How Many Have YOU Done?

2 Oct

“You ran HOW many miles?” that was the resounding question that was asked when I walked into the backyard at my brother’s cookout a few weekends ago. I ran 18 miles that morning because it was the next step in my marathon training plan. “18,” I mumbled, somewhat embarrassed. Everyone has their accomplishments, everyone has their goals, and everyone there has done something none of the rest of us would ever dream of being able to accomplish… mine, now, just happens to be running related.

Mile 14 of our 18 Miler!

Mile 14 of our 18 Miler!

Running a marathon was never a dream of mine. Growing up I was never good at any sport I tried (and trust me, I tried). I finally just embraced it and focused on the fact maybe I was more of an “arts and crafts kid.” My best friend was good at every sport she played. Captain of three teams in high school, she was a superstar on the field. While we joke that it helped perfect her soccer kick because I always played goalie in her yard (and she could kick soccer balls at me), back then I hated it. Why was I so NOT athletic?

While not a direct result, a think my lack of sports skills contributed to weight gain and poor self-esteem, something I consistently battled with growing up. Instead of doing something about it, I just considered myself a fat kid and that was that.

15 years ago I stood at the Boston Marathon with my family and viewed every runner as a superstar, with athletic ability that I wasn’t “lucky” enough to have. I didn’t have the courage to believe that could ever be me.

10 years ago I wouldn’t run unless it was on the treadmill, because only athletes run races, I wasn’t an athlete.

2 years ago I ran a half marathon because a friend said if I can do a 10k, a can do a half… but that would absolutely be my limit.

9 months ago I ran my first marathon. Just like the half, the full was supposed to be a one-time only deal… just to push myself harder.

Less than 2 weeks from now I will run my 2nd marathon.

…How many times in the last 15(plus) years did I prove myself wrong? Too many! I keep challenging myself in ways I never dreamed of. It’s what I have accomplished on the pavement that motivates me both personally and professionally.

So, the answer to “how many miles?” that Saturday was indeed 18. I wish my response back was “how many have you done?” and I don’t mean miles. What I mean is… How many children have you helped as a teacher? How many students have you influenced as an admissions counselor? How many people have you mentored as a longtime employee? How many lives did you save as a Doctor? Because all those stories are pretty amazing in comparison to my measly 18 miles!

I blog and I write about running not to brag or gloat, but to share my story. I love to write and while my 16-year-old (fat)self would gasp, I also love to run. These things have greatly influenced my life so I combined them and “Heart & Sole” was born. So when I write, I write to simply put on paper how I continue to prove myself wrong – and if it happens to motivate and inspire others, well that is just an added bonus!

So, tell me, how many have you done? How have you proved yourself wrong?

With Heart & Sole,



6 Responses to “How Many Have YOU Done?”

  1. Debbie Hynes October 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Just loved reading this Erin. You write so well and are very inspiring to others!
    And, btw, you were never fat! XO

  2. jaynefranks October 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Well done you. Running is something I don’t think I shall every aspire to do but I loved reading about it in your blog. I love read about success stories.. and may be I should a bit more. Best of luck with the marathon when it’s due.

    • erinhynes October 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Thanks Jayne! I appreciate your feedback. I love sharing! I hope you read more and share with me, too.

  3. Gene Soboleski (@bigzigfitness) October 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I’ve done a few.
    never thought i would save a life, but have been involved in saving (to some extent) several.
    never thought i would be a Dad, and I am.
    never thought I would run a half, and i’ve done 5.
    never thought i would run a full, and i’ve done 2.
    never thought i would run a 50 miler, and i did.
    never thought i would inspire anyone to improve their health, and i have.
    good to keep things in perspective, that’s for sure.
    keep up the great work, ERIN!!!
    (where’s your marathon???)

    • erinhynes October 9, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Gene!
      These are amazing accomplishments.
      I am running Chicago! 4 days… EEEK! Didn’t you do it last year?


  1. “A Not So Perfect Start to a Perfect Finish” My Zooma Half Marathon Recap! | With Heart & Sole - October 9, 2013

    […] have never been the competitive type. If you read my last post, “How Many Have YOU Done?” you might have guessed that! Well, running has made me competitive with myself in a very […]

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