Thursday, March 7, 2013

Guest Post: The Trek Across Maine is more than just a bike ride across Maine...

Struggling with your fitness? Need a goal to get your butt moving? How about a bike ride (not a race, a ride) across your home state to get you up and moving? That's right, A BIKE RIDE ACROSS YOUR STATE. What about a ride across your home state that gets you fit AND raises money for a great cause such as the American Lung Association?  That's exactly what my friend Josie is doing this coming June. Read her guest blog post to see how she is preparing for the Trek Across Maine and how it has improved, and is continuing to improve, her fitness as June draws near...

Let me start out by saying that I have known Nate for well over half of my life. I never would have thought that the scrawny kid that I met at age 12 would end up being such a dear friend of mine. I am quite lucky to have such an amazing person in my life and it has been really cool to see him direct his passion towards fitness for nearly the past decade. When Nate suggested that I write a guest blog, I was a little nervous about the idea but also somewhat honored that he thought my experience might be worth reading about. So here we go with the caveat that I have never blogged before in my life.

So, my name is Josie and I am a 30-year old woman who has been kind of on and off with fitness and exercise since I was about 15 years old. My weight as well as my motivation seems to go up and down. I tend to get really excited about a new form of fitness and go all out only to get bored and lose the oomph that I started with and eventually just stop altogether. As Nate can attest, I've tried much of what is out there. I've been on kicks of yoga, zumba, weight training, kickboxing, running, and have attempted P90X on two occasions, both times ending up as P30X and P45X (meaning I quit 30 days in and then 45 days in). Until recently, I’ve been a regular at one local gym or another. Nate even used me as a guinea pig for his first medicine ball class. He kicked my behind!

I've been talking for a while now about taking on some sort of challenge that I have to commit to and thus cannot lose motivation. I’ve thought about races or biathlons; however, I eventually settled on the Trek Across Maine. The Trek Across Maine is a three day 180-mile bicycle trek that starts in Newry, Maine and ends in Belfast, Maine (from west to east across the state!). In order to ride, each participant must raise at least $500 in donations to support the American Lung Association. This money goes toward efforts to make an impact in the lives of the over 35-million Americans who are living with lung disease by funding lifesaving research, education and advocacy efforts. Once learning more about this event and the American Lung Association, the decision became easy. 

For one, I love the outdoors and am constantly in search of new, positive people to spend my time with. The idea of spending three days enjoying the outdoors with a group of people who are rumored to be incredibly welcoming is very appealing to me. Second, the idea of supporting a cause dedicated to fighting lung disease and keeping our air clean really sealed the deal. Several years ago my grandmother passed away of lung cancer, which makes this event even more personal for me. I was never really able to get to know her but what I do remember of her is that she was an extremely kind and giving person. I also know that she had a big impact on her family and those close to her and hope that in some way I can honor her memory by participating in support of this cause. You can learn more about the American Lung Association at www.lung.org.

In preparation for this 180-mile ride, I started training at the end of December on an indoor setup and have been going strong ever since. Now, I am not an experienced bike rider and, up until I started training for this event, had probably not ridden a bike for more than 10 miles at a time. But this is a concrete goal that I cannot and will not allow myself to back out of.  Don't get me wrong, this does not mean that I haven't had a day or two...or three…where I have had no energy or interest in jumping on my bike but the fact that I am already registered and fully committed has done wonders for my motivation and keeping me going. I even broke my friend’s bike while visiting! That’s the kind of commitment I’m putting into this thing! Heck, I even got my mom to agree to join me on this challenge so I have no choice but to follow through. 

I guess the point that I am trying to make is that signing up for the Trek Across Maine has so far turned out to be one of the best fitness-related decisions that I have made. This focus has spread into other healthy decisions and behaviors, such as nutrition and positive choices for my mental health as well. Already at the start of March, I’m in better shape physically and mentally than I have been in a while. I would strongly encourage anyone who is struggling with motivation to challenge themselves to some form of organized event that would be difficult to back out of. 

I will keep Nate posted on my progress. If you’d like to learn more about the Trek Across Maine and see how you can help contribute to the American Lung Association and support my journey, please check out my personal Trek Across Maine page.

 
Thanks for reading!
-Josie

3 comments:

  1. what a great guest blog! I havent commented yet Nate, but Ive read every blog youve posted here, and theyve all been great. Josie just helped to extend the streak as well!

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  2. Thanks dude! I'm glad you're liking the blog and I appreciate your feedback. The guest blog is a good way to shake things up, so there should be more eventually. Thanks for reading!

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  3. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.


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