Dorothy Hughes

Hi! My name is Dorothy Hughes!

By the time I was in my 50's I had packed on a lot of weight, mainly from being sedentary and eating poorly. I had spent many years driving my kids to their activities, sitting on the sidelines (bleachers in skating rinks, mostly) and eating drive through meals on the way to or from practices, lessons, and competitions. One day my daughter asked me to join her in an exercise routine she was doing at home and it took me awhile to get myself to the floor, because I weighed 248 pounds and could barely bend my own knees.That was my "aha" moment when I realized that if I continued on the same track I wouldn't likely be around for marriages and grandkids, and retirement with my husband.

My 19 year old daughter had decided she'd like to take up running for fun. Later that week we were driving behind a car that had a WDW 13.1 sticker. The idea that there was a race through Disney World was very exciting to both of us, so we went home and looked it up, and signed her up for the half marathon the following January. I kept mulling over the fact that if I was going to be there anyway I should sign up too. After all, I knew I could walk it.....I mean, I had done a 13 mile day hike as a kid, about 100 years ago, right?!  Never mind that I could currently not even run across my driveway if I had to. So I made her a bet....a BIG one, that would truly hold me accountable....if I went and finished the half marathon, she owed me nothing, but if I didn't make it I'd have to pay her $1,000. That was June. I signed up, hopped online and googled "learn to run" and found Couch to 5K, then I moved on to a half marathon training plan I found online. It was HARD. All of it. But it was very exciting. At first I thought I'd die after running for just 30 seconds, but I kept showing up and got better at it. At some point a skating commitment came up for my daughter and she had to bail, but my best friend convinced me that I'd worked so hard I just had to still go, and she was coming with me to cheer me on, all the way from Massachusetts! By the time I got to the race I had lost 55 lbs, and I finished in 3 and a half hours without getting swept. Crossing that finish line was my favorite accomplishment as an adult.

Running has literally changed my life, opening doors to better health, new friendships, and just the greatest sense of well being. I've since completed 20 more half marathons and so many races of all distances, including 3 marathons. I feel a great sense of purpose heading into my 60's this year, as I have a list of running goals to accomplish, and health to maintain. I am still working to hit my final weight loss goal of 110 lbs, but slowly and steadily I am getting there. Running is a great sport that is accessible to anyone, big, small, old, young, fast, slow, all you need to do is put on shoes and head out on an adventure. I will tell anyone, "I'm slow, but I go."

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