AFM Fit Challenge: Awakening My Inner Athlete

The AFM Fit TestHello once again, loyal fans and readers! I’m checking in again, but this time I started writing this blog in my head as I lay face first on my cool mattress on a warm Saturday afternoon. Electric pulses twitch through my entire body: first my foot, then my biceps, then my thigh, and before I know it my foot again. I cannot move- for I have just completed the 2013 Austin Fit Magazine Fitness Challenge! (Here’s where you clap and cheer).

About 1 year ago to date, the review came out in Austin Fit Magazine about their fitness challenge, and our medical assistant Byron threw a copy over the front counter at me and said “you could do this!” Well that one sentence sat in the back of my mind, and slowly began to build as the year sped on.  I’m the kind of person who appreciates cheesy inspirational montages and the like- so I hung up a quote on my bathroom mirror from the AFM Fit Challenge’s creator that I found printed in the magazine to “find your inner athlete.” She’s in there, just buried under the flannel pajama pants and whats left of the peanut butter filled pretzels.

Fast forward to June 2013, and I make the last minute decision to sign up for the event. I have been honing my running skills to date- my faithful blog followers may recall my article about breaking in my orthotics the “very bad” way. I had only begun to train with weights for the last 6 months or so, but I felt confident enough to hit the “send” button on the registration form. Oops….i didn’t mean to hit that!!! WAIT!!!!!  Uh oh- I’m doing this for real.

The next week went by in a flash from when I picked up my race packet until Saturday morning warm-ups underneath the Red Bull staging tent. Camp Mabry was full of competitors, family members, and coaches. Vendors lined one side of the field with tents full of free gear, food, and drink. A cooler with Red bull and protein drinks was around every corner, and water stations scattered the field. Each event was designed to test overall strength, endurance, and athleticism (three words I had to look up in the dictionary). I must admit, the excitement buzzing in the air was infectious. I sized up the girls who had on the same colored blue bib as me….they were all over 6 feet, and must have all been personal trainers I swear.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous.  Okay make that a LOT nervous.

Well, today is three days after the event and I don’t limp as bad when I walk thanks to our AT compression brace Dr. Thomajan gave me. Most of the twitching has subsided as well, thankfully. I left everything I had out on that last event- a 1 mile run. Sounds easy enough until you put 11 other challenges ahead of it, add some sun and heat, and mix well. Overall, the whole event was inspiring and invigorating: I even ran into a friend from back home in Montana! She and her husband opened a gym recently called 1UP Sports Performance, and were out cheering on their athletes in the competition. The feeling of community and support was overwhelming. A truly well sponsored and well run event!

I probably did not win anything that day but I went out and SMASHED every personal record I’ve ever set. I read that returning competitors can compete for “most improved” and I’ve already got my sites on that for next year’s event. I was also lucky enough to get to try out our new MLS Pain Laser yesterday, and already I’ve noticed less swelling and bruising in the top of my poor foot. I was actually kind of hoping I had a stress fracture because I’ve never broken a bone before, but the x-rays revealed nothing so far.  All in all the experience that I gained was invaluable- the confidence and pride in me is something completely new and is utterly amazing. I’m still smiling, and still wearing my competitor dog tags handed out at the end of the 1 mile race.  So here’s my challenge to our friends, fans, patients, or prospective athletes: Get out there. Go do it. You never know what kind of beast you’ll awaken from within.

Until next time, keep those feet healthy and happy Austin!  Peace. Love. Run.






Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists