Inspiring March for Me Story

Inspiring March for Me Story - Unjury

Note from a March for Me participant…

I’ve participated in March for Me every year to the best of my ability.

March for Me 2021

During the first March for Me event in 2021, I couldn’t walk any distance due to my weight, knee arthritis, and pain. I used a recumbent elliptical machine (rehab equipment) for exercise. So, in the early years, I logged my exercise hours biking rather than walking during the Unjury® challenges.

March for Me 2022

By 2022, I had lost some weight and had physical therapy, so I was experimenting with walking using trekking poles. I walked regularly during March for Me and logged my distances. It was a fantastic way to get into walking for exercise, which I hadn’t been able to do for so long.

March for Me 2023

In March of 2023, I had lost most of the weight and was an expert with my walking sticks. I was finally scheduled for my long-awaited knee replacement on March 14. I marched as much as I could before the surgery and was proud to be back on the streets, first with a walker and then my walking sticks, before the end of March for Me on March 31.

March for Me 2024

When March 2024 came along, I was healthier than ever in my adult life. I have lost my excess weight after a slow and steady five-year effort, and my focus on strength-based exercise and a high-protein diet has really paid off. My recovery from knee surgery was amazingly quick, and I can walk miles up and down hills, bike, do stairs, and get up and down from the floor easily. My doctors call me things like “strong and muscular.”

I wanted to do something fun and challenging to celebrate my progress and my anniversary from surgery, so I came up with the idea of walking the Boston Marathon route during March for Me 2024.

Initially, I thought that this would be pretty easy. I walked between two and three miles regularly and only had to complete 26.2 miles over 31 days to achieve the goal. I had a fitness buddy who offered to walk with me, so we jumped right in and did our first couple of miles on March 1.

It turned out that there were quite a few obstacles to completing the goal. Here are some:

  • There was a lot of travel time involved; the starting line was almost an hour's drive for us.
  • The race starts in rural suburbs without sidewalks, shoulders, or bike lanes. So, several miles were spent navigating busy two-lane highways (which are closed to vehicle traffic during the marathon itself).
  • My friend sprained her ankle after the first leg and could not join me again until the last day.
  • The weather was wintery for the whole month (not unusual for Boston). I avoided most precipitation, but the cold and wind was with me all month.
  • The walking was way more challenging than my controlled walks near home. I found I was much more exhausted after three miles on the roads than three miles in my neighborhood. Making sure I had a protein snack before and after I walked was really important.
  • Just when I felt confident that I would be able to complete the walk comfortably in March, I came down with Covid. Luckily, I recovered quickly and was able to get back out by March 28 and cross the finish line on March 30.

There were also so many highlights:

  • I loved every minute of the walk! I saw things I had never seen from that perspective.
  • I learned a lot about the marathon and enjoyed all the local coverage since it’s Marathon season in Boston!
  • I felt accomplished when I marked my progress on my map each time, and I walked longer than I had ever done before on a single day.
  • I had amazing support from the Unjury support group! They were really involved and cheered me on all month. Many of them have local connections and would tell me when I walked through their old neighborhood or past where their son lives. They loved seeing pictures along the way!
  • I gained extra confidence in my knee and overall strength, which never failed me.
  • Crossing the finish line was amazing!

Walking the Boston Marathon is something I’ll always remember, and I think it will be the springboard for even bigger challenges!

Thanks so much to Unjury for all of your support and encouragement!

—A fellow Unjury friend

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