! Thanks for the unwitting push, Paul!

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