#MoveItOrLoseIt Model of the Month: Update on November’s Model
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In this monthly post, I highlight one person who embodies the concept of #moveitorloseit –a concept I share proudly on both Twitter and Facebook. To me, #moveitorloseit is not at all about moving it in order to lose weight…it’s about staying active and fit consistently, regularly, and enjoyably to stay sane and centered despite—and in the face of—the curve balls life throws you. It’s about not wasting the ability to use your body, and about strengthening (or at least preserving) your muscles and bones, and at the same time, keeping your mind sharp.
In November, 2012, my #moveitorloseit model was 40 year-old Aaron Flores, an LA-based registered dietitian. Read on to see what Aaron’s #moveitorloseit fitness goal was and how he planned to accomplish it–and then see what he has to say now, after meeting his goal!
What is your specific #moveitorloseit goal, and when do you plan to accomplish it?
My #Moveitorloseit goal is to run the 2013 LA Marathon. It’s my first ever marathon, and I would love to finish in under 5 hours if possible. I run/walk and try to stay at a pace of about 11:00 minutes per mile. In the end, I know I’ll be happy to just finish!
Why did you choose this particular challenge? What will it mean to you to complete the marathon?
Why did I choose to do a marathon? Maybe it’s because I just turned 40. I felt the need to challenge myself. I completed a 100-mile bike ride almost 10 years ago, and that experience taught me that I respond very well to challenges. I also know that staying motivated to exercise on a regular basis is difficult for me.
Having struggled with weight for all of my adult life, I understand how important it is for me to stay active. But to be honest, I get bored unless I change my routine every couple of years. So my latest change came in 2011 when I started running. I found that I really enjoyed it. I ran a couple of 10Ks that year, but never anything longer. I’ve also always been fascinated, inspired and in awe of anyone who ran a marathon. In my head it’s always been the holy grail of races. I used to sit alongside the LA Marathon route and literally be in tears watching people run the race. I was so amazed and inspired that the participants could challenge themselves both physically and mentally.
So it was almost a perfect storm that took place: I’d been running and enjoying it, I’ve always loved the idea of doing a marathon, I needed a new challenge, and I was turning 40. So after watching the 2012 LA Marathon, I said to my wife, “I’m going to run the 2013 Marathon next year,” and hear I am!
Have there been any bumps in the road so far? What has made training difficult or challenging, and what (or who) helps you stay motivated to continue?
The hardest part of my training so far is that I’ve had some issues with tendonitis in my feet and a sprained ankle that laid me up for about three weeks. It was early enough in my training that I knew that if I just kept my endurance up, I’d be OK. So I dusted off my bike and started riding again which really helped. I forgot how much I love riding!
The other challenge that always comes up is self doubt. I doubt myself every night before my long run of the week. I think, “Can I really run 10 miles tomorrow?” But in those moments, what I try to do is remember that my real goal is not just the marathon. It’s something bigger than that. I’m trying to enjoy the process of training and not just the end goal. I try to remember that 15 years ago, at 300 lbs, I could not have run a quarter mile and now I can run ten! That’s amazing right there! I remember that exercising helps reduce my stress, it makes me a better man, father, employee. It’s not about the calories that I burn, it’s about the way moving makes me feel.
What really keeps me going though is the image I have of myself crossing the finish line. I’m sure there will be a few tears of joy shed on that day.
What advice do you have for others thinking of running their first marathon?
Well since I’m a dietitian, I of course would stress good nutrition. Beyond that, my advice would be to turn off that voice in your head that says, “I can’t!” If you continue to doubt yourself, you’ll end up believing it. I believe in the power of positive thinking and if you are going to run a marathon, you have to be positive. The other thing that keeps me going is to remember that my goal is to finish. Not to win but to finish. It’s not about the time I clock; it’s about the journey.
Congrats on your first marathon!! Describe your marathon experience and what it taught you.
“I can finally say, “I did it!” After months of training, miles of running and many early mornings, I can now say I am a marathoner. Finishing the LA Marathon was something that I thought would literally never happen. I’ve been asked what was the hardest part of the Marathon and I have to say it wasn’t any specific mile or event on the day of the run. The hardest part was the self-doubt before. I honestly never thought that I could complete the run as I was training. It was not until the morning of the race that I really knew that no matter what, I was going to cross that finish line. I wish I was faster, but I was not. I hoped for a better performance but it was not meant to be. But despite that, I had a smile as I ran across the finish line. Even two weeks later, I am still amazed at what I’ve done. I am in awe of what I have accomplished and it all seems like a dream. But this is not a dream. I am a marathon finisher and only because I committed to the journey. It is a choice I made. I chose to Move It so I won’t Lose It! If I can do it, so can you.”
Inspired by Aaron? How could you not be?! If you’d like to share your journey towards fitness and be a future #moveitorloseit Model of the Month, please email me your story (with a photo of yourself doing the activity/activities) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What inspires you to #moveitorloseit ?
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