Susan Layton

Film Producer - ASL Performer - Life Learner

Tag: 5k

I’m Inspired: Justin’s Victory!

Justin20Today was the final victory for Justin Osmond as he reached his goal: To run 250 miles in 7 days.  The prize at the end of the snow, sleet, hail, rain, sunshine, blisters, IT band flare ups and the like was being able to give the “gift of hearing” to 25 kids in Southern Utah through “Run4Hearing“.

When we arrived at the park this morning, it was cold and rainy.  I thought, “This is not that fun”.  But then I thought of Justin and my attitude and thoughts quickly changed to: “This is worth it! This is going to be amazing!”  Running this 5k in the “cold”weather was the least I could do to show support for this amazing cause, the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund‘s “Run4Hearing“.   My family,Justin6 along with a large part of the Southern Utah’s Deaf community, as well as many other supporters were there, all in the best of spirits!  There was a special, positive vibe in the park.

Once we started running, the rains stopped, the very chilly weather warmed up, and the clouds stayed around to keep us comfortable.  After the 5k and the kids run, we waited for the arrival of Justin.  His family came and stood behind the finish line with their ‘250-mile’ banner … and then … THERE – HE- WAS!  Justin came running over the hill with his wife, the Mayor, his running coach and many other close-to-the-cause people.  He ran through the cheering crowd towards the finish line.  As he Justin7crossed the long anticipated finish line, he embraced and wept with his family and the crowd cheered, in sign and with whoops and hollers.  It was sweet to see him victorious! It was a really special thing to witness.

We all followed him over to where he would share a few words of gratitude.  (I was so upset because I thought I was recording and after his sweet and tender intro, I looked up and realized it wasn’t recording! Argh!)  He sobbed, “I kept running, even through the toughest moments those moments that I almost couldn’t go anymore, but I did because I remembered what it was for: the deaf kids! … I kept reminding it will be worth it in the end, because it is for these deaf kids, the true Super Heroes! … So I kept on running!”Justin11Close

He invited his family, sponsors, his running coach and the ‘Super Hear-O’ recipients up and paid gratitude and tribute to each for their contribution and purpose to the cause.  Justin said, “Can you imagine, driving 250 miles going 2-3 miles per hour?? My mom and my dad did just that! Just to support me!”  (I love when people publicly express gratitude to/for their parents!  It’s just so cool!)  I think the moment that stood out most to me was when he invited Marie Osmond, his Aunt, up to the mic to “sing a song”.  Everyone laughed.  No, she didn’t sing.  (Drats! Ha) But she did share this: (“ish” – because it’s from memory. Smile.)

Justin14“My mom’s family was all girls and one boy.  Then she had her own children and it was all boys and one girl.  But what’s special is that her only brother was deaf, and two of her own sons were deaf.  Before she passed on, she expressed the one thing she wanted most of all.  She wanted to leave a legacy of helping the deaf.  My mother asked Justin to carry that legacy on.  Not only has he done just that, but this very day commemorates 11 years since her passing.  Yesterday, I kept thinking of Justin on the home stretch, and I felt my mother poking me from the other side saying, “Marie, get your booty down there!” So I’m here! I really believe my mother was with you on this run and cheering you on along the way! I’m sure she is looking down right now, very proud of you as you continue the legacy she wanted to live on!”

Beautiful!  Better than a song!  But I still would’ve really enjoyed a song too! (Haha)

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Then Justin lined up for pictures and interviews. Excitement continued to fill the air long after it was “over”.  This event has been the talk of the town, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook for many, as well as for six excited people in my car.  But the cause and Justin’s journey couldn’t be more worthy of it!

Learn more, give some, tweet about, like them, or whatever else: Olive Osmond HearingFund.org and Run4Hearing.com.

I guess my take away from this is: Be Inspired!  Find inspiration.  Be the inspiration.  All of us don’t have an “Aunt Marie” or a “Mother Osmond” … but we don’t have to wait or side-line an opportunity to be inspired or to inspire others.  Just go for it, put your foot forward and race towards your finish line. A world out there is waiting to be inspired!  … Yup, THAT’s what I learned!

Justin8 Justin1   Justin3 Justin4  Justin16Justin5

Question: Who has inspired you and how? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook page.  

Photos Courtesy of: @SpectrumJenkins, @DJBolerjack, @TasminMahFuz, @MeadowSigns and @HiyaSusieQ

Run?!!?? Say WHAT???

