Lofty Aspirations? Not anymore!

Over time, goals change. Remember when you were in grade school and all you wanted was to go places without your parents around? When you wanted to be cool in high school, to always wear the right thing or get the best grade? Or even now in adulthood, you want to land your dream job or find the love of your life.

One goal that crept up on me completely was one that has more to do with my own competitive nature than anything else. I did a local 5K last spring (walking) and while I was just so happy at the time to do a 5K at all considering I could barely walk three years ago, in the back of my head, I was grumpy that little kids who were in grade school were completely kicking my butt.

Since that 5K, my endurance has gotten better and I'm healthier than I've been in years. When some friends and I went to cheer on people running the marathon, I saw people of all sizes, of all ages jogging at the mile 22 marker and I started thinking... if a 70 year old blind guy can jog, SURELY I can. I just have to...learn.

I know, it sounds ridiculous. Jogging isn't rocket science but I've never done it. So I decided that I would try it.. .see if I could jog for 60 seconds. A few minutes later, I tried it again. That night, I jogged a total of 6 minutes but the aches and pains scared me off so I didn't try again until this week. With thoughts of being thankful ever present during this time of the year, I jogged... and kept jogging. I wasn't dying, I wasn't in pain and once I found a groove, I kept going until I had jogged for 20 minutes. What should have been a nice, low-key 30 minute walk on the treadmill turned into a (dare I say it) life-changing experience.

Sometimes I don't give my body the credit it deserves. It is capable of far more than I thought. So now, I'm putting it out there. I'm determined to jog that 5K that I walked last spring. I'm going to beat my walking time and I WILL outrun at least some of the grade-schoolers.

- Jennifer Howell