This edition of our Member Spotlight features Charity Miles member Paula Obering! Paula, a Colorado resident and avid walker, recently completed her first half marathon! Check it out!
“I live in Colorado and I am a software support engineer for Pitney Bowes, which is a very sedentary job.” Paula’s fitness journey began many years ago when she was a child. “I was an athlete in my youth (softball, basketball and volleyball) and I have always tried to stay somewhat active. Now that I’m in my 50s, staying active is even more important to help maintain my health.”
Nowadays, Paula is an devoted walker, determined to log as many miles as she’s able in an effort to uphold a healthy lifestyle. “My cousin Nancy (I got her using Charity Miles too) is attempting to walk a half-marathon in all 50 states, so I recently upped my training to be able to help her check Colorado off her list.
“She, my sister Brenda, my niece Allie and I all walked a local half marathon in September. It was grueling … much harder than I thought! I’d done a couple of 9 or 10 mile walks leading up to race day and thought I’d be fine, but I still struggled. It was so satisfying to cross that finish line!
“The community around those who compete in races is pretty amazing. My sister and I were the last people across the finish line at the half marathon we did and they treated us like we were warrior champions! The mindset that we do not have to compete to win, rather to simply strive to better ourselves, seems to be widely accepted in this community and that’s something I can get behind!”
Paula began using Charity Miles several years ago and her unique work schedule allows her to log miles each morning. “It’s been a few years now – I’m not sure how I heard about Charity Miles. I started using it regularly 2 years ago when I changed jobs, which altered my daily schedule. Because I provide support for the Pacific Time Zone, but live in the Mountain Time Zone, I don’t start work until 10AM each morning. I started getting up and walking for an hour each weekday before work.”
In regard to charity, Paula has logged miles for multiple organizations throughout her time using the app. “I have supported various charities, but right now I’m generally leaving mine set on Alzheimer’s Association. My grandmother and my aunt both battled Alzheimer’s disease. I’m hopeful that in my lifetime, or my kids’ lifetime, we’ll see a cure. Charity Miles is simple and offers a great variety of charities I’m interested in supporting.”
Wondering what a typical workout looks like for Paula? “Usually I walk at my local rec center for an hour. Because it’s indoors and a controlled (flat) course, I can usually do just over 4 miles in my hour. Sometimes I’ll change it up and walk outside, either in the open space behind my neighborhood, or around a nearby park.”
So what’s next for Paula? “It would be really fun to do another half with my sister, cousin & niece in another state. I think Nancy has finished 6 or 7 so far, so there are lots of states to choose from. We think Alaska would be fun to do together. I think I need to respect the difficulties I had with my first and make sure that I’m training in a way that (hopefully) gets me across the finish line with less of a struggle. I can say this much … with the right training, it shouldn’t be too hard to beat my last time. LOL. #lastplace.”
Paula, congrats on completing your first half marathon! Good luck in the future and remember that completing any race is a major achievement, regardless of the order you cross the finish line!
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