Jennifer_Stephens_3I was so glad I didn’t hit the snooze button . . .

It is Saturday morning at 5:30 am and my alarm goes off. I consider hitting the snooze button and remember that there are people who are expecting to see me soon on the trails. I hit the off button on the alarm, drag myself out of bed, make a cup of coffee, and head out on my bike to meet a group of friends. Once I get there, I am so glad I didn’t hit the snooze button. The sun is just coming up over downtown and other runners and cyclists are showing up to head out on the trails. One after the other friends begin to show up. We discuss the distance and the time we are going to run and plan for meeting back for breakfast. Sweaty, and full of energy, we return to the trailhead and find a table at Press Cafe. A buzz of conversation begins with topics ranging from the experiences on the route to women in the Navy as fighter pilots. We talk about upcoming races, past worship services, and upcoming events while enjoying good food and developing relationships.

Accountability is an amazing tool to get myself and others doing what is needed to stay healthy. Joining a running group and finding others who enjoy exercising is the best motivation I have found. Another form of motivation is signing up for a race or charity walk. A set goal to work toward pushes us harder and gives us a purpose to get out of bed before the sun comes up — whether it is your first 5k or your 10th marathon. I have been getting up before the sun to exercise since I was a teenager and I will continue the rest of my life. I hope you will join me and the Fit First Running Group for the next sunrise over the Trinity on Saturday.

See you on the trails,

Jennifer

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