By Melody Copenny

Cherished Women’s Blog Writer

Ludivine inspired me to run my first half marathon. Even though human beings in my life encouraged me to do it, this hilarious hound dog sealed the deal.

I committed myself to my first 13.1-mile race by verbally telling people, “I’m going to do this!” When I say what I’m going to do publicly, it makes it harder for me to be chickenish about stuff later. My eyes are locked on the Celebration Half Marathon, taking place January 29, 2017.

Half Marathon Melody CopennyIt’s easy to say you’re gonna do something. But true grit hits the pavement when you start making changes and adjusting your lifestyle. You don’t complete a half marathon on good intentions. You don’t complete much of anything on good intentions.

You finish strong because you start strong.

Running for me is a mind and body endeavor with my spirit linking the two. My race is six months away. I started training in June with a 30 day run streak. Run streaks are consecutive runs for a set period of time and distance — usually 30 days/1 mile a day.

I started my run challenge in the armpits of Hades summer heat of Orlando. A mile a day seemed doable; however, running against humidity and heat can sap out your energy fast. Even so, starting my training strong anchored me. When the heat was too much and summer rain showers overtook many afternoons, I moved my runs indoors to the happy gait of a treadmill belt. My goal was 30 miles in 30 days; I got 31 miles done for my streak.

You finish strong because you start strong.

Black Girls Run! Orlando BGRMy running group Black Girls Run! introduced a thigh slimming challenge in June and a triceps dip challenge in July. I incorporated both into my training to build strength and tone my body.

I also signed up for kickboxing in July — determined to build muscle and tone my body. I began to eat to train, especially looking for plant-based protein sources to rebuild and repair my muscles. My first kickboxing session at 9Round kicked my butt. Rivers of sweat poured from my face, chest and even my eyes. Muscle soreness was high the following day. But the training kick started my metabolism, helping me lose weight and body fat.

Dedication and discipline in these summer months made my good intentions a reality. As September nears, I’ll prepare for a 13 week half marathon running program. My body will be stronger, healthier, and Lord willing, faster, as I begin. You can’t run a race on the fumes of intentions or shoulda-coulda-wouldas. The same is true about life. How did you use this summer to make one goal in your life a reality? What good intention from the summer would you like to make good on this fall?

Melody Copenny

About Melody Copenny

Melody Copenny is a poet, writer, author and storyteller living a gospel-centered life. A native of Atlanta, GA, she’s called Orlando, FL home since 2005 and been a member of the Discovery Church family for 12 years. Presently she serves as editor in chief for the Discovery Women's Ministry blog, Cherished. She's passionate about the intersection of creativity, words, theology and popular culture and writes to be real, relevant and reveal. A healthy foodie who enjoys cooking well, classic soul and R&B and serving a women’s group at Discovery, she blogs regularly on themes about grieving, mourning, living and loving at You can connect to Mel on Twitter & Instagram @findingmelodie.

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