The Next Starting Line

The Next Starting Line

by Amy H.

How do you get to the start line at the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle?  For me the journey started almost two years ago, although I didn’t know it at the time.

On May 1, 2010, I was well over 300 pounds and facing the very real fact that I needed to change my life.  I was facing yet another summer of laboring to walk the dogs.  I couldn’t even walk a mile in under 40 minutes and was sore for days after doing it.  I chose a healthier path.

Fast forward to November 2011.  I was 70 pounds lighter and more active, had a couple of walked 5Ks behind me and had just a taste of an indoor triathlon.  I knew I wanted to be able to do more but how did I get there?  I was active in sports in high school and college but I always had a coach on my side helping me.

Enter Coach Suzy and the ET Group.  Three months later there I was at the start line of an 8K and feeling ready to go.  My goal for the day was to finish with an official course time, which meant finishing in 1:15.  Nervous, yes, as I was thinking back to my first 5K and the fact that I finished it in just under an hour.  The race I was about to start was almost two miles further and I wanted to finish it in 16 minutes longer than my 5K time.  Who was I kidding, no way that was going to happen.  Then I heard Coach Suzy’s voice in my head, “Have Fun!”  I can actually say I enjoyed every step of those almost five miles and just took in the entire experience around me.  Did I run the entire thing?  Well, no, I’m not at that point (yet), but I ran more than I thought possible.  Not only did I finish with an official course time but I finished in 1:03:26.

Granted, I know I will never break any land speed records, but for me it’s about the journey to see what I can do.  Now on to prepare for the next start line…


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