I’ve spent the majority of my life being a solid acquaintance to the world of regular fitness.  A few gym memberships here and there, or I’d visit the free-to-condo-residents closet-sized “gym” regularly for a few weeks at a time.  I would lose five pounds and feel a little stronger and faster.  Then, something inevitably would come up and I’d lose interest and time.  After having two babies in two years, my body was desperately in need some tune-up work.

Back in January, I vowed to achieve new levels of fitness before year-end, so I started incorporating a few minutes on the treadmill into my workouts.  My goals were twenty minutes, then thirty minutes, then three miles, then four and five.  I ran sprints and intervals and was able to run faster than I ever had.   In April, I signed up for an Autism Speaks 5K, and Pike’sPeek 10K the next day.  I did both.  Nine miles in one weekend. I was so damn proud of myself.

Then, in July I ran another 5K and just felt like I needed to keep going, so I signed up for a Half Marathon. 

I don’t know what in the sweet heck I was thinking.

I can’t believe that these words I am writing are truths about my own life.  I was the last person chosen in gym class.  I have spent most of life skirting physical challenges because I felt more comfortable with my arse on the sofa and my computer on my lap.

Two kids and a husband and a hectic Special Needs Mom life left me begging for an outlet, some way to clear my head and energize my body and soul.  So I just kept running.

Last weekend I ran 10.5 miles, in one day!

In two weeks, I will run the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon from Mount Vernon to The National Harbor.  I haven’t trained nearly as much as I should but I’m super determined and super motivated.

Everyone has their own reasons behind embracing physical activity but I think I’m doing this one backwards.  The mental stress of being a special needs parent has pushed me farther and tested my endurance way more than a few measly miles ever will.  That’s how I know I can do this.  It didn’t come easily.  It has been painful.  Leg cramps, muscle pain, sore arms and a sore back.   I’m proud that it has taken me a full year of as-regular-as-a-mom’s-life-allows- exercise to get to this point.  I wouldn’t be here today, about to run 13.1 miles in two weeks, if I hadn’t run just ONE mile a year ago.

I’m not fast.  I’m not graceful. I am NOT skinny.  But I’m going to run this race and I’m going to finish this race. Wish me luck!

Stacy Kravitz blogs on rare occasions at The Fabulous Miss S.