Hello everyone!! My name is Heidi, and Darci asked me to write a guest blog for her. I feel very honored, as I am super proud of all her accomplishments!
I have known Darci for about 10 years now. We went to the same church growing up, and I was really close with her younger sister. She has become a great friend of mine and someone I know I will always be in touch with. Like I said, I am super proud of her, and she is a true testimony that you can do anything you set your mind to!
I would like to tell a little bit of my "fitness story" and how it has affected my entire life...
It all started the day before cross country was going to start my freshman year of high school. I decided the day before cross country was starting that I wanted to go out. Before this, I had never run more than the P.E. mile test, and my best time was 10 minutes. I didn't really even know what cross country was. I only participated in volleyball, basketball, and softball in middle school. I went to practice that next day and said I would run at least a mile without stopping and work my way up to two miles (that was how long our races were). I made it the mile the first day, but it was tough!
Before our first meet, I was up to running two miles without stopping, but it was a struggle for me. Our first meet was in my home town, Manson, IA. I was so clueless to what was going on. I just knew I had to run two miles without stopping, and I was suppose to do it as fast as I could! That's exactly what I did! I ran it as fast as I could, and I got third place that day! There was a volleyball game going on at the school, and I ran in with my medal and told all my friends! Everyone was in shock thinking "Heidi can run?!" I couldn't believe it!
I ended up qualifying for state that year, being the only one from my school to go. When we were running at the qualifying meet, I had no idea what I was running for. After I finished, my teammates ran up to me and said "you made it to state!", and I said "what is state?" haha..
After cross country, the track coach asked me to come out for track, and I also qualified for state in the 800 meters that year. I didn't even own a pair of track spikes...I ran in my tennis shoes at state! I improved my times every year after that, and ended up running cross country and track in college too at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA.
My goal when I first went to college was to qualify for the national meet at least once. I qualified in both indoor and outdoor my freshman year, and was an All-American in the 800meters with third place!
After my freshman year, my goal was to be a national champion, and I wouldn't rest until I was! I thought about it and wanted it so bad. I missed it my 2nd year, getting 4th place. I graduated a year early, so I had to do it my 3rd year. I dreamed about winning. For that whole year, anything I did, I would ask myself "is this going to make me a national champion?" I would do anything I could at all times of the day to improve. While in class, I would stretch or down ounces of water or Gatorade. I had all my meals planned out, I never slept less than 8 hours, and I always visualized my races at least 100 times before I actually ran them. I was dedicated!!
My third year, I broke both indoor and outdoor school records in the 800. I was ranked number one in the country for division 3 when I went into nationals. I wasn't going to settle for anything less. I wanted that title more than anyone there, and everyone else knew it.
I had never been so nervous in all my life. I sat in 2nd place for the first lap of the race. By the last 300 meters, I kicked it into gear and went flying. I ended up winning by a full second (which is a lot in an 800 and doesn't usually happen at a national meet)! I fell to the ground bawling!!! I went and hugged my family and coach. It was the happiest, proudest moment of my life!! I don't know if anything will ever top that 2 minutes and 8 seconds of my life!!!
Running has truly changed my life, along with health and wellness. I have now gone on to be a personal trainer, motivating people all day long. I LOVE it! I also run as much as I can. I am training for a marathon right now, and I am contemplating trying to qualify for the Olympic trials in the 800 in 2012. I tried in 2008 but missed it by 1.9 seconds. What do you think?! Should I try again??! :)
I would not be the person I am today if you took away my running career. I did not come from the best background, and I could have easily taken a wrong turn in my life, but with my dedication and commitment to everything I do now, I have been able to overcome some of the hardest obstacles anyone could face including sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, and a recent divorce. I know without a doubt that God never wants me to settle for second best, and I never will. I believe you can do ANYTHING you want if you truly want it with all your heart!!!!!!!!!
SO GET OUT THERE OFF YOUR BUTT AND GO DO IT!!!! :) --Heidi