Champions Have Super Powers!
Submitted by Champion, Jodi Clark
I became a Champion for many reasons. I didn’t intend to gain super powers, however. I wanted to have a healthier lifestyle and be part of a community of others committed to that same goal. I also wanted to be a good example for the youth I worked with at ActingOut. How could I ask them to promote health if I wasn’t leading a healthy lifestyle?
When I started my wellness journey two years ago, I decided to follow the message they were promoting in their newest performance, 5-2-1-0. I started with the 5 (servings of fruits and veggies every day) and the 0 (sugary beverages). I don’t have a TV, so the 2 hours or less of recreational screen time was easy. I also started to eat less food. Smaller portions, reducing my sugar, but I didn’t and still haven’t completely cut out anything I really like. Instead of two brownies, just one small one will do. After I lost 25 lbs just with those two numbers, I knew it was time to bring in the 1 (hour of physical activity a day). I didn’t have time or money for an exercise class. I didn’t want to join a gym. I’m not into sports and I have a knee injury. What was left? Walking!
I purchased a pedometer for $15, got a good pair of walking shoes, and I was off. I tracked my walking every day, making small increases doing all the things you hear about: taking the stairs, parking farther away, making walking meetings part of my work day and taking an additional 20 minute walk break. As my walking slowly increased over six months, the pounds I didn’t even realize were extra started to melt away. As my endurance built up, I went farther and faster until I finally found racewalking. I couldn’t believe I was actually considering doing that! I must have super powers! Only really fit people do that! Once I had lost the equivalent weight of a healthy 4th grader, that was exactly what I had. The best part was I could do this with a friend, even when we weren’t actually walking together. We check in on each other’s time and training via email or over the phone. We walk together whenever we do see each other.
The most recent triumph was racewalking together in the Sports Medicine Center's 5K and coming in second together! The support of friends, strong motivation, and a good pair of shoes have indeed given me super powers. I’ve lost a total of 87 pounds and I’ve gained the power to make myself healthy and strong. It doesn’t get much more super than that.
For more info on Racewalking or walking in general, check out http://www.thewalkingsite.com.