Kim Curtis submitted this story as part of our Rise to 5K story contest. Kim challenged herself and found support among her training group partners to run a 5K race and continue jogging afterward!

I had just turned 50 and read about the Rise VT 5K training. I’ve tried being more active with walking over the past few years, but decided 50 would be my year to step it up a notch with my overall health so was excited (and apprehensive) about joining the program. I joined to be a jogger which would honestly be the first time I’ve done more than walk since high school sports! But this is my year right?! The first few sessions were especially difficult in that my stamina was non-existent, but what a great feeling to be with other like-minded individuals of all ages and abilities coming together with a common goal. I’m not sure if it’s the mob mentality but the way everyone came with a positive attitude – continuously cheering for each other, encouraging each other to do our best – was inspiring. High fives abounded! During our sessions it was stressed that just to be there was an accomplishment, but how great would it feel to push yourself to do your best at the 5K. And so we did. We had runners, joggers and walkers and we finished feeling like we’d given it our all. For me personally, I will take these experiences and trainings with me as I continue to jog hopefully longer and further than ever before. It’s lit a spark and for that I am eternally grateful. Thank you very much for providing this program.