By Jackeline Soto
Hey friends! So we’re going to talk about something personal and dear to my heart: my momma. Now, it may sound that I’m describing my mom as “weak” BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE SHE’S THE STRONGEST WOMAN I KNOW (mentally, physically, and spiritually).
Okay, so let’s get real. My mom is 54 years old, diabetic, has high blood pressure, has crazy sugar levels, and may soon be arthritic (she complains a lot about her bones lately). ß This does not mean she’s inactive. She’s actually the quite opposite, she can walk for miles without complaints, she can walk up and down the stairs for an entire day without complaints, and she can lift heavy objects without complaints. So she’s more than capable of having the strength needed to carry out daily tasks.
But two years ago, we knew she had to change her life style. You know eat better (little changes here and there), and she had to start moving a lot more (something that challenged her). We knew we had to aim for goals that she would be able to accomplish, like maybe running for the length of four or five houses side by side (about 100 ft?). I remember she would try, and stop at about the length of two houses put together and be out of breath. I remember the disappointment in her face of not accomplishing her goal. So we changed the goals. Instead of running, we decided that we would just move a lot more. She decided to do Zumba, she struggled a lot in the beginning, especially with picking up the steps and moving at a fast pace. But she didn’t give up.
So fast forward to four months ago. My mom and I were both in a rut. She wasn’t exercising as much anymore, she wasn’t keeping up with her amazing progress. (DURING THIS TIME SHE WAS ABLE TO RUN A MILE AT A 20 MIN PACE). ß Insane right, ‘cause two years ago she couldn’t even run a few feet and now she’s running an entire mile sometimes three. And as for me, I was just coming back from a nasty shin splint that kept me from running for about four months (at this time I was barely able to walk).
So again fast forward to about two months ago, I did something crazy. I signed us up for a race. And I have always joked about doing a race with my mom. See I’m a runner, I enjoy the mental and physical obstacles that the sport of running offers and on a whim I signed us up. So that same night I gave her a description of the race and I quickly told her it was a 10k (6 miles) and left the room. I just let her soak in that information. Because it would be the first time she would run for that much, so the thought of it was INSANE.
Let the training begin:
First time we went on a run, it was difficult. Since we were both out of rhythm we struggled to finish two miles. At this point I think our time was about an hour. I could tell my mom was struggling with breathing and actually keeping up that she kept telling me (more like yelling)
“I don’t know how you expect me to run, you’re trying to kill your mother, and you do realize I am twice your age”.
This practically became her mantra for the two months of running.
Okay so the next week I think we ran about 2.5 but in a faster time something like 52 minutes, which meant progress. And remember when you’re working out that’s what you have to strive for, not for perfection but progress. And again she’s huffing and puffing and yelling “are you trying to kill your mother” and I as always would say “nah I completely believe in you, like how crazy is this you’re actually running Holy S#@% Balls!” So progress was happening, but then we stopped running for about two and a half weeks which bit us in the butt.
But I wasn’t going to let that be an excuse. So the next day, I decided it was time to get back on track because the race was quickly approaching. This time, we were running on concrete and let me tell you it’s difficult. So we ran a lap (two miles) and once again she was out of breath. But I was getting kind of frustrated because we weren’t moving forward.
So I let her rest and we went out again. And GUESS WHAT with a little push we ran four miles at a rather constant pace. I was so proud. You don’t understand the smile on her face when she realizes she’s able to push herself to run, something that we’d sort of assumed she’s never be able to do. It makes me want to cry. I want to cry because she’s worked so hard to change a few habits, and obviously it’s working.
Okay so now were like a week away from the race. And on a Tuesday we decided that we needed to actually run, we had to go for the entire distance. AND GUESS WHAT. We ran 6 miles!!! The first three were so-so times and I was not having it so for the last three miles I made sure we ran at a pace that challenged her a bit. And SHE DID IT!!! Holy crap she ran the last three miles at a 16 MINUTE PACE!!! I was so proud, she was proud, I was tearing up, and she was glowing with pride. It was the first time she has ever ran 6 miles in a row! Check out the video below (it’s short but you can tell we are overjoyed!)
So then we chilled for the next day, and the following day we were going to take it easy. But no once again we challenged ourselves. MY MOTHER RAN A MILE IN 15 MINUTES. SHE SPRINTED IN THE END LIKE A TRUE ATHLETE PUSHING HERSELF AND IT WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST MOMENTS IN OUR LIVES. WE WERE SO HAPPY!!
Fast forward three days and it’s race day!
And whoa! It was an intense route. There were a lot of people at The Grove and my mom was feeling anxious. I can tell she had trouble warming up and stretching because of the amount of people and the fact that the race was starting later than planned sort of meant our pace had to change a bit.
And so the race began, we started running and holy smokes she ran the first mile in 14 minutes.
I WAS IMPRESSED BEYOND BELIEF!
But then the second and third mile we struggled. It was such a mental block for my mother, she kept saying that she couldn’t do it but I knew it was only a matter of time where she’d be able to conquer the mental obstacle and make this race hers. It wasn’t until the fifth mile where things changed and we saw that finish line.
The finish line gave us the hope we needed to finish strong.
And guys, running PASSED the finish line was amazing. I had never seen my mother run that fast and for that long in my life.
And as I’m writing this, I am beginning to reflect the incredible journey my mother is on. She went from not being able to run a few feet to running six miles!!! ARE YOU UNDERSTANDING THIS?! My mom’s ability in becoming an athlete is a reflection of her mental and physical strength she displays in every step she took toward training and completing this 10 K!
*Sadly we do not have pictures of the events because when running you’re sort of like over the entire race but we do have videos of the race on my Instagram page @thejackeline definitely check it out!
Please comment below, tweet @leanercreamer or tag @leanercreamer to show us your motivation. Whether you think it’s a big or small goal it doesn’t matter as long as it makes you a stronger person and understand that #leanercreamer is motivating you from the office!