Be The Inspiration You Want In Life

My running mentor, Meggie Dials, wrote a blog the other day about the exciting running moments in her life. Then she asked others: what is the most exciting running moment in your life? A personal best. An overcoming moment. A record distance. What moment is forever in their hearts as the most inspirational moment in their running journey?

I narrowed it down to two exciting moments.

First, was completing my half marathon race the week I had a terrible bike accident. I literally smashed into a guard rail – scrapped up the right side of my body, bruised my ribs and had physical bruises on my hip. I still have a huge scar on my right arm and knuckles from the first degree burn. I couldn’t even breathe putting pressure on my rib, to alleviate the pain. Oh, the pain. It hurt so bad. My entire body was sore. Its truly a hilarious story now, but honestly- I was scared shitless when it first happened, especially since it was thirty feet above a highway. My first thought was my half marathon. My second thought was how I hoped nothing was wrong with my hand. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write…

By Saturday morning, I was up early and ready to run. Well, ready as anyone in my condition could be…I completed that race in 3 hours with the best running partners a girl could ask for, Brittany Gerig and Sabrina Schnurr. They walked with me when I needed it (which was often) and they encouraged me to keep going when I needed it (which was also often). We did it. Together. And when we crossed the finish line, I was greeted by my amazing husband and beautiful friends.

Yes, I did the stankey legg dance across the finish line. I’ll never forget that moment in my life…the photographer probably won’t either. And I’ll bet the lady in pink behind me will always wonder what in the world I was doing…

 The best running partners, ever!

Second, was completing a mile in under 11 miles. I literally wanted to high five every single person in the gym at that moment, but I was alone. I completed a mile in 10:58 — When I first started running, I was at a 14-15 minute mile. Maybe my superman T-shirt turned me into a true super hero.

Have you ever heard the quote, “Be the change you want in the world.” I’ve created a slightly modified version: Be the inspiration you want in life. Be motivated. Be inspired to live a healthy and happy life – not only for yourself- but for your loved ones!

Tonight, I decided to inspire myself. In August, I was supposed to run my first race. A 5K – however, my running partner overslept and I had no idea how to get to the race, where it was , how much it cost, etc. I had let her figure everything out. After 30 minutes of sitting outside of her house – calling her phone and knocking on the door- I realized I still had a race to run. I drove back into town and ran my race. The 2010 Ridin’ Solo 5K – I joke that I was in the lead the whole time and won the race. I completed 3.10 miles in about 52 minutes, which is about a 17-minute mile. 

Tonight, I completed 3.10 miles in 43 minutes, which is about 14:30. I ran a mile in 12 minutes and then walked an entire mile at an incline of 4.0-6.0 and then finished the last mile on intervals. I was inspired. I had cut nearly 10 minutes off my time and I didn’t even run all the way through! 

I’m not sure how much weight I have lost, but I am feeling great. My face looks thinner and my clothes are fitting better. When I had eating disorders, I didn’t feel thin. I didn’t ever think ANYTHING on my body was smaller. I weighed 159 lbs and my hip bones were sticking out — and I felt like I weighed 300 lbs with love handles punching people in the face as I walked by. But now, I feel beautiful. I feel confident. I am doing it the right way this time. I simply feel great. And best of all, I believe in myself – which is invaluable. Looking in the mirror, I’m truly happy and satisfied- knowing I am taking baby steps to a giant lifestyle change. Here I am today before my great run and personal best:

You can do anything you put your mind to. Believe in yourself. Have confidence. Challenge yourself. You will truly be inspired by what you can accomplish; if only you put your mind to conquering your dreams.

Much love,
Ashley

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