B.R. RYALL YMCA OF NORTHWESTERN DUPAGE COUNTY

Smiles & Miles

Posted on December 15, 2013

Carl had confidence in me when I doubted myself. He was convinced I just needed “a little kick in the pants.” I’ll start from the beginning. Back in February, I signed up for the 3 Months to 3 Miles program at the Y. I had always wanted to run a 5K and here was a training program to get me ready to run the Race to Ryall 5K in May. The program sounded great on paper but during our first group run, I thought, “I’m never going to make it, I’m going to die.”

Because I work in the Wellness Center, I didn’t want to quit. I wanted to lead by example. Carl and I had worked together and we were starting to form a friendship, so I asked him to be my running buddy. He ran with me every Saturday morning and always stayed right by my side. He encouraged me the whole way, talked me through cramps when I wanted to stop and reminded me to breathe.

On May 18, 2013, I completed my first 5K with Carl by my side. We were greeted with so much cheering and clapping, it felt amazing. Carl helped me achieve a goal that had seemed unattainable. My favorite thing about the Y is the people you meet and the friendships you form. Carl and I have formed a friendship filled with smiles because of all the miles. We are already talking about our next race.

-Mandi