In this installment of Old Chick Inspiration, we have an incredible story about mind over matter, and what’s possible when you push past the limits of your comfort zone. It shows that tiny little steps in in the right direction can lead you to big things. And in this case, it literally was small steps. I’m so happy to introduce to you this weeks Old Chick Inspiration….. Tami Evers.
Tami just recently completed a 48-hour 100 mile race in Mountain Center California. Her second one! Whaaaat? I know right! A major feat for anyone, but even that much more impressive for a woman of 58. I can’t even imagine the courage and perseverance it took to push through something like this. Tami is now officially my hero.
Here’s Tami account of her incredible journey:
“This race has a 24hr, 48hr, 72hr, 100mile, 50mile and a 50k. I chose the 48 hr. My race started at 8:30am Friday and went till 8:30 am on Sunday. My thought going in was to maximize the 48 hours and utilize all my time and to do more than a 100 miles. This race is a 2-mile loop that meanders through a working ranch. It plays a lot on you mentally as well as physically. I felt great for the first 55 miles and then I started getting blisters on my right foot. The next 10 miles were really painful. I stopped, popped my blisters and tried on all of the extra shoes I had brought with me but they were all too tight due to swelling in my feet. My first thought was well, I can’t do any more but not wanting to give up, I then came up with the idea to cut the whole top off the toe area of my shoe. The relief was immediate. This was going to work. I could walk and make progress even though I was slow. Every 2 miles I would stop and wash my feet due to the long stretch of sand that found a home in my toeless shoe. I met my 100 mile at 5:30 Sunday morning. I was content with that as I had earned that coveted buckle that you only receive for a 100-mile finish.”
Now before you go thinking that Tami is some super human athlete, consider this:
“I started walking around age 45, mostly to help with menopause. That progressed into running short distances and at 50 my son signed me up for my first race, a half marathon. I joined a local running group where I met a bunch of crazy people who ran really far. I slowly started to increase my mileage, never thinking I could, or even would want to run a 100 miles. Well, after I completed the first half marathon, I then went on to run 2 more marathons, a 50k and then a 50 miler. After that 50 miler I said to myself ‘if I can do this, a 100 miles is only two of these.’ Here I am now having completed two 100 mile races. I love the peace that running gives to me.”
What has been your biggest lesson in this accomplishment?
“I learned patience. To keep working towards your goal one small step at a time. I also learned that you can physically always give more than what your brain wants it too. The biggest thing that I got out of it was confidence. I know that now I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to”.
What advice would you give to other women navigating mid-life chapter and aging?
“My advice would be to take time for yourself. Make yourself a priority. For many we feel guilty if we take an hour or two for ourselves, but we give endlessly to others. Don’t be afraid to take chances or think you’re not good enough to do something you want to do.”
What’s the best piece of advice that you have received about navigating mid-life?
“My family was my rock always and my best piece of advice came from my husband who would remind my constantly that "you’re not in this alone".
What do you love most about this stage of life?
“I love the freedom that I have. I love not being afraid to say no to others. It’s ok to just be me.”
How incredible is this! You may never have the desire to run a 100-mile race or any race at all, but what I love about Tami’s story is that it is such an amazing reminder that anything you set your mind to is possible, no matter where you are starting from. When what is in front of us seems overwhelming and too big to conquer, we just need to find enough trust in ourselves to take one small step forward. And soon, one small step turns into many small steps, then larger steps and giant leaps forward. I also love the message that you don’t need to do it alone. Enlist supporters to keep you going along the way when things get tough.
Thank you for this inspiration Tami.