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Running for my life at last

Before I left for England, I did another thing that shocked me. I signed up for the Maui Half Marathon. (A half marathon is 13.1 mile run...) Scott was interested in training for the Maui Marathon (26.2 miles), he talked about it with his trainer and he really wanted to do it. I said go for it! Then I found myself wondering if I could ever do a race like that. If you remember in my first 5K run, I was exhausted and not properly trained for any kind of running, but the act of running a 5K left me exhilated at my body's capacity. I asked my trainer, Sarinas, if she thought I could do a half marathon and she excited said, "Sure! We could get you ready for that!" I signed up that night, paid for it and decided to train for it when we got back from our England/Scotland adventure.

I can hardly recognize the person I am now internally and externally. A half marathon? Training? Running? Sometimes I want to ask, "Who are you and what have you done with Barbara?!" I am constantly asking myself when presented with new oppurtunites, "I wonder if I can?" That was not a phrase I uttered 18 months ago. It was more like, "Oh, I can't do that.." That was the quiet voice in my head that had lead my actions for a decade.

I am learning with this process, that I must keep the promises I make to myself. It is one thing I can do to better myself. Running is one comittment I can keep that will also help me keep my new found health and weight range. It is a tool I can use so I do not return to my larger body and much-smaller life.

When I weighed over 300 pounds, I got periodic mild-to-moderate panic attacks. Often during these episodes, I would say in complete desperation: "I just want to be able run for my life, if I had to!" At the time, I could barely walk to my own mailbox to get the mail right outside my front door without wheezing.

The little girl who sat out recess to read, who thought sports were for "other people", is fading into the past at last. Today, I truly am, "RUNNING FOR MY LIFE!"