Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Journey

This morning it was tough to get up when my alarm started buzzing at 5:20 a.m. "Why can't we be skinny and healthy by magic?" I muttered to B. I hit snooze more than once, but in the end, I made it out the door for yet another day.

And what a beautiful day it was. The sun wasn't officially up, just a pink glow on the eastern horizon. And, the air was gloriously cool. What a day for a run!

My legs were tired, my Achilles was tight, but I chugged along on the less hilly of my usual routes. On my way home from the out-and-back route, I saw this lady that I see almost every morning. She's 70+ if she's a day. Her run is more of a quick shuffle (but then, hey, so is mine). And, she's out here EVERY morning working it out.

Depending on the day, her presence inspires a different set of thoughts for me...
Thought 1: Fitness is a lifelong battle. I'm going to have to do this FOREVER, even when I'm 70.
Thought 2: Being fit and healthy is a blessing. I hope I get to be out here running when I'm 70.

There's no end to this journey. Sure we might start with a goal weight, a special occasion, a certain dress size in mind. But when we reach that goal, we haven't reached the end of our journey. I can look at that fact with despair (usually when I'm half asleep with my alarm blaring in my ear) or joy. So, on this Wednesday, here are a few things I appreciate about the journey without end:

  1. I appreciate that ceasing to move means going backward to a place I don't want to go. Therefore, every step forward is forward momentum in the right direction, whether it's walking, running, biking, or stationary on my yoga mat.
  2. I appreciate how I feel when I come home, dripping sweat, tired in an entirely different (wonderful) way than when I was trying to get out of bed. 
  3. I appreciate how early morning exercise changes the way I experience and adapt to the stress of the workday.
  4. I appreciate the feeling of knowing I made a good choice and the accompanying desire to build on that good choice with others.
  5. I appreciate that there may come a day when I'm unable to go out for a morning run, but this morning isn't that day. Today I can run. And, with my elderly runner as inspiration, I hope the decision of "today I can run" continues for many, many days into the distant future.

What do you  appreciate about your healthiness journey?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Real Life

Moving, home ownership, changing job roles with a lot more responsibility, travel for said life has changed drastically since last summer when I was coasting by. I can't imagine training for a marathon this summer like I did last summer (partially because of the 20 day, yes I said 20 day, excessive heat warning).  I'm contemplating a half marathon in November but still haven't convinced myself that sending in my entrance fee wouldn't be a waste of money. Luckily, I have until October to decide.

Real life is messy, busy, chaotic even. So, to that end, I've been working on what a healthiness lifestyle looks like in my current version of "real life." For me, that means fresh fruit and vegetables, light healthy lunches, lots of water, and working out about 5-6 days a week. A couple of those days are yoga/strength workouts mixed in with a bike ride or two. I've been running 3-4 days a week, usually during the weekdays before I leave for the office. How far have I been running? I have time for about 3 or 4 miles without making myself late. It was hard for me to admit to people at first. I read a ton of running blogs, and so many of them are gearing up for distance races: Hood to Coast, IronMan, various marathons. People would ask, "What are you training for?" Nothing. "How far are you running these days?" Not very. These kind of runs don't make for very interesting blogs...

But, I'm slowly becoming okay with my frequently short runs. Distance running isn't the only way to run. My current plan works for my life right now. I'm still running regularly (and in this heat that in itself feels like a victory). As life twists and changes, so will my running. All I know is I'll still be out there.