It’s important to set realistic goals for ourselves, but sometimes we exceed even our own expectations!
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Mae Dean Erb recently hit a major milestone, both literally and figuratively. Her story starts back in March 2020, when the Blackgum, Oklahoma grandmother decided to take a walk/run every day for 100 days straight. She set the goal to keep active during the pandemic and could no longer walk with her friends.
Mae, who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, says the routine snowballed quickly after she set her first goal.
“I thought maybe I’ll do 10 days, and then I just kept going,” she explained. “I just kept marking them off on my calendar. It’s a lot easier than most people think it is once you start, especially if you hold yourself accountable.”
Every day without fail, Mae gets up and walks or runs at least 5K (3.1 miles). Once she hit 100 days, she realized she didn’t really want to stop, and since she was already in the habit she just kept going. Suddenly, 100 days became 1,000 days!
Three years after setting her first modest goal, Mae celebrated her 1000th run in a row. Many of her friends and family gathered at the end of the trail to cheer her on and share in the celebration. Husband Jim Erb says he can’t believe how devoted Mae Dean has been, especially on days when she braved cold, wind, and rain to get her run in.
“I’m a believer now,” he said. “She’s a self-starter.”
Mae says she keeps up with her new healthy habit so she can keep up with her grandson, who is four. Even though she will turn 80 years old this spring, she plans to keep running each day so she can keep up with him!
“I hit 500, and I thought, ‘what a landmark! That’s great!'” said Mae. “But when I got up the next day it felt like I should just keep going and I did. I’ve been going since March 24, 2020, and today I finished that thousand. I didn’t know there were going to be all these people show up out here, but it was nice. Maybe this will help people realize you don’t have to be anything special, you just have to set goals for yourself.”
Mae now says she can’t imagine not getting up to run her 5K each day! She’s a shining example of how far we can go with some determination and stick-to-it-iveness!
Share this story to encourage more self-imposed fitness goals like Mae’s.
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