Sarah Stultz: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Published 9:54 am Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.

I have been thinking a lot lately about a column I wrote last year when I had an awakening of sorts.

I was at the finish line of the annual Tiger Trot at Brookside Education Center, taking photographs for Albert Lea magazine, when I resolved that the next year I wanted to take part in that race. I decided that instead of watching the runners from the sidelines, I wanted to participate — and not just walk either. I wanted to run!

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I haven’t been one to take part in many races during my lifetime, but I’m proud to say that one year I did complete a half marathon. Last year I had a strong desire to start running again — but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

The last time I ran regularly was the summer after I graduated from college. I was many pounds lighter, had more time on my hands and had not yet had my two children.

But that’s enough of the excuses.

I’m not very proud to say that nine months have passed since I wrote that column, and I’m basically at the same point that I was last April.

At that time, my goal was to start a healthy-eating plan to first lose some weight. I know from experience that running is more difficult with each extra pound I carry, so I was hoping to shed some excess weight while starting out easy with a walking routine. Once things progressed, I would then take that up a notch and begin running.

I’ve been on a roller coaster —in more ways than one — this year, and have jumped on and off the wagon multiple times. At some point, I completely strayed from the goal.

Though I don’t know if it’s realistic for me to say I will be prepared to run — without stopping — the entire Tiger Trot this April, I have redetermined to at least participate in that race. If I have to walk, that’s OK. At least I’ll be heading in the right direction.

On Monday, I started a new healthy eating challenge in an effort to work on the weight-loss part of things, and I am still evaluating how I’m going to tackle incorporating exercise back into my life again. I will likely begin indoors and move outdoors when the weather gets nicer.

If anyone has any suggestions for what has worked for you, please reach out to me.

Things always go well at first, but the challenge will be how to keep that motivation high instead of derailing in a few weeks or months down the line.

Thanks in advance for your positive thoughts.