I’ve been a fan of Mighty Molly for a while now, enraptured by her personal brand of kick-booty go-get-it. I follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she regularly makes me laugh and occasionally terrifies me into trying something new.
I thought I might’ve gone off my nut last November when, inspired by Molly’s adventures in 5K running, I registered for the Turkey Trot 10K. I’ve never been a runner, struggling along at about the same pace most folks use for a leisurely stroll. It was crazy, I was mostly unprepared, and I showed up in zero-degree weather to run further than I ever had. A few freezing moments after stepping off, I realized that quitting was an option that would likely result in my frozen carcass being discovered roadside, sometime in April. So I didn’t quit. After crossing the finish line, I made my way home, ate three turkey sammiches, took a 45-minute shower that used up all the hot water in the neighborhood, and swore never again.
The next morning, I registered for a 5k. Within a few days, I’d registered for a couple more. A month later, I ran the Polar Dash. Now I know I’m completely crackers, and I couldn’t be happier. Currently, I’m registered for ten 5Ks, one 10K, and two OCRs in 2015. A lot of it is Molly Hutchin’s fault. I called her to tell her so. And to say thanks. And to interview her for this blog. Here’s how Molly answered the Propellergirl Questionnaire:
What made you say “Hmm … maybe I’ll run a 5k. Maybe I’ll run a bunch of ‘em!”
“It sounded like the scariest thing I could do at the time, back in 2011. From my perspective, runners appeared so fit, and running seemed like the furthest thing from what I could do, so I decided to do that! At first I used the Couch to 5K program, because I was kind of a couch. (Here, Molly giggles.) It got me started and built my confidence. Then I got comfortable with the idea of doing “my race”. The first one was a race to raise awareness about skin cancer, which is close to my heart since I’m in the skincare industry. That first day, the adrenaline, the encouragement, the friendly competition was absolutely addictive. After that, I was hooked! Every year since then, I’ve had a goal to run at least one 5K a month during the winter season.”
Who are the folks who’ve helped you along the way?
“Max is first and foremost, he’s my fiancé and personal cheering section. My sister, of course. And, surprisingly, the online community! I was an early-adopter in the blogging world, and blogged my way through a lot of life’s obstacles. They supported me, every word of the way. Then folks from Instragram found me, then Twitter. It’s such a push for me to get the occasional message: ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up.’ That just sends me to the moon, knowing I might be able to do that for somebody. (Here Molly pauses, to blush and grin …) And the Internet adds a layer of accountability, because I don’t want to let anyone down! The way I see it, I started from ground zero. I was completely sedentary and nearing 200 pounds. If I can make the kind of turnaround, anyone can! “
How do you keep your motivation in motion?
“It really helps me to quantify everything I’m doing. I’m a big proponent of tracking what I do and identifying patterns. I wear a Fitbit. I glean motivation when I see improvement. Getting my 5K this year under 40 minutes was a big win! Now my next win, under 35 minutes, is fast approaching. So I keep a spreadsheet of every race I’ve run, my pace, time, rank, and along with that I track my meals, weight, because I like that macro view of “me”, quantified.”
You’ve got gumption! Where do you go from here?
“Setting bigger and scarier goals. I love the concept of, ‘If it doesn’t scare you, you need to think bigger.’ I really want to do a triathlon, which is on my goal list of 2015, so I’ll have to learn how to swim! (Here Molly laughs again.) You don’t learn a lot of swimming, growing up in Alaska! Depending on how my fitness level improves, I’d like to do a fitness competition sometime in the future. And I’m interested, as my strength progresses, to look into power lifting. I think that would be an awesome She-Hulk thing.”
Is there anything I should ask you that I haven’t asked you yet?
“Yeah, I need to tell you this: The best thing about finding a fitness routine is throwing it all against the wall and seeing what sticks. The best fitness routine is the one you stick to.
I think this is a common thread for people trying to make a change. You have to forgive yourself if you make a mistake. When you have a bad week or a bad month, give yourself permission to get over it, and get back on with your journey.
The only thing that is different for me this time, is I haven’t stopped. I don’t give up.
As long as you don’t give up, you haven’t failed.”
Molly Hutchins is a fitfam fan, blogger, 5K runner, and educator for a dermatology pharmaceutical company. She’s also my sister-in-law! Lucky me!
You can find her blogs at Molly Pretty and More Than Heels.