FROM THE GROUND UP
NANCY MAYFIELD YMCA MEMBER
Training Complete, Now Off to the Races
As I pedaled up the first steep hill in my trial run last week of the bike route for the Timber City Adventure Race, I heard her words in my head.
“Push, push. Come on, you can do it. You can do it. Good job!”
That would be the voice of one Erica Barker, the fitness director at the Maquoketa YMCA and my weekly partner in exercise crime during the past four months.
She’s whipped me into shape – pushing my limits and introducing me to exercises I’ve never done and muscles I didn’t even know I had – helping me feel stronger and more confident about my physical abilities than I ever have in my life.
She has literally stood by my side through countless exercises, coaching me on form, making me laugh and getting me to do “just one more” rep or hold that plank “just a few seconds” longer.
I’m not an athlete by nature, and my decision to compete individually in all three legs of the race seemed daunting at first. But once I publicly committed, I decided to enlist help from members of my new community.
Along with Erica and the other staff at the Y (Monica, Ruth, Brielle, Nancy, Dena – thank you!) whose classes I took as part of my training, I also got a much-needed assist from Kara Moss, a nutritionist at Jackson County Regional Health Center. She expertly and patiently reviewed my eating habits, offered tips on good foods for training fuel and ways to combat the urge to eat junk with some healthy snack ideas. Thank you Kara!
When I learned about the Timber City Adventure Race, I was so impressed by the fact that Maquoketa puts on this very cool event that I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Eight miles on the Maquoketa River, 14 miles biking through scenic Jackson County and a 5K run ending downtown…what better way to celebrate my new home.
When Chris Nissen told me about it months ago, his enthusiasm was contagious. I am so looking forward to the race this morning, and I have enjoyed the journey of getting ready for it. If you are a participant this year, good luck! And if you’ve never done it, think about it for next year. Grab three friends and make it a team event. Or, you can try it alone. I know a good trainer ….
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about living in a smaller town as I’ve prepared for the race is that people, some of whom I hadn’t even had the pleasure of meeting yet, have asked me about my progress at least weekly as I’ve been out and about in the community running errands. I’ve had people tell me they saw me running outside and offer me a word of encouragement. My coworkers at the Sentinel-Press have been equally supportive, and my husband Trevis is always my biggest cheerleader.
I appreciate all of you.
As I wrote in this column months ago, completing this race has an added personal meaning to me after successfully battling breast cancer last year. There were times when I was lying in bed after surgery when I wondered if I would ever have any energy again. The thought of walking a block let alone running a mile seemed overwhelming.
I am grateful to have my health and to be able to celebrate it by participating in this race. I don’t have a particular time in mind; my goal is to simply finish. Then I plan to celebrate by eating great food at Taste of Maquoketa and dancing at the Fireball.
Hope to see you there.
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