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Contest Winner Experiences Pre Half Marathon Jitters

Dear Slender Seekers,
 
Running a Half Marathon is no small venture. Especially with the background of fighting obesity that many of us come from. It can be scary and it can be intimidating. I still get pre-event jitters on a regular basis. In fact you’ll read my blog about pre-event jitters later this week. But for today I want to take you back to the day before Amy, our How do YOU Celebrate Success contest winner got on the plane.
 
Facing a serious knee injury and worried about whether or not she could do this Amy was really nervous. She was kind enough to write a blog about her pre-race head space and now that the event is over and those emotions are not so raw and frightening I wanted to share it with you.
 
Guest Blog by “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest Winner
Amy Smith

new_blog_headshotWell, here I am. It’s 1:00 am, and in five short hours my friend Stacie and I will get on a plane to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half-Marathon weekend. When I won the How Do You Celebrate Success contest, Stacie vowed to train with me and signed herself up for the race so she could run beside me. In April we “tested the waters” by running a half-marathon in Canton, Ohio, and we made it. So it seemed like we had it in the bag.

In May, Stacie fractured her foot. She was in a boot for six weeks. This girl hobbled through the Team Slender Seekers Color Run I organized in my community in her boot, but she was sidelined from running for a while. In October, injury found me, via my knee. What I hoped was just a “tweak” became chronic pain when running or walking down steps. As this weekend loomed closer, I was torn between taking it easy and not stressing it out more, but wanting to keep my training up.

I went from looking forward to the race to fearing it. I watched my per-mile time slip from 12 minute miles to 15 minute miles. I saw my ability to really endure long runs slip from a comfortable 10 miles to 7 miles. Then 3 miles. I unofficially saw a doctor, a family friend, who told me, “I would tell a normal patient to sit out this half-marathon. But I know you’re not going to, and what’s at stake, so here’s my best advice on getting through it.” That advice was to maintain short intervals the entire way, walking as much as possible. And in the meantime, no more impact exercise…only rest, ice, compression and elevation. 10362372_10154909288810347_2560319719682960177_n

So I walked out of that office knowing two things: 1) I have the ability to finish this race given enough time. 2) I could not finish this race under the 16-minute-mile pace required in order to not be swept off the course. I did some math and knew I’d need around 17 minutes a mile to walk as much as I’d need in order to keep my knee intact.

I called Pandora in a panic. We’ve trained for months, my sponsors have trusted me to carry their message through this race, my friends, family and community are all watching me and cheering for me…and I may let them down! It took several nights of phone calls and a letter to me via blog for Pandora to talk me off of the ledge. We realized I’d already completed what I’d set out to do – lose weight, run a half marathon, set goals and train for months. She reminded me that this race was simply one day of my life, not the end of the world. She also told me I should not run the Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k the morning of the half marathon to save my knee. I’m disappointed, but I understand.

So now my bags are packed, and I can’t sleep. I’m excited! And I’m scared to death. I keep picturing that race and what will happen if my knee doesn’t hold up, or if I get swept. I’m trying to remain positive and imagine myself crossing the finish line, but I am also trying to be realistic and visualize being swept, to prepare myself for that possibility. Most of all, I just want to make everyone proud. I want all of the people who have made this dream a reality to know they made the right choice when they picked me to go on this adventure. It’s not myself I’m worried about letting down, it’s everyone else. Pandora says, “knock that off, we’re already all so proud.”

Pandora, the Slender Seekers and the sponsors have become like family to me, and I’m sad that the end of this chapter is drawing near. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through the months of training. No matter what happens this weekend, I promise to give it absolutely everything I have to give, just as you have all given me

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

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AmeriWell Bariatrics
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WELLESSE
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Celebrate Vitamins
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How YOU aid in my Transformation. Thank you Slender Seekers

20140520_193824It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was moving to North Carolina and we were holding the second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest and selecting our winner. Now here we are in June and we’re in the final week of our #WineDineC210K training program.

These last few months have been amazing. That old saying time flies when you’re having fun is the truth. I feel like I’ve had less and less time to be here sharing with all of you but in some ways that is good, because I am spending more and more time doing what I love: helping people lose weight.

Last week was my busiest week ever. In addition to putting in about 35 hours of floor time at the gym, I had six private one-on-one weight loss and wellness coaching sessions and the three weight loss boot camp classes I teach each week (which is a mixture of low impact cardio and strength and resistance training. We’re nearly full for all three nights!). If you do the math there, that’s a forty-four hour work week.

I’ve had to work really hard lately at making sure that helping everyone else get their exercise in doesn’t mean I don’t get my own and it’s taken a lot of determination for me to keep up with a strength and resistance based program. You all know how much I love weights (NOT). I’d much rather be on cardio machines for 2 hours. That’s my comfort zone, but I know how important strength training is and so it’s become a focus of my exercise regimen now.

