By Samantha Betti
I’m officially addicted.
I started out this year deciding that 2015 was going to be the year of breaking out of my comfort zone, setting goals and pushing myself to achieve them. From life goals to athletic accomplishments, this year was going to be the start of the new me. Well, I’m still working out the life part of that statement, but I couldn’t be prouder to say I’m knocking the athletic ones out of the park.
I started running late February/early March with help and a big push from a co-worker and great friend. I hated it and wanted nothing to do with it. Every step was torture and my body hurt in places I didn’t know were possible to hurt in. I kept reminding myself of the challenge I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. I decided if I still hated it just as much after two weeks of getting out there I would rethink the whole stupid challenge. Well, at the end of those two weeks I had the clearest mind I had had in years, my body wasn’t as sore, and I was actually starting to (dare I say) like running.
I decided to set another two week goal, and by the time the end of that one came I was in love. I looked forward to every run I could get in. I felt my body getting stronger, and the clarity it gave me was incredible.
After a month or so I decided it was time to start knocking some checks off my “new life bucket list;” it was time to sign up for my first race. I picked the Simsbury River Run 5K. It was close to home, one that my family could be there for and the perfect time frame for training. The tightness in my chest the second I clicked “submit” was extreme, and the instant regret and worries about “what the heck did I just get myself into?!” made me question everything. But I kept the date on the calendar, got my family on the support train and pushed myself every day I could to get out and hit the pavement. The day of the race came faster than I was ready for, but as I lined up at the start I knew I could do it. I finished that race in less time than I had set for my goal and was instantly hooked. Since then I’ve completed another 5K, two 10Ks & two half marathons, setting PRs at all but one of them. The feeling of accomplishment, not only for completing the races themselves but also for meeting my overall goal of pushing the limits, is extraordinary.
I’ve gone from being someone who hated running, saying “I’ll never do that,” to being officially addicted. After completing my last half marathon I realized I had no more races on the calendar for the rest of the year. I instantly had that same tightness in my chest I had when I signed up for my first race, but this time for a completely different reason. I realized then that without running and without a race to shoot for, I was missing a part of who I had become as a person and a mom over this past year. In the weeks since, I’ve registered for not one but three more 5ks and a half marathon. And if you came up to me and asked me to register for another one I’d jump at the opportunity in a heartbeat. The confidence running has given me to conquer my life goals is something I could never have imagined possible. The days may be getting shorter and weather may be getting colder, but there’s no way that’s stopping me from crushing some more goals, both on the pavement and at home.