Donnette Beckett

Reporter Donnette Beckett braves the cold weather to get in some exercise. 

PROVIDED PHOTO

DECATUR — The new year is usually filled with resolutions, including trying new things, meeting new people and losing weight.

You are invited to join me in achieving all of these resolutions.

Since my time as a reporter for the Herald & Review, I reported on all kinds of on 5K races and fun runs. I always thought runners looked like they were having fun, no matter the cause. I wanted to join them, but the feeling faded as soon as I filed my story.

So, after I covered the Overdose Awareness race on Aug. 25 in Fairview Park, I texted a close friend and asked if she wanted to prepare for the run next year.

My motivation wasn't purely selfish. My friend had recently lost her brother to an overdose, and I wanted to accomplish this not only for her, but for the rest of her siblings. My friend and I live in the same small town and often walk together for exercise. We usually just talk about current events, diet tips, our kids and our jobs. The goal is to finish a topic before we get home.

Because we like to talk, we can get in three miles, the same distance as a 5K. So training for a fun run should be easy, right? 

Well, it might be for her. She immediately began training, but I cannot say the same.

That brings us to this column. Enlisting a partner didn't work, so I suggested I prepare for the August event to my editors, and now to the public. All other attempts have failed. Let’s try this.

This is where I need help, since I don't know where to start.

I have committed to a biweekly Life column providing tips and discussing running topics that I find along my journey. I invite you to follow along through the nine-month preparation. I hope to post videos at herald-review.com chronicling my experiences and tips I discover along the way.

Since I view myself as average, I'm hopeful that this column could help various types of people. At 50, I'm not old, but I'm not young. My blood pressure could be a little lower. Work can be stressful and it requires a little walking and a lot of sitting; journalism is not a 9 to 5 job, and the daily schedule can change as the day progresses. I never know if I will have the opportunity to work out or run to an assignment. Still, my struggles are similar to others with a family, job and household to manage.

Others have accomplished this goal. I know I can too.

Along the way, I'll talk to experts to learn more about these topics: where to begin, what foods to eat, what shoes to wear, the importance of water, keeping motivation up, avoiding temptations, what to do when you don't avoid temptations and setbacks. I will also discuss any topics readers and experts suggest.

I know this journey will expose some personal information. I’ve already given my age, but I know it can get worse. Warning: I will lie about my weight. According to the governmental health agencies, I am 30 to 50 pounds overweight.

I understand this is a lifestyle change. Over the years I have changed or added some positive habits, such as drinking plenty of water, getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day and limiting soda. However, anything can derail the day, including the weather, my children having a bad day or my fridge not containing eggs.

No more excuses.

The first column will appear later this month in the Life section.

If you see me in a restaurant eating something I shouldn’t, please don’t judge. Well, maybe you should. Let’s see if that works, too.

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Staff Writer

“Together Decatur” columnist, food and entertainment reporter for the Herald & Review.

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