20140517_083010Three weeks ago I ran a 10K at the Hope For Warriors event in Jacksonville, NC. This was quite a humbling experience for me. I set out with a goal of having under a 13 minute per mile pace time. A little voice inside me said maybe I can do better, maybe I can get a 12 minute mile, but I was afraid to say that out loud and commit to something I didn’t know I could accomplish. I ended up pacing out at 12:18 and that included a wrong turn I took on the route that likely cost me about 2-4 minutes of additional time so I don’t think I was far from a 12 minute mile, but I won’t know for sure until my next one. I lost a little wind in my sails when results were posted and I found my name on the bottom of page seven of eight with only a dozen people or so after me. I had to sit down and remind myself that the only person I am competing with is myself and that it didn’t matter how fast everyone else was; I finished and I finished with a time I could be proud of. These are lessons that even I have to remind myself of every once in a while. I’m doing better than I did before and that’s all that matters.

20140529_174209A few days after that I took three of my clients to their first 5k when they joined me for the WILMA Dash event in downtown Wilmington. Each one of my clients is special to me. Each one of them has something unique and special about them and being part of their journey is a privilege that I am grateful for each and every day. The fact that they have chosen me as their coach and their guide during their weight loss journey is a special honor I probably cannot put into words. 20140529_174214If you think about it, my dream was to help others fight obesity and lose weight. So each one of my clients, in choosing to allow me to do that is a part of making that dream a reality for me. My clients make my dreams come true and I am eternally grateful to them for doing so. Two of the women that joined me at the WILMA Dash event hold a very special place in my heart. Why? Because they were my first official clients. They are a Mother/Daughter team who were not only my first official clients as a weight loss coach but they were also the first two people signed up for my Weight Loss Boot Camp classes. I’m not sure either of them truly realizes how special they are to me. But they’ll have a place in my heart forever and I will always do anything I can to help them. In April, they came out and walked six miles with me at the New Hanover Relay For Life event that my gym, Wilmington Lady Fitness, participated in. To cross the finish line with them at their first 5k was awesome though. When we were at Relay For Life the daughter of my Dynamic Duo ran with me for a couple of laps. I’m hoping that one day I can inspire her to run a 5k with me, it’s a gift of accomplishment that I would love to give her. Struggling with being affected by obesity as an adult is hard enough, struggling with it as a teenager was even harder and because of that, I want to help her more than I’ve wanted to help anyone else.  So if you’re reading this hun, know that you’re vastly important in my world. I can’t wait to do Color Me Rad with you and your Mom.

10402449_10154271978050347_3327798548943399054_nAnd then there is Amy. My second “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest winner. This girl is amazing. Absolutely amazing. She reminds me so much of myself. Her pay-it-forward mentality and the number of lives she has helped me touch through her blows me away at every turn. In the last month, Amy has done two things that as her coach make me burst with pride. First she put together a team for a 5k event! The fact that she named her team #TeamSlenderSeekers nearly made me cry. It was so special to me. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, what does she do? The woman goes out and runs a half marathon without telling me just to prove to herself that she can do it. I’m so proud of her, and the fact that she credits me with somehow inspiring her to do it makes me smile. Inspiring people to find the fun in fitness has been a dream of mine for nearly three years, and once again, people like Amy are enabling me to do this and making my dreams a reality.

I got an email the other day from a woman named Corrie. She found my site while doing some research on how to write a letter to Chris Powell and after reading through it, took the time to write me a share her story with me. Her story brought tears to my eyes and made me wish that I was closer to her so that I could take her on as a client. But there was one part of her letter that was exceptionally touching to me.

“After reading your story I know in my heart that you will become a great personal trainer and you will do great things to help lots of people that have gone through what you and I have. I just wish there where more people like you and Chris to help even people like me that are super obese but desperately need and want the help.  Finding someone like you and Chris are hard to find.”

8ede362ab2fa11e2aee522000a9f15b9_6I don’t hold a candle to Chris and Heidi Powell—I’ll never pretend to—they are my heroes and I will always learn from watching them. But Corrie inspired and motivated me with her letter, and now I just know that someday I will be comfortable calling myself a “Transformation Specialist.” To be spoken of by anyone, in a way that implies that I share similar qualities to Chris and Heidi Powell, gives me hope that I can be someone who helps lead others out of the darkness of obesity. Corrie, thank you. You have no idea how much your letter meant to me.

My dreams are coming true, and whether you realize it or not #SlenderSeekers, that is because of you. Each one of you that allows me to share my story, gives me the privilege of offering you my experience and guidance and the opportunity to be a beacon of inspiration, motivation or support in your world, you enable me to be the person that I want to be. Every single one of you out there struggling in the fight against obesity are my motivation and this morning, at the beginning of  #TransformationTuesday I want to thank you for being a part of my world. Without you I’m just an unheard voice. With you, I’m transforming into a coach, a guide, and a valiant part of the fight against obesity.

There are a few other people I have to thank for believing in my dreams as well and those of course are my sponsors…

So Ameriwell BariatricsCelebrate VitaminsKay’s NaturalsWellese and BariMelts, thank you for believing in my dreams as well. Each time we hold a “How Do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest, I am reminded of the famous quote by Walt Disney himself, “Our dreams can all come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” And thanks to all of you believing in something I had the courage to pursue. Not only are my dreams becoming a reality but so are the dreams of the people like our contest winners, Dawn and Amy. You guys are awesome and #TeamSlenderSeekers like Dawn, Amy, my clients and Corrie are living proof of the transformations you help people achieve with your support.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

Bariatrics_Banner_Ad

AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

logo

WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
Like Kay’s Naturals on Facebook ]

BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
Like BariMelts on Facebook ]

Please support our sponsors!

 

 

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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