Run?!!??  Say WHAT???

I was NEVER a runner and would do anything to get out of running!  Running hurt my teeth, it hurt my lungs and quite frankly, I just hated, hated, hated running!  (My dad would always say, “Hate is an awful strong word!” and my younger brother, at a sweet innocent age, said in reply to my dad one day, “Well, I meant it in an awful strong way!”  That’s how I felt about running!  Hahaha.)

So fast forward, well, my whole life, till just 4 years ago (2011).  My daughter wanted to participate in a school running club.  I was in full support of her getting active.  I signed her permission form and she was on her way!

DSCF0370Now, at that time, I was about 190 pounds.  I had lots of reasons why the weight kept coming on.  I was a busy mom of 4 little people.  I worked many hours.  I worked as an interpreter (it’s a ‘grab food and run’ kind of job).  I had my own self doubt and lack of motivation.  I was motivated to do many things but quite often taking care of myself seemed to slide right off my list.   Shopping, especially clothes shopping, was NOT a hobby of mine.  Most of the time, I cried when it came to shopping.

One day after practice, my daughter came home and said she wanted me to run with her in their upcoming 5k.  I was a little scared about that idea, as I knew I really disliked running, and I also knew how much weight I had on me.  But I also wanted to support her.  So I accepted her invite.

At that time, I didn’t have any running shoes at all!  We were very, very poor and I was hesitant to buy some, in fear I would break the bank.  Some how, Ryan and I managed to spare $20 for some shoes.  That was a sacred moment for me at the shoe store.  I took the purchasing of these shoes very seriously, IMG_20111210_090428_2although I knew my shoes wouldn’t be the top-of-the-line, I still wanted the best I could find for the money I had.  I felt very blessed that day as the shoes I liked the most were on sale and I walked out, more committed to train for this 5k.

I began training that night.  I found a ‘Couch to 5k’ (C25K) app that would help me along the way.  I remember the first day – I thought I was going to DIE!!!  I wasn’t sure how I would be able to keep doing it.  But I had to keep going because I really didn’t want to waste our family’s $20.

The next “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I GET MYSELF INTO” moment was when I hit the mile mark (over a month into running).  First, it was amazing that I, Susan Layton, ran a WHOLE mile!!!  But then I thought, HOW in the world will I be able to do THREE of those???  That was a hill I had to get over.  But I did!IMG_20111210_090720

At the same time, our family changed what we were eating.  We realized that what we had on our plates was food that was not entirely healthy.  We started learning about what was good for us and what wasn’t.  It was a wonderful learning curve!  I loved it! I loved it all!  I felt motivated!  My pants started getting a little looser.  I had more energy.  It was a great feeling.

The race day came.  It was cloudy and cold.  But I was PUMPED!  We ran the entire way!  We definitely were not the fastest but we didn’t stop.  It was an AWESOME feeling!  Finishing that race made me feel like a winner!  I was a winner!  I put my mind to something and I accomplished it.  Numbers didn’t matter.  It was truly the best feeling in the world!

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4- Trying on clothes*

Throughout this time, I lost over 50 pounds.  My clothes were falling off me.  It was a great feeling.  The first time I went to go get a new outfit, I couldn’t believe shopping could be that exhilarating!  It was a JOY that I had not ever felt!  I was by no means SKINNY, nor did I want that.  What I started to realize throughout this time was the beauty of being healthy.  HEALTHY is what felt good!  Sure, I still had “leftovers” (tummy from stretching) from four births.  But that didn’t matter to me anymore.  I was on my way to being healthy and healthy was happy!

*Pictures: 1- Me in the green blouse.  One of the very few pictures I have of myself.  My weight was up and down but mostly up.  This was taken about 2008; 2- My first pair of running shoes.  I still am so grateful we sacrificed that $20 to buy those life-changing shoes;  3- My daughter and I at the end of the 5k!  That was a proud moment for me as a mom and well, for me!; 4- In the dressing room trying on clothes.  I shot this and sent it to my hubby – “Can you believe I’m wearing this? I love shopping!!!”  He replied something like, “Is this my wife speaking?” (Haha…) and then, “You worked for it! You deserve it! Enjoy your time! You look fabulous!”  I felt fabulous!  Working for it gave me such a huge satisfaction, because I did this!  And I wanted to keep going!

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