Every Mile Matters
By Lisa Ledman
I ran for healing.
In 2010, my world, as I knew it, seemed to be falling apart all around me. Five people in my family were fighting Cancer, I lost the job I loved, and my overall health was at an all-time low. Loss was all around me and I felt consumed by it. I started looking for a way out of the darkness. I began this journey by getting up each morning to read my bible, pray and reflect. During this time of reflection I was observing how my friend Veronica had changed her health by taking action and running and so it began. I took baby steps…started out by doing walk/run intervals and slowly worked up to running 3 miles. At this time in my life I ran for healing.
I ran for fitness.
In 2013, I wanted to improve my fitness level and heal physically – I was now 49 and the milestone of turning 50 was looming. This goal required accountability, consistency, and a plan as I was still carrying a surplus of 50 lbs on my frame. My friends, Stacy and Veronica, pointed me in the right direction. Stacy encouraged me to start a 10-week Challenge at Farrell’s Extreme Body Shaping gym, which focused on nutrition, strength-training, and cardio through kickboxing. During this 10-week period I continued to run and lost 20 lbs and a total of 20.5 inches off my frame. It felt so good and I had learned what I needed to do. Veronica told me about Moon Joggers and I decided to give it a try. Moon Joggers provided the accountability and encouragement to train and run my first races – some 5Ks and 10Ks. This accountability worked and I lost an additional 20 lbs and felt amazing when I turned 50 in May of 2014. At this time in my life I ran for fitness.
I ran for enjoyment.
In 2014, I wanted to run for fun! I felt amazing and really loved running races. I loved it all, the training, the outfits, the adrenaline rush, the food, the beverages, the comradery and of course the medals! Through encouragement from my Moon Jogger virtual friends (especially Calla and Carolyn) and Veronica I signed up for my first half-marathon, Whistlestop, in Ashland, Wisconsin. My daughter, Kristi and cousin, Andy came with to cheer me on and I had the most amazing time. I had the race bug! I signed up for lots of races which included 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, snow-shoe races, trail runs, and obstacle courses and set out on a new goal to reach Half-Fanatics status. This past Sunday, I reached this goal at the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon and I enjoyed every minute of this trip. At this time in my life I ran for enjoyment.
The reasons I run have changed with the seasons of my life. More than anything I have realized that “Every Mile Matters” to my mind, body, and soul – I run for me! As of today, I am not sure what will drive me to continue to run in 2015 or beyond; but I know I will continue. I will continue to run for healing, fitness, and pure enjoyment.