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Regina Leonard Regina Leonard
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No more excuses

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What is the one thing that you think you could never do, but would really love to say that you did? Skydive? Travel overseas? Conquer one of your fears? Climb a mountain? Go diving in the ocean? Have you come up with a million and one excuses why you're putting it off?

Time to stop making excuses and start doing. I always have something to work towards to motivate me and to challenge myself. I recently crossed one of those items off my list and I wanted to share it with all of you in hopes that it will inspire you to start crossing items off of yours. No more excuses.

About a year and a half ago I started taking better care of myself and dropped 20 lbs. I had my angry pants on and was committed. I succeeded in a short amount of time without exercise. I knew once the weight was off I would start hitting the gym again, and I did. I had to create time in my schedule to put me first, and it paid off. I was feeling great and had come pretty far. But I wanted more. I started running again and realized I had forgotten how much I loved it. It is such a stress reliever for me. It challenges me every single step, every run. It is the only time that I get all to myself. I am able to work out stress and challenges, and I also do my best planning and thinking while I run.

This past winter I signed up for my first half marathon. I never thought I could do this. I didn't know if I even wanted to. I knew that putting money on it and signing up meant I had to, and it got me out of bed and to the gym faithfully all winter and through this past summer. Every week I felt faster and stronger, physically and mentally.

The time leading up to the Maine Marathon, which took place this past Sunday, consistently had me doubting myself. My trainers told me I was ready over and over, but I didn't really believe them. I thought about backing out and came up with plenty of reasons. I had aches, pains and minor injuries throughout the training, but I am just too stubborn to quit. I pride myself on being a woman of my word, and I was going to run this race if I had to crawl across the finish line. I wanted to start something and not give up like I had so many other times with my fitness program.

Well, I did it! I ran 13.1 miles and didn't stop once. I felt awesome the entire time and I ran up hills passing people who couldn't. I had such a blast being surrounded by almost 4, 000 other people who all showed up to do the same thing, cross that finish line. Some of us were faster than others, but it didn't matter because we all were running the same race. Everyone was cheering each other on and encouraging one another.

Seeing that finish line was the best feeling. I crossed that line with such raw emotion and pride. I have a new respect for myself and I have proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Hard work and discipline pay off.

I encourage you to do the same - because you can, and you should!


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