It’s that time again, the season to resolve that, this year, things are going to be different. Yeah, so, you made the same resolution last year, but this time you really mean it. Maybe. Sort of.
Well, if this story doesn’t inspire you to make a “life change” rather than a “resolution,” I’m just not sure what will. I’ve always said it’s silly to wait until January 1st to make a change. Why not do it as soon as you can? Several months ago, Chris Smaglis did just that. At the beginning of 2012, Chris weighed 300 pounds, but through the course of the year, she lost almost a third of her body weight. Now she is registered to participate in the Disney half marathon in February.
Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to meet Chris. She walked into FLEET FEET, and I asked if she needed any help with shoes. She did, in fact, need assistance, and so our journey together began. Chris is relatively new to running, like so many of the amazing people who come through the doors of FLEET FEET on a daily basis. For someone who started running 5Ks at the ripe age of 9, going out for a run on any given day really isn’t that big of a deal. But for someone starting out at 300 pounds, it takes a lot of courage and discipline to get out there and do it. A 5K is a big deal. Actually, it’s a very big deal. At some point, Chris was approached by a friend to run a half marathon, but she knew she was in no condition to even attempt it at that point. So she made a decision to do something about her weight. And she hasn’t looked back. Chris has lost 85 pounds so far. She now works out every day—sometimes twice a day. That’s inspiring! Chris didn’t like her lack of energy, so she decided to do something about it. During her visit to the store, Chris told me that now when she looks at people who are overweight, she wants to tell them, “It can be so much better!”
When I sent Chris into the dressing room to try on some running pants, I gave her a size smaller than the thought she could wear. She looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “You still see yourself as 300 pounds, but I don’t see you that way. I see you as the runner you are.” And Chris is a runner. She may not set any land speed records, and she may not even run the entire half marathon. But running, no matter how fast or how far, is what makes a runner. Ultimately, we are all chasing the same goal, and that is to lay it all on the line and get to the finish.
Rather than making a resolution this new year, set a goal to make a life change. Don’t start with something huge and unrealistic, but with something small and attainable. Running one mile is better than not running at all. Running one minute is better than not running at all. Set that goal you’ve been contemplating and fight to the finish line. And when you get there, celebrate! Then set a new goal and get after it!
By the time Chris left FLEET FEET that day, she had two bags full of tools to help her succeed in her goal of completing the Disney Half-Marathon. She gave me a hug, and I was reminded again why I do what I do. Yes, I sell running shoes, but more than that, I get to go to work and share my enthusiasm for the sport that I love. I have the opportunity to help people develop a passion for running, and I get to hear all of their amazing stories in the process. Everyone has a story, everyone has a journey, everyone has obstacles. Which obstacle are you going to face this year? What’s your life change?