BY LAUREN SEPHTON
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to challenge yourself to finish a 5k race? Try a sense of invigoration, confidence, freedom, and accomplishment. But to cross that finish line, you must first take the initiative and that often takes a ton of courage. However, from the moment you take your first starting step, you become unstoppable because you have the ability to do almost anything you set your mind to.
Whether you are determined to walk or run across that finish line, Keith and Emily Davis are on a mission to make that goal achievable to anyone willing to take the courageous first step to living a healthier, more fit life. They began their No Boundaries Training Program in August of 2006, shortly after opening Fleet Feet Winston-Salem, understanding that it isn’t easy to get motivated, and then to stay motivated. Do you have a sedentary lifestyle currently? Have you not run in years or maybe not even in your lifetime? That’s okay, as this is nothing new for Fleet Feet in Winston-Salem! The No Boundaries program meets every person at every stage of life. Over an exhilarating couple of months, the trainees will slowly build up their endurance through time intervals that begin at their level. Emily explained, “The whole idea is to get the body moving, to prove to yourself that you can do it.”
The No Boundaries program prepares each participant to be ready to cross the finish line and keep each person motivated by encouraging mentors and group accountability. “Running truly is a sport of togetherness. Over the years, we’ve watched how the programs foster lifelong friendships, communities, and even marriages,” said Emily. “You’re never alone.” Whatever your “what if” may be, the No Boundaries training program is your opportunity to throw it out the window. It’s your opportunity to break through those barriers because “running changes everything.”
Meet Alexia, a woman that never considered herself athletic, yet crossed her very first 5k finish line last year. Without thinking much about it, Alexia joined No Boundaries after a friend mentioned it to her as a way to spend quality time together. When it came to the first day, she felt slightly intimidated and that inevitable “what in the world feeling” when you are stepping outside your comfort zone. As the first few weeks went by, she slowly built up her endurance and confidence as she trained with the interval group that was a mix of both running and walking. Of course, life is not always smooth sailing. Her beloved grandfather passed away in the midst of her training program, leaving Alexia discouraged and unmotivated for two weeks. However, she was determined to finish what she started, and with encouragement from her mentors, she was able to get her “slow” back. But now, her goal had become more than just crossing that finish line. She was determined to do this for her grandfather, to be a better role model for her children in living a healthier lifestyle, and to break the generational curses of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. “Did I want to give up? Absolutely. But through it, I’ve found my self-care. A time to get in my zone at my own pace,” said Alexia. “It taught me that if you try something new, you never know, you might end up liking it!”
Meet Pat, who boldly declares that “Fleet Feet changed my life.” She began the No Boundaries training program in 2009, at the age of 70. “The day I started training was the night my husband passed away. I knew God had a plan for me when I took first place in my first 5K (Ardmore RAH). God’s gift to me had a purpose – to inspire other women, to let them know they could run at any age. Since that time, I have run many races, including four half-marathons, placing in each one. Now at 81, I am still using my gift to run to inspire and to keep healthy and energized. Running changes everything!”
The next No Boundaries beginner 5k training program starts in late January at Fleet Feet Winston-Salem. So, don’t overthink it! Perhaps it’s time for a new beginning. Learn more at fleetfeetws.com. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you just take that first step.
Fleet Feet Winston-Salem is located at 278 Harvey Street next to LA Fitness on Stratford Road. Local owners Emily and Keith Davis have watched thousands of people change their lives through running since they opened in 2006. Contact them at (336) 722-8477. Check them out on Facebook (@FleetFeetWinstonSalem) and Instagram (@fleetfeetws).