Persistence – Written by Heather Heinlein

At the beginning of every year, I always sit down and make plans and set some goals and intentions for the year. So when I volunteered to write about my word for this year, I thought it would be easy. Well it wasn’t as easy as I thought, but I did have one that kept popping into my head: persistence.

Persistence is defined as the firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. Honestly, for me, there is no better word that describes where my life has taken me when it comes to my journey to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. And that journey has taught me to be persistent when it comes to what I want to accomplish.

It has not always been easy and I have had setbacks like everyone else. I was always a fit and healthy person growing up. Which is why the fact that I spent most of my 20’s overweight and unhealthy is so frustrating. But you can always make a change. And I did in my early 30’s – I started eating better and found the one fitness activity that I never thought I would love to do – running.

Running has taught me so much about myself and what I can accomplish if I just set my mind to it. I never thought in a million years that I would be able to complete a half marathon – I have completed 18 in 8 different states. I never thought I would even consider a full marathon and yet I plan to run my first in 2018.

It has also taught me that persistence can help overcome obstacles. In my early 30’s while trying to get pregnant, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which explained a lot of my weight and health issues from my 20’s. Running helped me to start living healthier, lose a little bit of weight (it is a work in progress!) and deal with the symptoms that come with PCOS. I have to say that I am healthier and happier in my late 30’s than I was for most of my adult life to this point.

Injuries are a part of life when you are a runner and foot injuries are the worst. Over the years, I have had your typical sprains and strains as well as occasional plantar fasciitis. But last November, I actually broke my ankle and had to take a few months away from the sport I love so that I could heal. But I have been persistent here in 2017 to get back on track. I have completed 1 half marathon just 5 months post-injury and have at least 2 more planned for this fall. I am also more tuned into my body to help prevent injuries from happening as much as possible.

So this year is all about being obstinate in my journey to be as healthy as possible. I have overcome so much to get to where I am and am persistent in my desire to keep moving forward in where I want to be.