On the second Thursday of every month, we’ll feature a blog post by an awesome military spouse! And we’re kicking off the series with Lori Volkman—who blogs at Witty Little Secret—and her story of dumping the jellybeans in favor of a half-marathon … all while her husband was deployed.
So please join us in welcoming Lori to Healthy Homefront℠, as TriWest’s first official guest blogger!
From Jellybeans to a Half-Marathon
Starting Small is Everything
GUEST POST BY LORI VOLKMAN
There’s something about my husband’s deployments that make me want to make resolutions.
It’s a clean break from the clutter of my life and a chance to reinvent myself, even if it’s only temporary. And I do go a little crazy, sometimes.
So I signed up for a Half-Marathon. Ahem.
This, coming from a girl who has never run more than four miles in her life. This, coming from a girl who was hanging onto 15 pounds like a security blanket. This, coming from a girl who ate jellybeans during the emotional finale of “The Biggest Loser.”
Once my race fee and hotel deposit became nonrefundable, the gravity of my commitment sank in. I started to systematically list the possible injuries:
- You have bad knees. Degeneratively bad. They will pop off and explode at mile six, rendering you defenseless.
- Your thighs rub together as it is, and the friction of 13 miles will inevitably chafe some nifty pink spots in places that will never forgive you … and likely result in permanent calluses, rendering future vacations to Mexico obsolete.
- You’ll pass out in the middle of the race from pain or exhaustion—or both—and someone will shoot a shaky phone video, posting it to YouTube within 15 seconds.
So I put a big “X” through the entire list and decided to just start small.
The Eight-Mile Shocker
Two-mile runs here. Four-mile walks there. Six-mile walk/jogs with a latte break.
Eventually, however, it turned into eight miles. I remember that day and how I shocked myself.
Oh, I was slow. I was pathetically slow. But I was outside, I was taking a healthy break from my kids, and I wasn’t home watching the terrible news during my husband’s deployment to the Middle East.
I was doing something I could control: making my body stronger.
And in the eventual hours that passed as I flopped along, I was clearing my mind of the day’s clutter, too.
As I look back, it wasn’t the half-marathon that was the accomplishment; it was the training. The feeling of health was so perpetuating, that I started fueling my body with the right food, too. I was absent-mindedly, one step at a time, transforming my mind and my habits and my body.
True, the day of the race, I had to stop and walk. And true, I just about killed myself. And true, my knees will never EVER be the same. But I fake-smiled across the finish line, just for the camera perched there, knowing that I had done it.
Look, you don’t have to run a half-marathon. You don’t even have to run eight miles. But I promise, if you get out there and change something small—and do it regularly—it can lead to something larger before you realize it.
And I have the thigh calluses to prove it.
Lori Volkman writes about practicing law, raising two unruly kids, and navigating her husband’s military deployment and reintegration with humor and heart-wrenching realism. You can find her at www.wittylittlesecret.com
<EDITOR’S NOTE> If you haven’t signed up for Healthy Homefront℠ email notifications yet, now’s a great time! Just re-publish the posts as they come in—at YOUR discretion—and help educate military families on their health benefits! You can even start today, with Lori’s story.