I got off the couch in 2010. I had two very young, and extraordinarily rowdy boys to whom I wanted to be that mom. The one could run after them in a game of tag on the playground or ride a bike. It dawned on me the way I was going, I would instead be the mom who would only be able to watch from the sidelines. There was a local 5k a few months later and I signed up. That was my #StartWithHealthy and I’ve never looked back.
I took my athletic journey very seriously, and grew both in fitness and distance doing three Ironman triathlons in two years. Some people can do that, I got burnt out. And since my last race in July 2016 at Ironman Lake Placid my fitness journey has come in fits and spurts. It’s all good. Life is full with both my kids and my business growing in size and in demand of my time.
When I have an opportunity to mix them both up, it’s my sweet spot and that is what Humana gave me when I was asked to participate in this #StartWithHealthy campaign. My assignment was simple: attend the Humana Hollywood Beach 5k and write about it. But the experience was so much more!
In a gist, Humana sponsors the Rock n Roll Marathon & Half Marathon series. To help people get ready, and to inspire others to run and start their health journey, Humana puts on free 5k races around the country. Yes, I said FREE. And it feels like a regular 5k with terrific bling to boot.
This race was in Hollywood Beach, an hour’s drive from where I live, and my son Dreamer (age 11) came with me. Now Dreamer has his own #StartWithHealthy story. He has grown up seeing his parents run, and has gotten up before dawn plenty of times to go to a 5k. Though we have lost track of how many 5ks and triathlons he’s done, music is his after school thing. Together with his brother they play guitar and drums, and quite well I might add. Dreamer is the type of kid that watches a football game on TV with a guitar in his hand. I, on the other hand, can’t hold a note but developed the I’mPossible Run Club, a program that uses running and 5k races as a way to empower children. Dreamer can have his music, but he attends Run Club at least twice a week. Do you see where I am going with this? This assignment involved Rock n Roll AND running.
Apparently, this was all the inspiration Dreamer needed to run his heart out. Granted, the weather was perfect and the venue was stunning, but this kid beat his 5k PR by almost ten minutes! It was the first time he ran it under 30 minutes, and it was the first time he ran ahead of me and beat me. He was ecstatic. You know that feeling you get crossing a finish line? Well he had that times 1000.
Dreamer was chatting up a storm with participants, and with the very friendly folks from Humana who graciously gave him what he now calls the coolest race shirt ever. He was inspired by Derek Mitchell, who is using 5k races to lose weight and was running his 26th race this year! We also met Marge and Mary Beth both who were beaming from having their #StartWithHealth moment and crossing their first 5k finish line ever. He was in his endorphin haze when he blurted out his goal for next year is to run a half marathon, and now that he knows it exists … he wants to run a Humana Rock N Roll race in 2017.
The next day, the I’mPossible Run Club was participating in another 5k (this time locally, thankfully) and Dreamer once again got up before 5:00AM and hit the pavement as the sun was rising. He now has a goal to shoot for, and if he does indeed follow through not only will he be fulfilling his #StartWithHealthy mission, but will be helping me stick to mine too.
Stuck on how you can #StartWithHealthy? Visit StartWithHealthy.com to see how others have done it and get ideas to make your own start!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Humana. The opinions and text are all mine.