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Employee Story: Kelly Wilkinson, Cam-Slide

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 MY 7 km obstacle BADASSDASH GOAL

My name is Kelly and I am 42 years old and proud to say with hard work and a lot of training I achieved my goal to be in the top 10 in the 2015 7km Badassdash in Georgina, Ont.

I have had ulcerative colitis for more than 20 years and was off work for some time as I was ill. I gained weight from my medication and did nothing but sit on the couch and feel miserable that I had this disease. I have been an avid hockey player since the age of 10 and couldn’t even leave the house to go play the sport I loved. I was depressed and not in the right mind set. So I needed a change. I joined a boot camp class and that’s where my journey began to try something new.

My boot camp teacher (now a very good friend) asked if anyone was doing the Badassdash that summer. I had no idea what that was so I went home and googled it. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is a 7km run with 30 obstacle course challenges that includes running, and a multiple of different obstacles you have to do. I had no idea what I was in for, as I had never done an obstacle challenge before, and thought to myself really how hard can this be I am fit and I honestly thought it would be a walk in the park for me. Boy was I wrong. I hated running never mind an obstacle challenge.

I decided to enter anyway. In 2014 I entered this race and I had a very disappointing time of 1hr and 26 mins and my body was sore for a week after, every part of my body ached and here I thought I could do this challenge because I was fit and in fairly good shape.

So at that point I said to myself I will be better next year and train for this event and my goal was to do the race in under an hour. Even my boot camp instructor thought that would be an unrealistic goal to achieve for myself. So starting in April 2015, 4 months before the next race I started training, 5km running 4 times a week, and boot camp 3 times a week. I wanted to strength train to be stronger to beat my goal from last year. I entered some 5km races last summer and was disappointed I couldn’t seem to beat the 30min it took me to run a 5km. I pushed myself to run 7km without stopping and paced myself. When I have a goal I do it, no matter how hard it is.

Last Aug 2015 the day came and I was very excited and ready to go out and be better than I was the previous year. I was in the first heat of the day and off I went. The race was exciting! It was very hot and I finished with an overall time of 56 mins. I was 1st in my age group, 7th overall in females, and 26th overall in the race which included males and females. I knocked off more than 30mins from my previous year. I was so proud of myself when I looked at my Bib time and achieved the goal I set out to do, I absolutely ROCKED it.

My two 9 year old boys were cheering me on throughout the whole race going from different areas of the race encouraging me to go faster and there at the finish line when I crossed, my two boys were there with hugs and a cold drink, it was a moment I will never forget, I was so happy and excited. This was very important to me to see their Mom go after a goal and never give up to achieve it. I tell my boys you never give up you have a goal and go for it no matter how difficult it may seem. My body felt good after the race, I wasn’t even sore, and my boot camp teacher was so very proud. I did better than anyone in any of her boot camp classes. She calls me a pro and tells everyone she is proud of me.

Because I finished in the top 10 females, I qualified for the OCR (world obstacle course racing) in the States that October, however I decided not to go because I didn’t want to go and be disappointed. I was nowhere near ready to compete with the world of obstacle racers. But it was an honor just to have qualified for the race.

What I learned that day is that your mind & body can take you anywhere you want to go, don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do something. You are your own person and I have continued to be an avid runner I continually run 15-20klm a week and this is a new sport for me I absolutely love to run. What I love about running is that I can move my feet and nothing else matters, I clear my head, focus on my breathing, it’s a huge stress reliever for me, and I also lost 20lbs by training for this race. I look amazing, I feel amazing, and I am proud of myself.

I have ran several 5km races since then and continue to run, I have quite the medal count and t-shirts to prove it, however I have yet to win in any of them. But for me it isn’t about the WIN it’s about being there, running for the cause, and working on trying to improve my (PB) personal best. I am happy to be a part of a new sport and trying something new in my life.

My next goal is to train for a half marathon next summer in Disney world and by 2018 a full marathon. With a running coach and hard work I know I can achieve this. I will NOT give up until I have completed my goals.

By Kelly Wilkinson

 

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