In this installment I gush about my first 5K fun run experience, and delve rather deeply into some career-trajectory thoughts. Have I found my calling?
For those who don’t want to watch right now, but are curious none the less, you’ll find my written comments below.
A lot of exciting things have been happening lately, and I highlight a few of them in the video above. These include MY VERY FIRST 5K FUN RUN! This is a big deal for me. A few weeks ago my trainer mentioned the possibility of the two of us participating in the event (the 3rd annual Kirkland Shamrock Run) together, but she had to work and wasn’t going to be able to make it. I wasn’t in the mood to let that stop me, so I gently persuaded my boyfriend to register with me instead.
My plan was to walk most of it, but to jog whenever I could. A few weekends ago I took a 3.2-mile walk which included brief bursts of speed, and my mile-time was approximately 17min:45sec, so I set a conservative goal of getting below 18:00 for this. The route is known to be hilly for the majority of the way (though fortunately it was all at the beginning, giving some reprieve towards the end), so I didn’t want to push my goal into impossible territory.
The weather was PERFECT for my first event. It was a bit chilly, and it started to lightly drizzle for a few moments, but I’m very happy I didn’t pick a hot summer day to try jogging on the asphalt for five kilometers! I have, like, zero articles of running-appropriate clothing, and sported a fleece-lined jacket at the beginning of the race. When I finally heated up, my awesome boyfriend was willing to hold it for me until we neared the finish.
Not only was the boyfriend a helpful valet for my things, but he was the official pace-keeper, and he kept me aware of how my mile-time was averaging. I think the worst part of the whole thing was I started to feel pain in my right hip area that prevented me from running as long as I wanted to. For the rest of the day it was sore, but today it’s much better.
I finished in time to blow my goal time outta the water, at an official pace of 17:07, and a finish time of 53:04. 9th in my age bracket, lol!
Afterwards, we stumbled into the nearby neighborhood Irish pub for post-race festivities (including a performance by the Eastside Firefights Pipes and Drums band), where the boyfriend enjoyed a Guinness and I recorded an Instagram video of the band. As you can see from the selfie above, I was very, very happy. I wasn’t prepared for the fun to end, in fact. I wanted to walk/run some more! When’s the next 5K?!? My boyfriend joked that there was a 4-mile run the following day, and I half considered it!
The other thing I find myself excited about has to do with some career thoughts I’ve been having. I left my position as a Project Manager for a medical training company almost a year ago to work on my issues with depression, anxiety, and (later, once I was feeling better) to kickstart my weight loss/lifestyle change. I don’t intend to be living this life of leisure forever, however, so I’ve been starting to put some thought into what it is I wanna DO with my life. I wasn’t happy in my last position, and frankly I haven’t truly enjoyed what I do for a living in a long, long time. And this seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect and ponder and put energy into pursuing a new path.
It’s been difficult. I have interests and proficiencies, but it hasn’t necessarily felt like I wanted to turn those into a career. I love web stuff, and graphic design, but the idea of doing it for a living seems like it wouldn’t be so fun (plus I don’t think I have the artistic chops to pursue it). I am attracted to audio and production- I even went to school back in the mid-90’s and finished a certificate program in audio engineering to work in post production for television and film, but my career never progressed past the stage of assistant, and I ended up being pushed into administrative roles. I excelled in them, and that’s how I worked up to project management, but it wasn’t what I ever dreamed of doing.
I’ve thought about medical imaging, psychology, audio production and editing, UI/UX, psychology, writing, psychology… wait. Are you seeing a trend? For many many years, the thought of becoming a counselor, or involved in the field of psychology has been of interest. Yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany when I was contemplating potential careers. What am I currently MOST passionate about? The lifestyle changes I’m working on to lose weight and learn to live a happy, healthy life. And I feel drawn to talk about my experiences here on this blog, with other weight loss bloggers, and really, to anyone who will listen. I love hearing people’s stories, and I try to absorb as much information on the topic of weight-related health, fitness, and behavioral research.
And of course I’ve had experience with counseling (on the receiving side) since I was a kid. Experiences both good and bad, to be frank, but I find it oddly compelling as a career choice. So I just started thinking that: how awesome would it be to turn this passion for helping myself into a career in helping others work through their own unique issues by providing support and behavioral/emotional resources!?! I start with what I’m closest to, and that’s the 20/20 Lifestyles program, and the counselor I’m working with there. I would love to provide the service she’s providing to me. And a casual web search illuminated other avenues for trained professionals to provide similar support, and I just got really, really energized.
I believe so strongly, with every fiber of my being, that successful, permanent weight management is not possible through diet and exercise alone: one needs to have the behaviors and mental tools to override our human instinct to eat fatty, junky foods and be comfortable (as in, not feeling the temporary pain of exercise). So many of us DON’T have these tools, and I want very much to be a provider in that way.
Of course this will likely involve schooling (I never finished my Bachelor’s, and most positions in the counseling field require at least a Master’s completion), and more critically, the finances and time for schooling, and that’s all really overwhelming to think about. But I’m going to take a careful, measured approach to this, talk to some people I know about the possibilities, and see what makes sense. It’s been so long since I’ve felt like something could be SO RIGHT for me, and I don’t want to chicken out because it feels like it might be too much.
*Whew*, that was a long post! Thanks so much for reading!