A week ago I participated in my first 5k fun run / walk. I walked with a friend to support an amazing young mother who is fighting cancer, and over $30,000 was raised to help her in her struggle! I felt so proud to be a tiny little part of such a powerful experience. And I decided that exercising feels pretty good. Before I had kids, I took a yoga class three times a week and occasionally jogged, walked, and did light weight lifting. When my daughter was a baby, I walked a couple of miles with her almost every day unless the weather was absolutely unbearable. Then I got pregnant with baby 2, and my daughter decided she was too big for the stroller, and while I tried to continue the habit of walking every day, a 2-year old’s definition of a “walk” more resembles those old Family Circus cartoons that showed the meandering path of the children, running all over the neighborhood up and down and over obstacles, while the grownups only managed to go about 100 yards in 20 minutes. It wouldn’t exactly be classified as cardio. So what can I say? Life got busy, kids required more time than I ever imagined, and I just plain quit. But last week I got inspired. There were so many people who were running their hearts out (lots of six-pack abs rushed past me, strollers in tow). I was walking briskly and feeling like I could definitely do more! Before you attack me, I’m not saying I feel like I need to lose weight, but I do want to get healthy, and strong, and have some endurance, and most of all, I want to have something that is MINE, that I do for me, and that improves my quality of life. And wouldn’t it be great if I could start a habit now that enables me to spend more time with my grandchildren, God willing?
So a couple of days ago, I put the kids to bed and went out to run in the dark. I didn’t have a watch on, but I’m pretty sure 5 minutes hadn’t passed before I was heaving in the road. I kept going and probably made it a mile or so, but realized that nighttime isn’t the time for me (unless I skip dinner before running, and I’ve never skipped dinner in my life).
This morning I got up a half hour earlier than normal, put in my contacts and put on my running shoes (which are seriously 10 years old and could probably use replacing) and went out for a run in the daylight. That was MUCH better. As much as I love my sleep and sometimes I consider the snooze button to be my best friend, I really want this to stick. I don’t know how far I went, but I jogged for about 20 minutes and I felt like I started this day right. I’m proud of me, and it feels so good to already have that behind me, instead of being this thing I should do all day, nagging me, but that I never actually do. My legs are sore, but I’m going to try my best to wake up early again tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted on challenge #1.