In July 2012, I was a huffy-puffy, chubby and unhappy recent grad who thought that most people were either born athletes or they weren’t, but there wasn’t much room to change your physical destiny unless you were participating in The Biggest Loser. Normal people like me who were willing to accept a backseat attitude to their health without serious ramifications may feel unhappy with their bodies, but simply weren’t miserable enough to change.
That’s how I lived my life until I realized, I was thirsty for more.
Some people start running because they want to lose weight. Some run because they want to fundraise for charity. Still others, run simply because they don’t know where they want to go, they just want to feel the wind in their hair and have an adventure. I desired all of those things and more on the first day I laced up my running shoes- though I didn’t realize it at the time. I had just finished graduate school which was largely a sedentary endeavor, I was still reeling from the loss of a friend that was taken too soon. Ironically, you don’t realize how tired and desperate you are for change when you spend that much time in your own head, hiding from your desires you’ve told yourself aren’t suitable for a bookworm.
My soul yearned for adventure, but it was so, so tired. My heart, body and soul needed to refuel and I hoped that running would be the spark I needed to illuminate the next chapter of my life.
That first day I laced up my shoes, I could barely get through a mile at a 13:30 pace but I was proud. A few weeks later, I got the crazy idea to sign up for my first half marathon, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January 2013. I still couldn’t run a mile, but hoped that I would find the fuel I needed to get it together.
Within weeks, I was running 4-5 days a week. Then I signed up for a gym 3 days a week and joined a running club. For the first time in my life, I was sweating, lifting, crunching, running and building muscle mass. I then discovered that chocolate milk was the only post workout beverage that would provide the right mix of protein and carbs I needed to refuel, rebuild and rehydrate without upsetting my stomach or sending my blood sugar sky high. It was a chocolatey, guilty pleasure that wasn’t all that guilty, it was just good.
Beyond the important aspect of nutrition and refueling after a workout, I am proud to be on Team Refuel for one reason- it makes people happy and refuels body and soul. Let me explain…
Not only do I drink chocolate milk because of it’s nutritional awesomeness, but I refuel with a cold chocolate milk after my runs and workouts because it helps curb my chocolate cravings and serve as a sweet reward after a sweaty, muscle building workout. I love chocolate milk, but apparently, I’m not the only one!
I was recently at Disney’s California Adventure for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and wanted to sport my rockin’ new Team Refuel gear to take pictures at my favorite place on Earth, Cars Land. As I was walking through the park and posing for pictures, I got stopped several times by excited people asking about chocolate milk and Team Refuel.
As I was posing with my chocolate milk in Cars Land, I got no less than a dozen smiles, thumbs up and waves from people who obviously share my love for chocolate milk. Little did I know when I was selected as a member of Team Refuel, that it would fuel my body, fuel my love of running and it would connect me with so many other people.
One cast member even stopped me, to tell me how much she loved Team Refuel and chocolate milk- I was floored, I had no idea that wearing my shirt would have such an impact! Since that weekend, 4 of my family members have signed up for their first half marathon- the Disneyland Half this fall, we’ll be training as a family! I also received a handful of personal messages and tweets that 5 readers and friends have been inspired to start their own fitness journey and will be signing up for their first half marathons this year. I’m humbled and grateful, I hope that Team Refuel will help me continue to spread the word on how fitness can refuel your mind, body and soul.
Chocolate milk isn’t just for kids anymore, but is one of my favorite ways to recharge, rebuild and of course, refuel my body and curb my cravings after half marathons and tough workouts!
Who knew fitness could be so fun?
I am a proud member of Team Refuel. It not only fuels a passion for fitness that has changed my life, but it has been a key connection in educating and inspiring others to refuel both their body and their lives with chocolate milk.
So, what is your favorite way to refuel your mind, body, & soul?