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Story Time

August 17, 2010

Once upon a time there was a girl.  She was pretty good combination of sassy and sweet.  She was on a journey, and she knew that the journey was not going to end anytime soon. She was okay with that, because she enjoyed the journey very much.


She especially enjoyed the changes. She enjoyed the way her body felt when she made many healthy decisions in a row. She enjoyed the way her clothes fit, too.  She enjoyed the way she felt stronger and breathed easier.  She liked the way her heart smiled when making good choices.


This girl, on this journey, had a few secrets.  She didn’t want to have the secrets anymore, so she told them to anyone that would listen.  She stopped being afraid and ashamed.  She continued being honest and open.


She occasionally fought battles; battles worth fighting.  She stood up against the bad things in her life.  Especially when the bad things were caught inside her head; doubt, and negativity, and excuses, and comparison.


With an armor of encouragement, and weapons made of magic, she turned the doubt to motivation, negativity to affirmation, excuses to fuel, and comparison to inspiration.   She liked the magic weapons very much, especially when she found herself in Chicago and saw familiar faces reaching distances she hadn’t yet mastered.

 HLS 330 

She didn’t complain, or speak harshly to herself.  She didn’t compare herself negatively to those she saw out on the streets, and paths, and lakefronts.  She didn’t give herself pity, or sadness, or even the slightest hint of not-enoughness.



Instead she was thankful for people to look up to; men and women who run mile distances she has only ever dreamed about.  She was inspired by the dedication of people who made one healthier decision after another to accomplish all they dream of, and then some, enjoying one minute after another after another.



When she returned to her homeland, she admitted to herself that it was time to move forward.


Remember when I was going to run the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon?
It sold out.
When I found out I didn’t freak out.  I wasn’t upset.
I also didn’t rejoice.  I didn’t say “Hooray! no more running!”
Instead I slowed down.  I completed shorter distances, but ran more often.
I changed my fitness focus a bit; I walked away from my training plan.  I didn’t have a plan.  I didn’t decide what was next or make any lists or commit to anything new.
When I wanted to run, I ran.  When I wanted to walk, I walked.  I rode my bike. I took a hike. I tried to do a pushup. I did yoga on my back porch.  and my living room. and the mall, and park, and airport.  It was a no pressure, no plan, no drive, system.


When I found myself at the Healthy Living Summit, surrounded by people who were running together each morning, I didn’t feel guilty for not joining them.  I didn’t feel pressured to hit the pavement.  I didn’t feel sadness for my lack of miles, or about the fact that I talked myself out of bringing my running shoes with me.  Instead, I felt motivated.

HLS 352

I want to run again. I want to run more. I want to run now.


I want the next time I’m with a group of fitness folks to make an early bedtime and an energizing breakfast a priority.  I want to join them on the path.  I want to conquer goals I’ve set in front of myself that I’ve been hiding from in the last few weeks.


I want to continue to make one decision at a time to get there.  More sleep. Better fuel for my body. Finding what is best for me to get to where I want to be; where I need to be for me, and no one else.  I’ve stopped the comparison trap, and jump started the motivation attack.  I’ve been inspired to move forward.   One step at a time. One mile at a time. One PR and one PDR at a time.

9- running

[Special thanks to Haya, Evan, Monica, Leslie, and Courtney for not only their inspiring running recaps, but their willing to share it with THS readers and myself via the use of their photographs. ]

28 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2010 8:45 pm

    Fantastic post! I think it can be more difficult to stop for a second and figure out what your body needs/wants in regards to exercise. It’s easier to keep pushing yourself for all the wrong reasons than address the real reason to exercise. I always battle that fine line between looking to other healthy living blogs for motivation or as a comparison. Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s motivation for me to stop with the comparison and look for the motivation!!

  2. August 17, 2010 8:46 pm

    What an inspired post. I especially love your “magic weapons” and how you turned the negatives into positives. You are truly so wonderful.

  3. August 17, 2010 8:46 pm

    This post was so inspiring! I’m so glad that you have been able to get out of the comparison trap that most women encounter every day. I especially see that in high school, and it’s hard to get past.

