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Well what a ride the last 6 months has been! Back in November last year I made a decision to participate in 2 major events this year. The first one was the Gold Coast Marathon and the other was the Kokoda Challenge. When I looked up the dates of the events, I found that the marathon was the first weekend of July, the Kokoda Challenge was 2 weekends later and I realised that my daughter’s 21st birthday was the weekend in between. I still decided that participating in those 2 events was possible. I will admit that there was wine involved! I had no idea when I made the decision, exactly what would be involved. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but then what would be the point? I particularly wanted to do the Kokoda Challenge because I knew that my daughter would be home for this year at least and since it is a team event, it would be something that we could do together.
The last 6 months have been hard work. There have been many ups and downs. I developed injuries from my training. I became sick at a time when I could least afford to because of how much stress I was putting my body under. I have found it very difficult at times to manage everything that I have had on my plate and particularly in the last 3 weeks I have had to put aside everything other than what was absolutely necessary and just concentrate on each separate event to make sure that I didn’t overwhelm myself and could give those 3 events my utmost attention.
I look back on the last 6 months and I am so proud of what I have achieved! I ran a freaking marathon! Who ever thought that I – Shari Ware – would run a marathon?!! Up until as little as probably 2 years ago the thought had never even crossed my mind. I would never have ever thought that I would ever even WANT to run a marathon, and for so many years of my life it just wouldn’t have been possible. As for the Kokoda Challenge, unfortunately we had to withdraw just before the half way point due to 2 of our team members being in too much pain to continue, but we did our best up to and on the day and that is all that we can ever do. We are winners even though we didn’t cross the finish line. We made a decision to participate in what has been called Australia’s toughest team endurance event, we trained hard in preparation for the event, but unfortunately things just didn’t go to plan on the day. Through this challenge I learnt a lot but 2 of the most important lessons were firstly, how to be a leader and I hope that I was a good one, and secondly, that you don’t have to cross a finish line to be a winner.
I have learnt so much over the last 6 months. I have felt so much. I have formed new relationships and strengthened others through my endeavours. My daughter and I managed to not kill each other throughout it all and I feel that our strong bond has grown so much stronger. I have motivated and inspired people which in turn motivated me to keep going at those times when it all felt too hard and as if what I had set out to achieve was unachievable for me. I have LIVED! For so many years of my life I was just passing time and didn’t even realise. The last 6 months have been incredibly hard at times, but they have been incredibly rewarding and I feel the most alive that I have ever felt.
There will be no more events this year. It is time to concentrate on other important things that I have put on the backburner for a while. I so look forward to what the future brings. Once upon a time I worried about what the future would bring. Every day now I look with excitement towards the future because I know that amazing things are out there for me. I wish for everyone to feel the way that I feel. Think of something AMAZING for you to do. Something that would make YOU happy. Whatever it is, you CAN do it! I never would have thought that I would ever do half of the things that I have done this year alone, but I made a decision (crazy though it was!), formulated a plan and stuck with it, even when it didn’t seem like I was going to be able to do it. I tried anyway and I amazed even myself! So go on – start amazing yourself! I highly recommend it!
Have a great week everyone!
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