Getting gutsy is all about stepping outside your comfort zone to reach your goals. I’m participating in Jessica Lawlor’s #GetGutsy Essay Contest. To get involved and share your own gutsy story, check out this post for contest details.
How I got Gutsy in 2013
For me, “getting gutsy” means going out of your comfort zone, trying something new, and pushing your limits. This year I got gutsy by going vegan, running my first 14k, running my first (and second) half marathon races, and completing my first hot yoga challenge.
Vegan: I started off 2013 by changing to a vegan diet. I had been vegetarian for a number of years before and had lapsed into eating meat again. My boyfriend and I, for health and animal welfare reasons, decided that we would try to do the vegan thing together. While we do eat the occasional non-vegan cookie, overall we have been very successful in changing our ways and haven’t looked back!
Running: Inspired by my boyfriend who ran a half marathon in May, I decided I wanted to do one too! I had only ever done one 5k race several years before so I was basically starting from scratch. I found a training plan and realized that I really enjoyed running. During my training I did a 14k race and was very happy with my progress. I completed my half in September with my boyfriend with a time of 2 hours and 8 minutes. A couple friends surprised me at the finish line and they both decided that they would like to try a half marathon as well. I signed up for another half at the end of November with them which I completed in 2 hours and 30 seconds. Now I am doing the Runner’s World holiday run streak which is a challenge to run at least 1 mile everyday from Thanksgiving (US) to New Years.
Hot yoga: I had only ever been to a few Bikram yoga classes a couple years ago but I decided that I wanted to get back into it. I dragged my boyfriend along with me and did their introductory 10 day deal. We both enjoyed the exercise and health benefits so we decided to keep going. After the deal ended, I reluctantly signed up for a challenge to complete 30 classes in two months. I slacked off the first month and then had to go basically every day for the last few weeks but I did it! And I felt amazing!
Throughout the year, I learned that if you set a goal, create a plan, and go for it, anything is possible. It’s so simple, but it didn’t really click for me until I devoted weeks and weeks of training to complete a race that lasted just over 2 hours. As an added bonus, I lost about 15 lbs and was able to cram myself into a size 4 bridesmaid dress for my best friend’s wedding.
How I plan to Get Gutsy in 2014
First of all, I am starting off the New Year right with a Resolution Run 5k! I have also decided to take running to the next level … I will be attempting to run the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 4th! I have even already registered and have signed up for an online 18-week training program which starts December 30th. I am both incredible excited and nervous! So far those are the only things I have planned, but we’ll see what else comes my way in the new year!