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Laughter and a “Donut Mile” During My Year in the YWCA Endurance Sports Club

By Emily Shelton, YWCA Personal Trainer
February 6, 2017
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Last year was my first year on the YWCA Endurance Sports Club. I started off feeling nervous, inadequate and overwhelmed. I ended the year with new friends, great stories, laughter, accomplishment and covered in sugar. Success!

Connecting Online

Joining the Endurance Sports Club gave me an instant whole community from which to learn. However, taking the first step and asking questions was the hardest part. The easiest way I got connected was through the YWCA Endurance Sports Facebook page. I could spend some time reading through the posts, researching on my own and pondering how this was going to fit for me. The wealth of knowledge that the team has is immense and diverse. There are athletes that have been racing and competing for years in a variety of settings. They have figured out what works for them and want to help the newer athletes with lessons learned and anecdotes. The Facebook page is a good step into the camaraderie that is the YWCA Endurance Sports Club.

Making Running Easier with Laughter and Friends

The next place I connected was through the Thursday morning Running Intervals class. At some point in your training, you will be running intervals. I will admit this is the hardest for me. However, with this group it became real fun, real fast. The athletes that you are reading from on the Facebook page are here. And they bring their knowledge with them! They also bring their real selves, and you see that all y’all are working hard, pushing for that faster time and burning for that faster step. Then at the end when you might think you can’t make another step – there are the smiles, laughing, stories and being reminded that we are here together having a great time. Running faster got easier for me when I knew I was going to be laughing at the end.

Celebrating with the “Donut Mile”

We spent the year working our tails off. All those calories burned had a purpose, and the sweat and muscle ache were badges of honor for our dedication and determination. Why not end with a party? A Donut Mile party! Our club celebrated the end of the year with mile long run, eating a donut at every quarter mile mark. It’s all fun and games until the athlete takes over and you really try to run a good time.

This year the Donut Mile landed on my birthday. I felt right at home sharing this experience with all my Endurance Sports Club friends. We gathered, laughed, ate and discussed different strategies for conquering this feat. Then we competed. And then…we laughed some more.

All in all, being on the YWCA Endurance Sports Club has really helped me grow as an athlete, while letting me laugh along the way.