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If I Can Do a 5K, So Can You

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I’m not a 5K kind of girl.  In fact, I use a walker and a wheelchair.  I’m in severe pain most days and not what you would call "sporty."  I do, however like a good challenge.  When I was walking to strengthen my legs, my friend Mccourtt challenged me to walk a 5K.  Well, it was on!  So I set out to walk one.
Cindholm talked to me about pedometers on our first mall walk.  I bought a good one with what I thought was a sturdy bull clip by Omron.  It works very well but does have a tendency to fall off, so I recommend buying the safety strap with clip for it.
I knew I needed help, so my nephew Josh and I would take walks over the summer for training, walker in tow.  He is quite the taskmaster!  I would do anything for him, so when he says he wants to go, I go!  That’s good inspiration.  I would count steps at first--miles were far away.  We rested frequently, as my walker has a seat and I drank a lot of water.
Vettechinhippie helped me train three times a week, walking with my walker through shops and malls.  We did errands, walked all of the aisles of some stores, and took rest breaks frequently.  Eventually my pace got quicker and my legs stronger. Vettechinhippie is a very sweet friend who worked out with me through thick and thin, whether I had a painful day or she had many errands.  We adjusted.
BB_4_ME helped me train in the water and on recumbent machines at the gym to strengthen my muscles.  She is a great source of positive energy.  She is full of ideas and has been through chronic pain herself, so she is familiar with modifying exercise to fit individual needs.
Kind_heart101, my husband, then set up my iPod to do very accurate step, distance, and calorie counting for me.  After seeing how much pain I was being caused by my training, and how tired he got trying to train with me ONE day, he declared I couldn’t do a 5K.  I declared if I did, I got a Tiffany bracelet! 

Like my new bracelet?

It took over a year of working up to it and sitting for breaks, but I finally reached my magic number while walking the mall with Cindholm.  I honestly didn’t think I would make it, but Cindy was very encouraging.  She has inspired me for a long time with her walks for charities and penchant for daily LONG walks.  10,000 steps a day is nothing to her.  It was an honor to have my walking hero at my side at the very moment of my victory.
When the pedometer clicked over, I felt so proud, like jumping and yelling to everyone.  I can’t describe the jubilation in my heart or the severe pain of my body by that point.  The jubilation won out though.  I felt like anything is possible and I wanted to tell you all that.  Part of the reason I wanted to do a 5K is to show you that YOU can do anything you set your mind to do.  If a woman with herniated, degenerated disks, pinched nerves, bad knees, fibromyalgia, and arthritis can walk a 5K with a walker, YOU can take courage that you are capable of aiming for better every day.
The first thing I did was call my husband to tell him I walked a 5K with the walker.  Then I called Mccourtt (my inspiration) and Vettechinhippie (my trainer).  My best friend from college, Hoosiergirlindy was so very proud of me, as was my other best friend from high school, Lioness822.
With all of these SparkPeople on my side, I beat the odds.  The sense of community is beautiful here.  Join your regional teams and look for people to support your efforts to explore new challenges--you can do it! 

