Just show up…

Welcome. If you are new to Galloway, your life is about to change.

Or maybe it isn’t. It’s up to you.

The journey to your first Galloway run was probably full of wrong turns and right intentions. Everything conspired in the universe to keep you from getting here. But you finally made it. And we’ve been waiting for you.

And here you are! A little nervous, a little scared. But you showed up. And showing up is the most important thing you can do when you make a decision to become a runner. And look around. You are not alone. There are dozens of other new runners who feel just like you do.

What finally brought you here? What was the one thing that finally convinced you that this was a better way to spend your Saturday mornings, instead of sleeping in late or curling up with a cup of coffee and the latest best seller?

If there is one thing that can help me help you, it is answering that question for yourself. No, I don’t need to know what it is, unless you want to share it with me. Saturdays are precious days for most of us, when we get to call the shots, when we get to be the boss of us. Going for a hot, sweaty three-mile run at 7am with a bunch of people you don’t know doesn’t sound like fun. So something got you up and out here this morning.

So what is it that finally motivated you? A new year’s resolution to lose weight that didn’t get resolved? Someone signed you up for a race on a dare and now you can’t back out? You got tired of wheezing for 30 minutes after climbing up the steps to your apartment? Did your doctor give you an ultimatum to finally get into shape?

We all know what motivates us to make that first step out the door. And we all know we have tried for years to do something, anything, to do it. To just to go through that door. Now that you are here, hold onto whatever it was that got you here. Because in the next few weeks, and the next few months, you are going to to have to keep on motivating yourself to wake up, get dressed and show up. Because showing up is how you become a runner.

When you show up, every Saturday, there will be dozens of others, just like you, to keep  you company and to help you stay on track with your goals. Consider them your new friends. Talk. Laugh. Run. Walk. Ask questions. Lots of questions. And question everything. Not everyone is a natural-born runner. But we are all born with the ability to run. Someone talked us out of running at an early age. It’s time to tell them to shut up.

If you are running with Galloway because your friends are running with Galloway? Remember that there may be times it’s just you out there because your friends decided to sleep in late this morning. Don’t use it as an excuse to not go for a run. Take care of  your own dreams. Don’t let others dream for you. And eventually you will make new friends who will be there waiting for you before the next run.

If you are running because you want to lose weight, exercise is only a small part of that goal. And there are lots of other ways to exercise besides running. So don’t sabotage your goals by making them impossible to achieve. I gained weight when I first started running! Remember that a strenuous 1-mile run only burns a 100 calories. A 2-inch slice of cheesecake has over 300 calories in it. Then ask yourself if that 3-mile run is worth the indulgence. And running makes you hungry. More than you ever imagined. If weight loss is a goal, work with your doctor to discover what physical challenges you need to deal with (diabetes, low thyroid, food addiction) and make sure you are healthy enough to run before putting too high of an expectation on your running weight loss results. Running will help you lose weight, but it’s not a weight loss program. There are dozens of perfectly good diet programs out there, so choose one that will work for you. But don’t just run and expect a miracle if  you don’t change anything else in your life.

If you are “just a walker” or you feel you are too slow to keep up, remember, you are working on simply getting out of the door every week. Worry about speed when you succeed in making your runs a weekly routine for at least 6 months. Speed comes with experience. If you have never entered and completed a race, work on finishing a race by simply running fast enough to not get swept off the course. Train to finish. It’s about showing up. Participate, stay positive, and do your midweek training. Being last is not a problem. Not starting in the first place, is.

Be patient. Change is never easy. And this program is about change. If all you do is show up every week, you will change. Trust me.

I have been in Galloway for over 7 years. My first Galloway run was a very wet 3-miler. And I told my husband that if I went back next week, I was in it for life. The rest is history. Six months later, I finished my first full marathon having never run a mile in my life. My Galloway leaders gave me the skills to do it. Galloway will change you. Trust me.

You can buy fancy shoes, the latest in running clothes and the most expensive GPS watch on the market. But you can’t buy motivation. And we can’t give it to you.

So just show up. We’ll help you with the details, the blisters, the aching muscles. But we can’t make you get out of bed.

And one thing we will guarantee: If you show up every weekend for the rest of the season and you join us on this journey? You will change.

And if you don’t show up, we’ll still be here next year when you finally have had enough of the same old, same old. And you want to feel what this change thing is all about.

See you Saturday!

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