I just completed my third 5k. Even now I’m both proud of, and pleasantly surprised at, myself. There was a time I honestly believed I would never be able to complete one race, never mind three (with the intention of completing even more races in the future). It’s amazing how we underestimate our strength and abilities sometimes, isn’t it?

Besides having the goal of getting in shape and losing weight, my biggest reason for doing these/running/exercising has been to try to set a good example for my daughters. Am I a fast runner? Lord, no! Which is why I found it comical when I would return home and my 5-year-old would ask if I won the race. My response to her was that I did, but not because I came in first place, but because I ran the whole race. I had finished and to me that truly meant that I did win! I had set a goal for myself and I achieved it. Winning! <insert Charlie Sheen voice>

For this past 5k, my husband surprised me and brought my girls to the race to cheer me on, equipped with homemade signs and everything. It meant the world to me! Not only were they there to support me, but they were able to witness me completing this challenge from start to finish. Something I hope they’ll do as well – not necessarily with running, but being able to set their minds on accomplishing goals that challenge themselves and working hard to achieve them, no matter how difficult it might seem.

My hope has also been that by seeing me invest in myself by exercising and eating healthy that they will also work towards achieving a healthy and active lifestyle, which is why I was beyond thrilled when my daughter was recently received the “Healthy Lifestyles Be Fit Award” for the month of November at her before and after school program. Each month one student is chosen for the award who demonstrates the following:

  • good sportsmanship
  • practices good manners daily
  • participates daily in gym
  • positive attitude
  • plays fair
  • demonstrates appropriate table manners
  • shows good eating habits

Her name and picture are now displayed on the “wall of fame” at school. To say I’m proud of her is an understatement.