Happy Anniversary Walk Fiercely!

Happy Anniversary glitterMy labor of love is celebrating one year in publication this week!  I am so grateful to everyone who has read, shared, commented and supported Walk Fiercely in any way.  I couldn’t have continued to do this week after week without you.

I’ll be honest.  This is hard.  Coming up with a new topic every…single… week that has some relevance and can keep people’s attention is not easy.  I can admit that there were weeks I struggles with that.  And I can go back and tell which ones I was passionate about and which ones I felt like I was just “phoning in”.  I know I probably shouldn’t tell my readers that.  But you are all intelligent people and I’m sure I am not telling you anything you didn’t already figure out on your own.One year in time

At the same time, Walk Fiercely has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It has brought people into my life I would never have met, given me a drive that I wouldn’t have found otherwise, had an opportunity to inspire people and opened doors that wouldn’t have opened otherwise.  Granted, some of those doors closed before I was able to walk all the way through.  But that is part of the process you learn from as well.

I really just want to take the time to share the highlights over the last year- the good, the bad and the ugly.  Let’s start with the ugly and work our way up.  The “Naked and Afraid” blog on May 19, 2015 took an eye-opening, and likely TMI, look at what I saw when I looked in the mirror.  Not something I ever thought I would be sharing.  But I know there are so many people that feel the same way I do and I wanted to give a candid account of my experience.  What I learned from that post is that no matter how thin, tall, attractive or strong you are, everyone has aspects of their body they would like to change.  None of us are perfect.  But we need to always love ourselves- imperfections and all. And who can forget my riveting account of a very close call in “Shit Happens” on July 7, 2015. Instead of making any quips about that, I will suggest you go back and read that one for yourself.  Finally, “Don’t Sweat It” on November 10, 2015 discusses the composition of sweat, why it’s important to sweat and the fact that I am the queen of sweat.  And believe me, it is not pretty!

I hate to use the word “bad” to describe these next posts because there is definitely something to learn from all of them.  But bad does seem to be appropriate to characterize them.  The biggest fail I’ve had over the last year was the plank challenge.  This was chronicled in “If at First You Don’t Succeed” on August 25, 2015. I tried a plank challenge and it did not go well.  I knew that was a lofty goal for me.  But I was ready to go for it. Epic fail.  At the end of the blog I vowed to try it again in the future.  And I did, I just didn’t write about it. Why? Because I failed again.  Lesson learned- don’t try a plank challenge until you’ve done more ground work on your core to prepare. “The Struggle Is Real” from December 8, 2015 talks about holiday eating temptations and the challenge to make good food choices.  But the reality is that’s a struggle I deal with every single day!  On February 23, 2016 I posted a two part series about injuries.  I shared my own injuries and how I cope with them.  In addition, I talked about how to prevent and treat injuries. logo

Now the fun part, the good!  So many things fall into this category I can’t possibly name them all.  I’ll just try to hit some of the highlights. First and foremost are the races I’ve completed over the last year starting with “The Flying Pig”, blog date May 5, 2015.  What an incredible experience!  My first sanctioned full marathon, my first experience hitting the wall, my first experience having someone complete the whole race right by my side (thanks Maryanna!) and my first out of state race. I wasn’t thrilled with my final time but I met my goal of completing the race and, therefore, was able to get my first tattoo at age 44, blog post from May 12, 2015.  The next race was the Charleston Distance Run dated September 8, 2015.  The 15 mile distance of this one makes it unique.  I had ran the 5K event in 2008 and the 10K a few years later.  But I had never attempted the 15 mile showcase event.  I am happy to say that was a successful race as well.  That was followed by the City of Oaks half marathon in Raleigh, NC from November 3, 2015.  At first I was a little disappointed in myself because I had originally signed up for the full.  Due to starting a new job and not being able to train as hard, and the fact that my race partner got mono during training, we had to drop down to the half.  Definitely legitimate reasons, but couldn’t shake the feeling that I settled in some way. That all changed when I decided to make the most of the half and try to beat my best time in a half marathon.  To quote the King of Pop, I “beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it. No one wants to be defeated”- and I wasn’t.  I beat my time by 6 whole minutes.  What a great feeling!  And most recently the University of Charleston half marathon, which I blogged about just a few weeks ago on March 22, 2015. There was jogging involved. I beat my half time again by 5 whole minutes.  So, in the course of 5 months I had reduced my half marathon time 11 minutes.  ELEVEN! Just saying.

I’d like to think I have been able to bring some encouragement, humor and motivation to my readers.  With that, I introduced two of my own principles that I thought might motivate others to get out of their comfort zone. “The Half the Distance Principle” from May 26, 2015 suggesting that a way to get through your long workouts is to look at it as only having to do half the distance. Because the reality is once you get halfway, you gotta turn around and come back.  I have to tell you that I use this principle every single time I have a long walk.  This weekend was a 14 mile walk and I mentally thought about those first 7 miles, what my route would be, how many hills I could tackle, etc.  And then I turned around a came back.  Try it, it works!  The second principle was “5 To Stay Alive”.  I posted this one twice because it is a little more detailed and involves getting other people involved. Those posts were “August 4, 2015 and February 16, 2016.  But the thing I was most proud of was my squat challenge, dated January 1, 2016.  The month of December I committed to do a squat challenge, starting day 1 with 50 and ending on day 30 with 250.  By the end of the month I had done 3295 squats.  To be clear, that is a lot of squats and my quads and hamstrings felt every one of them. Totally worth it!

With all the experiences- good bad and ugly- I would have to say the most rewarding part are the people I have come in contact with as a result of Walk Fiercely.  There is a guy that takes the boxing class before me.  I had no idea he even knew about the blog.  But one day he came up to me and said “aren’t you the girl that did the squat challenge?”  Why yes, yes I am. We started talking and he wants to do it too.  Robert’s Running has also referred a couple people to me that have been in the store and mentioned that they wanted to walk a race or do a marathon.  They contacted me and I hope I was able to help.  If not, I am just glad I made two new friends.  And then there is Felicia Marshall (Felicia, I hope you are reading this one).  She has been a huge supporter and faithful reader.  I am not even sure how she heard about the blog.  I don’t actually know her. I’ve never met her in person.  And I want that to change soon.

Thank youI guess I just want to say that my heart is full of thanks and gratitude that you have allowed me to share my story and hopefully encourage others.  I am looking forward to what the future holds for Walk Fiercely.  If you have any suggestions for post topics and/or would like to share your story with me, please comment through the website- www.walkfiercely.com.

Website: www.walkfiercely.com

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2 Responses to Happy Anniversary Walk Fiercely!

  1. Donna Hamra says:

    Happy Anniversary, Walk Fiercely! It’s been a helluva year and you have soared! I am so proud of you!

  2. Angel Cinco says:

    Happy Anniversary…

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