but not the kind you may be thinking! By R & R I mean Running and Rescuing! 😊 On Saturday morning, I completed another really great race, the “Two Fast, Two Furriest” 5k! As the name might imply, this race went to benefit a local animal shelter in my area. Not only did all the proceeds go to this amazing cause, but you could actually run the race with your furry friends! Now my two furbabies are not the most athletic creatures or even close to being suited for running this kind of race so they got to watch from the sidelines but it was a blast seeing all the adorable pups and knowing what a good cause we were all there to support! Pics below…
I am a HUGE animal lover. Don’t take this the wrong way, but generally I like animals more than I like people…dogs in particular (sorry cat people)! They are just so pure. They are little bundles of unconditional love that want nothing from you except for love in return and the occasional belly rub. I have two rescue dogs at home and they are the best things in the whole wide world. My two pups are Bean (14 years young) and Frank (2 ½ or so years) or as we like to call them Frankie and Beanie. They even have their own page on this blog dedicated to their cuteness because they are that big a part of my life. They are both chihuahua mixes who came to me as rescues but in a lot of ways have rescued me. I could go on and on about those two, but for now the main point is I am a HUGE advocate for adopting animals over buying them.
There are far too many amazing animals out there who need homes you guys. Please, please, please consider opening your heart and home to one of them the next time you are looking to add a furry bundle of joy to your family. Even if you are looking for a pure bred, there are tons of pure-bred rescues out there with exactly what you are looking for and most of the time at a fraction of what you would pay at a breeder. There are a million other reasons as well why adopting an animal is so much better than buying one but here are just a few:
- YOU ARE SAVING A LIFE! – Believe me you guys, the animal knows it too. They are endlessly grateful and will let you know that every chance they get!
- Shelter and rescue animal are almost always up to date with their shots and are already neutered saving you big bucks there!
- Many of them are already house trained as well! That’s pretty priceless if you have ever attempted to house train a pet!
- You are doing your part to end the terrible cycle of puppy mills. ☹ Puppy mill animals live in horrible conditions, have little to no human interaction ever, spend most of their lives in small cages and are then discarded like trash when they can no longer breed. Profit is put in front of the animals well-being and often the products of these puppy mills have far more long and short term health problems than shelter animals because of how mistreated the mom-dog is.
- You are helping more than one pet! When you adopt an animal out of a shelter or from a rescue you are making room for another animal in need to come in and get a second chance! Our shelters and rescues are so overburdened and filled with animals in need that by taking one into your home you are not only making room to save another little soul but are also contributing monetarily to helping them stay open with your adoption fees (which are still far cheaper than purchasing an animal!!).
- Adopting from a shelter or rescue often gives you an un-ending network of support when it comes to acclimating your new fuzzy friend into your home as well as just a great resource for any questions that may come up down the line. Some shelters even often free training classes to help you get started!
Again you guys that was just a few reasons to adopt instead of shopping!! Saving an animal’s life is an amazing feeling and what that animal will give you back in return I promise will change yours. Frankie, the second little bundle of joy I adopted came to me from a rescue who was desperately looking for a home for him because he was scheduled to be put down in a matter of a few days. I took one look at his sad little face sitting in a cage and I knew I had to have him! He was skin and bones and terribly afraid of everyone and everything when I took him home but with a little patience, some hearty meals and a whole lotta love he transformed into a happy, thriving and hilarious little bundle of fun! Watching that transformation happen was truly heartwarming and I am SO SO glad I got the opportunity to give him a second chance…
Speaking of transformations, the second reason the race on Saturday was so special to me was also due to another transformation of sorts. I ran this race with my very first “client” aka a friend of mine who I have been coaching for about six months now. He saw what changes I had been making and the results I was getting from the workouts program and nutrition plan I had started following and about six months ago reached out to me to see if I could help him with his own “get healthy” journey. I wasn’t really planning on getting into the “coaching” biz but I figured if I could help someone else live a better life and get in shape that would be a pretty cool thing to be a part of. So I happily said yes and have been working with him ever since. He has to date:
- Lost a total of 22 pounds!
