Here’s a little Sunday inspiration from long-time DAMY Member Laura! Since the moment Laura joined DAMY Health she was ready for a challenge and continually pushed herself.
I’ve watched Laura move into who she really is. It has been a wonderful journey so far with Laura and I know she will only continue to inspire and reach new heights.
Laura knew who she could be, wanted to be and was destined to be! She took her dreams and made them a reality! If you want to be inspired by an equally powerful and loving woman today read Laura’s Journey below.
Laura – So proud of you! I’m so grateful you are a part of my life. Here’s to the rest of 2012!
DAMY Member Laura’s Half Marathon Experience – “I fell in love with long distance runs, I also fell in love with realizing that my body is amazing and there is no challenge I canʼt achieve!”
A few months ago, one of my most favorite people asked me to put “pen to paper” and write about my half marathon journey. Little did I realize what this process would be like for me. It was more emotional than I expected. It goes back much farther than putting on my runners and training for weeks before the race, it starts with 21 year old me.
Everyone has challenges in life that can cause setbacks. Mine was discovered when I graduated from university and was working as a personal trainer. I was diagnosed with hypo-thyroid disease. I had gained 30 pounds and went from a size 5 to a 12 in less than a year. This was a horrible experience for me. All I wanted to do was sleep, I was always cold and oh so MOODY. It was like having PMS for a year non-stop without knowing why. I didnʼt want to do anything. I was embarrassed because my body had let me down. However, once I was diagnosed and put on proper medication, I felt like me again.
I had never known what it was like to struggle with weight unit then. When I was younger I was skinny, looking back now I realize I was too skinny. Teachers would talk to me at school because they thought I was anorexic. I wasnʼt, I could eat like a trooper but never gain an ounce. So, this signiﬁcant weight gain in my 20ʼs was traumatizing.
A year later after everything was under control and I had lost most of the weight, but was sitting around a size 6. I told older, more mature me – “Love you girlfriend, but you will never be a size 5 again, get over it, you are still amazing.” So for years this internal dialogue was my belief.
Over the next few years I had decided to leave my current job as a personal trainer, ﬁtness instructor and joined my current profession (top-secret – cool- spy like- canʼt tell you) and trained my butt off to achieve it. In 2005 I entered into career number 2 and still love every minute of it.
For the ﬁrst few years of my job it was all about learning. I allowed for very little me time. That was until one day I said to myself, as I was mentally and physically exhausted, “What about me?” I realized if I am not taking care of myself, I will be useless when it comes to helping others. So I dusted off my runners and took to the trails. As a result I found mental clarity. This was a time where I could be with me, to listen to me and work through everything, whatever that looked like for that particular day.
I decided that running for 45 minutes was great, but I wanted more. I needed more of a challenge. So I thought, why not sign up for a half marathon? Me, being me I decided if I could do one, lets do two a month apart. So I had signed up for one in September and October 2010. For my ﬁrst two, I felt the nerves hit me at the start of my race, I loved the being in the crowd of my peers feeling this excitement of ﬁnally putting our body to the test.
After my ﬁrst two, I fell in love with long distance runs, I also fell in love with realizing that my body is amazing and there is no challenge I canʼt achieve. I now spend my Novembers thinking of what my next race year will look like. So in October 2011 I participated in my 3rd half marathon. This year I took a new approach, I was going to run my butt off all while having the time of my life.
My approach on this race day was run like you are having the time of your life. Not like Febee in that episode of friends where she runs ﬂailing her arms and legs around like a crazy person. Just have fun. Me being competitive (with myself) started out the ﬁrst half of my race running 1.5 mins faster than my training pace. I decided that pace was not fun, mostly because I fell over another runner who had fallen down in front of me. Some guy running behind me picked me up before I fell to the ground, thank you stranger.
The “almost fall” forced me to remind myself that this race needed to be fun. For the next 12km it was. I started high ﬁve-ing people and I was smiling I felt like a happy runner, yes runners can smile. I knew many people along the route and I would stop and say hello to them. The time for me didnʼt matter. I was more concerned about the fun factor. I can honestly tell you that I was having fun. I still completed my race in a respectable amount of time and loved every minute of it. Why? Because I pushed my body and my mind to achieve new limits.
So, how have I changed from my former size 12 self? I discovered this past December that I am actually now a size 4, who knew? I sure as heck did not. A lady in my favorite dress shop had to tell me I was grabbing the wrong size dress. She politely told me, darling you need this one, and she handed me a size 4. I thought to myself she is nuts and tried it on anyways. Well she was right. What a fabulous feeling.
I have also taken on the DAMY Health Vegan clean eating approach and love every minute of it. It sounds more challenging than it is. I have more energy than I knew was possible and feel great. It is also awesome to show what Vegan athletes can do.
What challenges will 2012 bring? I am always looking for the next physical challenge. In 2012 I will be racing a duathlon, and a triathlon, and a few smaller run and bike races. These are very exciting challenges for me and I am looking forward to how my body will perform.
My new outlook is to nourish and challenge my body and to realize that “the only easy day was yesterday” US Navy Seals mantra.
– Laura (Bikini Body Member)
UPDATE: Check out our beautiful bride that was just recently married! Stunning!