    More power to ya, girl! I’ve been working on a post for awhile on eating disorders, exercise, guilt, etc. for awhile, so check out my blog for when that goes up! 🙂

  4. August 17, 2010 9:17 pm

    Great insight – and you can do it. You will do it. Just be kind to yourself and patient in the process because you are worth it! xoxo

  5. August 17, 2010 9:26 pm

    Yes, yes, yes!!! For the first time in my life I have left an event feeling motivated and inspired. Not once did I feel bad or unhealthy for not eating veggies and running 5 miles a day. I left wanting to improve and knowing that I can always make healthier choices.

    Ahhhh sooo many warm and fuzzies from this post!!!

  6. August 17, 2010 9:30 pm

    What a beautiful post!

  7. August 17, 2010 9:54 pm

    You’re such a great writer!

    I definitely would not be where I am today with my running if it wasn’t for healthy living blogs – they have inspired me SO MUCH in so many ways but especially in regards to running and training for races!

  8. August 17, 2010 9:56 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this post! Such an amazing outlook! Also–Love that bondi band!! It speaks to me 🙂

  9. August 17, 2010 10:39 pm

    I love this post and I really wish you were able to do the 1/2 :(.

    In other news, I’m sure we were meant to be friends now because we have the exact same Bondi Band. 🙂

  10. August 17, 2010 10:55 pm

    What a great posting and inspiring outlook! You can do this … I know I’m not a runner and never ran until 3 months ago and I was inspired by everyone at HLS to run a little more and continue my healthy lifestyle. You’ve got this!!

  11. August 17, 2010 11:00 pm

    Running for you is so important! Inspiring that you don’t quit and you find joy in the joy of others. Keep up with all the goals and accomplishments you are completing each day!

  12. August 18, 2010 7:18 am

    Fantastic post. 🙂

  13. August 18, 2010 7:34 am

    i love this story! and totally admire all your reactions to life.

    i’m thrilled for you- it makes me happy when people (re)discover a love for running because they really WANT to (not because they feel pressured to or because everyone else is doing it). best of luck forward!

  14. August 18, 2010 7:46 am

    you make me smile! so proud of you 🙂 i was really inspired by the runners this weekend too. We can do this!!!!!

  15. August 18, 2010 8:42 am

    Heather, I didn’t get a chance to meet you at the HLS (tear! I love your blog!) but this is an incredible post. There were SO many inspiring people and ideas at the conference. I ran in the 10K group, just because I normally get in that distance on the weekends, but never understood the power of running in a group. I’ve only run either solo or in two’s before! Loved it:D

  16. August 18, 2010 10:37 am

    I’m glad you’ve found some more inspiration to continue on your journey. We all need that sometimes!

  17. August 18, 2010 11:11 am

    Heather — as a runner, I absolutely love this post! I run because I enjoy it and I enjoy setting goals, but it’s always awesome to know that I (not specifically me, but runners in general) helped motivate someone else to run and discover for themselves how great it feels to set and accomplish running goals. I’m glad you found motivation and I wish you the best!

  18. August 18, 2010 1:49 pm

    What an incredible post! I love your perspective and your motivation. It is contagious. At this time last year, I could not run down my street. I was a part of that sixteen mile group…and I cried when I had to say goodbye to such a supportive community. Thankfully, we have Twitter and blogs to continue that encouragement and support for one another each day. I can’t wait to high five you after a run next summer!

  19. August 18, 2010 5:35 pm

    I loved this post. Being honest and open is a fantastically freeing way to be! So happy for you.

  20. Jenn permalink
    August 18, 2010 10:25 pm

    Sooo proud of you Heather!

  21. August 18, 2010 10:40 pm

    What a powerful and honest post! Thank you for posting it 🙂

  22. August 19, 2010 12:58 am

    Amazeballs. I have no doubt you can achieve what you set out to.

  23. August 20, 2010 4:14 pm

    What an inspiring post! I loved this. So great to meet you at the HLS and I’m glad I found your blog – I’m off to catch up on old posts now 🙂

  24. August 21, 2010 9:33 pm

    Pressing the “LIKE” button!


  1. Inspiration by Chicago « Then Heather Said
  2. Best Run Never « Then Heather Said
  3. HLS Videos « Then Heather Said
  4. @marieclaire re: “the hunger diaries”… Dear Marie Claire « Sweet Tater | Food | Fitness | Etc.

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