S.O.S. - Start Out Small - Berta Lippert

S.O.S. – Start Out Small

Posted by b in BLOG, Inspiration 18 Nov 2013


I thought of something while working out this morning that I wanted to share with all of you. I wanted to share where I was with regards to my body a little more than a year ago in the hopes that it might encourage someone with their own fitness goals.

When I was finally given the approval to resume activity after my double mastectomy, it was for Physical Therapy (PT). I remember being so excited for that first appointment only to leave pretty well defeated.

These surgeries took a toll on my body more than I could have ever imagined. I thought I would bounce back quickly because I was young and healthy. In reality I think I did, but my muscles, tendons, skin and tissue had been cut into three separate times in the span of six months. When I was just about recovered from one surgery, it was time for the next.

The PT was to help me get my range of motion back. It wasn’t running a marathon. So I figured it would be fairly easy. It wasn’t. I struggled.

Through targeted daily exercises I did eventually get my range of motion back and was cleared to resume normal activity. I was ready for something a little more challenging.

So off for a run I went. For about 60 seconds.

I think I struggled to even run 60. It’s obvious now, but again, I could not believe the toll these surgeries had taken on my body. I was so discouraged. 60 seconds really? It wasn’t even like I was running FAST.

So I went home, sat down, felt sorry for myself and gave up. For about 5 minutes. I looked over to my right and saw a picture of my mom siting on my table. Someone who had truly faced adversity. Not me. Who was I to feel sorry for myself when people like my mom battled cancer and never once complained about it. I was embarrassed by my behavior.

So I laced back up.

And I ran. For about 60 seconds. Then I walked. Then ran for another 60 seconds. Then I walked again. I didn’t do it for very long, but I was determined to do something that day, the next and the next and the next.

And that’s how I started my fitness journey. I eventually ran for 90 seconds straight, then 2 minutes, 2:30 and so on until I got stronger and no longer needed to walk at all.

But it was small at first. I started out small. But I did it. All the way to a 1:50 finish in Grandma’s Half Marathon last June. This was my post the night before the race.

“Tomorrow I’m running Grandma’s Half Marathon. I’m so excited and will personally be running in memory of my Mom and in honor of my Dad. No records will be broken, but I will run with all my heart for all of those who can not.”

I draw inspiration from my mom and dad who both battled cancer and others just like them every time I want to stop. I believe you too can find a source of inspiration that works for you.

And this is why I’m a fan of my S.O.S’s (Start Out Small). That’s where it came from. I know first hand that starting out small can lead to big changes.

I encourage you all to do the same. Just walk one block, climb one flight of stairs, dance for one minute, lift just one set. Anything you can manage right now. Just start. Start small and watch yourself get stronger and stronger. It doesn’t get easier, YOU get stronger.

Just start. I believe in you.

love, b

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