The Amazing Race

Yesterday was an incredible morning.  It was perfect weather:  not quite 40 degrees, but the sun was making it's way out.  After 10 weeks of training in the dark, snow, ice, rain and with temperatures hovering around zero we were ready.  The Playmakers Women 50+  Couch to 5K group gathered for our crowning glory:  a 5K race.  This is not about a group of athletic super stars or some unusually fit women. Nope. These are just "regular" people.  I would bet that most of the gals in this group had never been part of an athletic team before this. Some had really just started walking after years of couch sitting. Others were already walking or running, but were ready to do more.

This is a team of women taking charge of their lives and getting healthier---women of all shapes and sizes.  Not chronologically young, but young and vibrant in spirit. Together, we are doing it.

Chatter and excitement filled the air.  You could see the look of determination on faces at the start and during the race.  Big smiles. Victory in the eyes of each woman as she crossed the finish line. Afterward, one of my running buddies got goosebumps just listening to our head coach talk about our achievements. An amazing race.

There is no question that being in a group of like-minded people increases the ability of that person to reach a personal goal.  Changing behaviors is tough. Studies have shown that when it comes to losing weight and becoming more fit, people tend to do better when working in a group.

Teamwork.  We received encouragement, guidance, high fives, "atta girls," supportive emails, answers to questions, and "You Can DO It" message all the way through.  Support groups are like a good bra:  they provide much needed support, guidance and are uplifting all the way!

If you are ready to start achieving your health goals try finding a group to join or create your own supportive team.  I've enjoyed exercising for years by walking and swimming.  Yet, this group has really helped me get out there and push even harder while still having fun.  In fact, I actually ran the entire 5K (no walking at all) yesterday, which is the first time I've done that in 20-25 years.  I reached the goal I'd set...and I did it almost 4 minutes faster than the 5K I walked/ran in December.

As Andre Dumas wrote in the Three Musketeers:  All for One and One for All!