When Wellsource Wellness Consultant Shawn Meyers finished the Arizona Rock n' Roll Marathon with a time that qualified her for the Boston Marathon, she was thrilled.
"I trained really hard to get a qualifying time," says Shawn. "Running the Boston Marathon has always been a goal of mine."
With proof of her qualifying time, she sent in her application and landed one of the coveted 30,000-plus spots to run the Boston Marathon. But getting a chance to run the most famous marathon in the world wasn't the only exciting news for Shawn. She also learned that she was expecting a baby girl who would be born just four months before the Boston Marathon.
Any time you set a goal and come up with an action plan to do something like lose weight, improve your eating habits, or exercise more, you're probably going to encounter unexpected circumstances. The participants in your wellness programs likely experience setbacks or roadblocks that can derail their good intentions. But when people are committed to achieving their goals, most will find a way. And that's what Shawn did.
"I decided that I wasn't going to let being pregnant stop me," says Shawn. "During my pregnancy I continued to work out. I did about four to five hours of cardio a week and strength training three to four times a week. It's wasn't always easy, but I knew I wanted to run Boston and be at the race the year after the bombing at the finish line."
Ten days after baby Meyers was born Shawn went back to the gym knowing she would be stepping up to the starting line of the Boston Marathon in just a few months.
"I fit in exercise around my newborn's schedule," Shawn says. "My husband really helped out, and the free daycare at the YMCA was great."
A few weeks later she laced up her running shoes and went for a short run. She knew she had a long way to go to be prepared for running 26.2 miles. But she didn't let that bother her.
"I just started with a quarter-mile walk, and quarter-mile run intervals," Shawn says. "Over the next few weeks and months, I built on that to increase my endurance and run longer distances."
And it worked. Shawn cruised through the Boston Marathon route from Hopkinton to downtown Boston with approximately 1 million spectators lining the course.
"It was really exciting to be part of the race and see so many runners and spectators there to remember the victims of the bombing last year," says Shawn. "And it was really motivating to see the words 'Boston Strong' and 'We Run Together' all along the course."
You may not be planning to run a marathon, but Shawn's approach to health and fitness can work for anyone.
"I started out with small goals to alternate walking and running quarter miles," Shawn says. "I didn't care about going fast or how long it would take. After my baby was born, I just wanted to get out there and start exercising again. And that's something anyone can do. Setting a small, short-term goal is something you can do each day. Start there and every step you take will get you that much closer to your ultimate goal."