Guest post by Aamira Martinez
I was so happy when my friend, Aamira, decided to share her journey and wisdom about her marathon journey with lifepoints. Aamira is a respected actress, runner, and world traveler. I hope you are inspired as much as I am about her post below.
Sometimes, you need a huge goal to remind you of how strong
you truly are.
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with PCOS, a hormonal
imbalance that occurs in about 20% of women. This diagnosis
came after countless misdiagnoses, three endocrinologists, three
nutritionists, and a dose of fat shaming. You see I’ve always
been passionate about fitness and clean eating. In fact prior to
when I started experiencing symptoms, I’d been toying with the
idea of entering a fitness competition. But I started noticing how
my body was betraying me.
For starters, I was consistently waking up exhausted. No
matter how much caffeine I would drink, I couldn’t seem to lift the
foggy feeling. It would only get worse as the day progressed. I
still committed to working out, but I didn’t have the same vigor. I
also started to gain a lot of weight quickly, despite eating healthy.
In just two months. I gained 30 pounds. I sought out help, did my
research, all the right things, and yet I couldn’t get any definitive
answers. Until I was finally given the proper diagnosis after a
blood test. The answer had been there all along. PCOS.
By this time, I was mentally exhausted. I was depressed
and my mind and body needed to heal and rebalance. I made
the decision to eat a plant-based, gluten free diet and slowly my
body began to heal. Once I felt strong enough, I decided to
challenge myself: I would run in the New York City Marathon. It
had always been a dream of mine to run a marathon. I love
physical challenges and the structure of a training plan. But I
never imagined how much it would test me mentally.
The bulk of training happens in the summer months. If
you’ve ever experienced summer in New York City, you know it’s
brutal. It’s hot, humid and unrelenting. It’s definitely not for the
faint of heart. I committed to free running, meaning I would not
listen to any music or podcasts to distract myself from the
mileage of the day, but rather I would listen to my breathing and
focus on being in tune with my body.
I’m not going to lie, at first it was awful. No upbeat pop
music to get me going? Alone with my thoughts? But I found as I
continued training this way, I was slowly building up my willpower and mental strength. I found myself thinking, “Well, if I can run 10
miles, I can do anything.” Because of the intensity of training, it
forces you to look at your inner fears and confront them in such a
way that you realize things aren’t so scary. All you need to do is
show up and do your best.
My favorite run throughout my entire training was my final
run of 20 miles. Think about this for a moment, 20 MILES. I’d be
lying if I didn’t say I was nervous as hell. I set off at 5 o’clock in the morning, and as I settled into my pace, it dawned on me how
incredibly resilient and strong my mind and body were. It is hard
coming back from an illness or an injury and yet here I was
running 20 miles, feeling strong and powerful. When I reached
mile 20, I felt elated and euphoric. I had done it. I had not only
committed to myself and my goal, but I had gained an inner
strength that was profound. And that feeling grew stronger when
I crossed the finish line at the NYC Marathon!
Nowadays, whenever I feel fear or insecurity, I’ll whisper to
myself, if you can run a marathon, you can do anything.
To see more of Aamira’s journeys, follow her on instagram