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This article needs an addendum - Beth wrote it in 2011, it's now 2019, she's made even more progress, and is even more an inspiration. Report
ILOVEROSES 7/12/2019
Congratulations! You are an inspiration! Report
417-EXERCISE30 7/11/2019
boy did I need this reading. I just got over a knee procedure. It took my exercise routine out the window. I am back but have to still start slowing back to my routine. TY I was going to take today off but I am going to Y now. thank you. Report
You're such an inspiration, thank you for sharing!! Report
DOWNPORT 4/14/2019
Congratulations! You are an inspiration! Report
NASFKAB 2/17/2019
Thank you for another inspirational post makes me think I should think about it Report
ALASKINI 1/26/2019
What an inspirational story! You are amazing, and I needed to read this right now. Thank you so much for posting. Report
MONIBELLY 1/20/2019
Beth... always an inspiration!!! Report
JUSTFURKIDS 12/12/2018
Truly inspirational article but editors need to be chastised about the picture that is “stretched to fit” way out of proportion. Not cool on a weight loss site! Report
CATNAP629 10/30/2018
great job Report
PATRICIAANN46 10/29/2018
Good for YOU!!!!! And Thank You for a great article. Report
Congratulations! You are truly an inspiration to many! Report
Congratulations!! It's always so inspiring to see you accomplish your goals!! Report
You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. Report
I ran a marathon when I was 53 and when I weighted
243 pounds. So yes I believe anybody who puts their mind to it can do it good luck and congratulations everyone else who is taking the first step ! Report
I ran a marathon when I was 53 and when I weighted
243 pounds. So yes I believe anybody who puts their mind to it can do it good luck and congratulations everyone else who is taking the first step ! Report
Love that incentive you had Beth.. the Tiffany bracelet! LOL! Report
Congrats Report
Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment, and what a wonderful outlook you have on things even with chronic pain. Report
That's great! Congratulations! I just recently started walking more, myself. Report
Congrats! Thank you for sharing, your story is so inspirational. Keep up the good work. Report
You're great so inspiring. It's wonderful that you have friends and family that encourage and support you. Never give in! 👏 Report
WOW what a great story Congratulations 👍 Well done girl!!! I have a similar story with similar body aches & issues and I’m 71. I joined a senior mall walking group who have access to malls at the crack of dawn. I was thrilled when I hit 5k as my usual was 2k or less. I hit 8k two weeks ago so now my goal is 10k when the weather gets nicer. I even bought trekking poles. I am thankful for my Fitbit & Spark, that keeps me honest. Report
Congratulations Beth. What a wonderful achievement. You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Report
Beth, congratulations!! Good luck and keep up the good work! The Lord bless you! Report
Thanks Beth. You are amazing. Report
I am very happy for you! I am a firm believer that we can do whatever we put our minds to, Congrats on your progress! Report
Beth, I'm so happy for you! Report
AWESOME!!! Report
You are beautiful and amazing! An inspiration to me and so many others! Keep on Sparking! Report
Amazing! You go Girl! Report
Thanks for the encouragement. I now believe if you can do it with all of your ailments, I know that I can do more. Report
Way to go! Report
You are inspirational. I have tears in my eyes over your success. I do believe that I can do it. Thank you thank you. Report
Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration. Time for me to stop making excuses and run the Peachtree Road Race next year Report
Very inspiring! Report
Beth, YOU are SO AMAZING AND INSPIRATIONAL !!!!! I take my hat off to you for your FANTASTIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS { AND YOU ALWAYS WRITE A GOOD, INTERESTING AND PERTINENT BLOG!!!!!!} Kudos to you !!!! You keep us SParkers going!!!!! Excellent blog!!!!! Report
Thank You so much for your blog full of inspiration for me. I got all filled with tears of joy. I am so proud of you and your words have given me encouragement to go for the 5K. Thank You again Report
I did my first 5K for my 50th. Like you I was in a lot of pain so it took a long time before I was ready... but deciding to do it, the IMPOSSIBLE, was exciting and motivating. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope your journey continues with all the help you got from your friends... I think it is the journey that is really what it is all about. Justyna Report
I new that was a Tiffany sterling silver charm bracelet go girl! Report
Your story is so inspiring. I will remember your words when it is tough to keep going. Your bracelet is beautiful and so are you. Report
Thank for sharing your story and inspiring others including me to let go of their excuses and push forward towards their goals...step-by-step.

You have shown all of us that we can challenge ourselves to achieve what may seem impossible to others and that although it might not be easy; we can in fact realize our goals through on-going hard work, by persevering, with the help and support of friends that believe in us.

And, yes--I love your Tiffany bracelet! Awesome job! What a great reminder for you each day that you can achieve your goals--congratulations! Report
Hi Girl,

I only saw this blog today! I am so proud of you! You rock! And you are looking gorgeous! Actually on days where I can't run due to joint pain, or when I was trying to mentally get used to doing run-walk-run instead of run-run-run I think of you and get motivated!

Steph Report
Congratulations! And I love to read your blogs - they are so inspiring. :) Report
How awesome are you!!!!! :-) Report
You are amazing...you will wear that bracelet and have a reminder of your great efforts every time you wear it...so sweet :) Report
Love your bracelet. I bet it makes you proud all over again every time you look at it. You go, girl!
Linda Report
This actually left me in tears. I am so happy for you! You are an inspiration to many. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. May God bless you. Report
Congratulation on exceeding your goal! You definitely leave no room for excuses and that is priceless. I struggled through 11 months of Zumba with pain but so worth it because I am able to do Salsa and other Social Dances. Keep shooting for the moon! Report
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