In 2011 my daughter, Tracy, a runner and former Fleet Feet coach, encouraged me to try No Boundaries “couch to 5k.” This was when Walk Fit was included in NoBo. I was 64 and had never done anything athletic in my life. I mystified myself by agreeing. I showed up at the first session apprehensive, with a fear of failure and the worst shoes. Happily I soon was fitted with proper running shoes, learned good walking form and crossed the finish at Route 66 5k exhilarated.
I could not comprehend training in the winter, however, so I did not sign up for the next sessions and in spring of 2012 had a small stroke. I had balance and other issues and did nothing that year.
Beginning 2013 I felt stronger and signed up for NoBo, but missed the detail walkers now had their own groups. I was quite surprised at the first session to find I was in a running group. Coaches Edna and Pam convinced me to at least try it. I still had balance problems and spinal disc issues so it was not without struggles. However, the coaches were knowledgeable and patient keeping me on task. It was with pride I ran the Cinco de Mayo 5K.
The Monday following this race I began 12 weeks of physical therapy. The medical personnel made it clear running was not part of my healing.
Since then I have continued to train with my Walk Fit group, my beginnings. A few weeks ago, on a snowy Saturday, I was late to arrive, missing my group. I found some runners and they invited me to tag along. These gals, some around my age, turned out to be marathoners, some even triathletes. They finally made me believe what other coaches and Tracy had been telling me: it is not your age, body type, or previous fitness level that is an obstacle to progressing. It is only your own mind. I am currently signed up to train for the half marathon and I cannot wait to slap the 13.1 sticker on my car.
Thank you to Fleet Feet and especially Tracy, for opening up this new season in my life.
- Pamela J Witte