- Gone from being pre-diabetic to having a perfectly normal A1C level
- Dropped his PSA levels from 8.5 to 5.0 (no longer precancerous!)
- Dropped his cholesterol levels from high to normal range
- Completed his first 5 K EVER with me on Saturday!!!!
I signed him up for this run without asking him first because I knew if I gave him the option, he would say no, that there was no way he could do it. I knew he could. I was him last year. I had lost some weight and been working out and eating right for about six months when a friend of mine suggested we sign up for a 5k that she liked to run every year. My first reaction was “Are you crazy?! Me?? A 5k??. I hadn’t run a 5k since I was in high school and all I remember about that experience was how painful it was. Besides the fact that my friend who suggested this race is a runner. Like a completed an actual marathon runner. I thought about it for a few days, put my ego aside, and hesitantly told her I would do the race with her. At that point I figured I had completely lost my mind and I was going to make a giant fool of myself because I would probably only make it like one mile but I figured better to make a fool of myself trying than continuing to sit on the sidelines of life letting opportunities to better myself pass me by.
Well I ended up finishing the entire race and even ran almost the entire time (expect for that last uphill that was just a bit too “uphilly”)! I definitely surprised myself because it wasn’t all that painful of an experience and I was so proud that I actually completed it and got that shiny medal that I immediately went home and found another race to sign up for! The feeling of being proud of yourself for accomplishing something you thought there was no way you could do is just about one of the best feelings in the world and one that I wanted my friend/client to experience for himself at this point in his own journey. So I signed him up and told him the good news and just as I suspected I was met with a look of something I can only describe as a mix of panic/fear/disbelief that I had done such a thing and determination to talk me out of making him actually go through with it. Like I said, I knew he could do it and deep down inside he knew he could do it too. So after a few weeks of gearing up for the race, several comments about how much he hated me for making him do such a thing and a new pair of running shoes later, Saturday rolled around and he actually showed up. Ok, I drove him there myself to make sure he showed up, but he got in the car willingly, nonetheless.
It was a beautiful morning, about 65 degrees which is pretty close to perfect running weather, the race was held in a really large park with a gorgeous lake right in the middle of it that we got to run alongside and a whole pack of adorable rescue dogs that both ran the race with us and cheered us on with excited barks from the sidelines. We showed up, got all stretched out, got our race bibs and lined up at the starting line ready to take on the trail ahead of us. There was a ton of nervous energy coming from my friend who still had that “I hate you for making me do this” look on his face as we got ready to go but I told him I would run with him the whole time and before we knew it we were off an going. About 40 minutes later we approached the finish line to loud cheers and the promise of a big breakfast waiting on the other side of it (which of course I had promised him before we got going as part of the bribe), and I looked over to see he had the BIGGEST smile on his face as we were handed our finisher medals. I was so happy for him I literally teared up. Again, I am not much a crier, but seeing him so happy and knowing how proud he was of himself in that moment was I think even more special to me than when I had done it for myself!
He gave me the biggest hug and thanked me repeatedly for forcing him to step outside of his comfort zone and I still have a smile on my face several days later just thinking about how happy I was to be a part of that moment with him. You guys, you can do anything you put your mind to. I know that sounds cheesy and a little cliché but it really is true. The two of us never thought we would ever be able to run 3 miles let along 1 mile and here we are today both with medals to prove otherwise. I have my sight firmly set on a 10k at some point in the near future and my friend is already talking about the next race he wants to sign up for. Decide you are going to do something, whether it be losing 10, 20 pounds, running your first 5k, or even just eliminating something like soda from your diet in an effort to start getting healthier and don’t let anyone, least of all yourself, talk you out of accomplishing your goal.
Also, if you are thinking about adding a pet to your family, please please please adopt don’t shop!!!! Frankie, Beanie and I thank you so so much!