The Race Goes to the Driven, Not the Swift

By: Sarah Simonelli, RN
Harbor Health Services, Inc.

Sarah Simonelli Mara

     This year will mark my 6th consecutive year running the Boston Marathon and my 2nd year running with the Music Drives Us Marathon Team.  It will also be my 8th Marathon overall. I am honored to be part of a wonderful foundation that helps put music programs and instruments back into some of our local communities and impoverished school systems. As a busy mother of four children, working two jobs and running a business, there is always one question I am most often asked about my running. “Where do I find the time”? It’s a great question. The answer is really very simple.

     I was fortunate enough to figure out early on in my quest for a healthy lifestyle, that time management and commitment would play an equal role in my success of balancing work, family, business and my love of running. One of the most common excuses that prevent most people from working out is simply they “don’t have the time”. Let’s put time into perspective. If you had a dollar and someone asked you for two cents, would you give it to them? Of course you would. Do you realize 30 minutes is only 2% of your day? Would you devote just 2% of your day breaking a sweat if you could improve your overall health? Exercise is known to increase your energy level, work productivity, as well as improving your balance, strength and coordination. Exercise also helps you sleep better, look younger, decreases risk of disease, reduces depression, and improves bone density. The list goes on! I can assure you, we all have 30 minutes to spare. Give yourself the two cents. Your body will thank you for it.

     Secondly, commitment is crucial to any exercise routine. Setting small goals will help you stay focused on achieving them. I would never advise someone to start out with lofty expectations on their fitness journey. Running a marathon isn’t for everyone, especially for those who are just beginning. Why not make a commitment to start out walking briskly for 30 minutes each day and build from there. You can always incorporate more time as your endurance improves. Consequently as you feel stronger, you can incorporate brisk walking combined with a few interchangeable minutes of jogging.  The plan is simply to make a goal, stick to it and achieve it. As you reach your goal, make the next one bigger and keep building.

     As spring race season closes in, consider signing up for a for a 5k race.  They are slightly over three miles long which makes them perfect to start your fitness goals. Also consider getting your friends or family involved. Additionally, most 5k races benefit a cause you may feel good about supporting too. In my racing experience, people who join races get just as much inspiration by watching and encouraging fellow participants to cross the finish line. We all start somewhere and most of us join races for the same fundamental reason, to reach a goal!

     As this year’s Boston Marathon approaches in April, I am in full training mode with the rest of my Music Drives Us teammates. The cold weather and endless barrage of snowy days has been a challenge to log the miles in preparation for the big day. Despite my hectic schedule, it is my goal to stay on track and make my children proud as I cross the finish line on Marathon Monday. Stay focused my friends, and remember your body achieves what the mind believes. Anything is possible!

 “We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse“- Rudyard Kipling



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