January 1, 2009 I made a promise to myself that I would run a half marathon this year. I wanted to commit to keeping myself healthy this year by being active. I felt if I chose to do a certain “road-race” it would keep me motivated.
I went out and bought new workout clothes.
I went out and bought new Nike sneakers – pink and black ones that I just LOVED.
I started getting up at 5AM and walking on my treadmill for 30 minutes. After being pregnant for 4 years straight, I knew my body wasn’t ready for runs yet, so I started it out slow.
By March, I was able to run 3-5 miles with Jane. I was ecstatic. The thought of running my first 1/2 marathon became clearer and clearer. It was no longer that far-off dream, it was actually turning into reality.
And then, life just happened.
I got sick with the flu for 2 weeks at the beginning of April. I couldn’t walk without coughing, never mind trying to run! It really set me back. By the time I tried to get back into running again, I just couldn’t get myself to run longer than 2 miles without feeling like I actually just did run a marathon. It was very difficult for me.
Plus, I needed the sleep. My usual 5AM wake-up calls for my treadmill were a thing of the past. I needed every ounce of sleep I could get. I had never had a flu set me back this much since when I was 16 years old. That was horrible for me, and this was like that all over again… but this time, I’m a working mother of 4 boys (4 and under!). Resting and calling in sick are absolutely, positively NOT an option.
The most difficult thing for me is that I started to feel “yucky.” The working out was not only keeping me physically healthy, but emotionally and mentally healthy, too. I could tackle a tough day at work or a busy day with the kids or a crazy day of cleaning and cleaning and cleaning! I don’t know what it is, but when I’m working out – either just walking, running, biking, swimming or taking a class at my local YMCA – I feel better inside and out. It’s a miracle for me.
I hate to admit this… but I never got myself back on track after my flu in April.
I wanted to get going again, but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I started feeding into every excuse in the book:
“I don’t have time in the mornings…”
“It’s too cold outside to walk or run…”
“I’m on vacation with my family…”
“I don’t think the boys will like being in daycare at the YMCA while I workout…” (even though it’s FREE and their friends are there!)
“Bathing suit season isn’t for another month…”
“I’ll just keep trying to eat healthy…”
But, truth be told, none of these excuses work. I know I need and crave and want to keep myself healthy by working out.
So as a present to myself on my 31st birthday (which was on Saturday, May 23rd)… I worked out. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but I got myself on my treadmill for 20 minutes and I walked. Nothing too fast. No incline, but I did it.
And I did it again on Sunday.
And then my friend emailed me last night to see if I wanted to meet her at 9:30AM for a long walk this morning. And I did.
3 days in a row.
I know that it’s a start… again. And I know I’m taking baby steps… again. But you know what? It felt good. It felt really, REALLY good.
I feel more energized today. I feel more happy. And I’m more ready to get myself in shape for a road race in August.
My husband has been an inspiration to me, especially now with his new blog, Formerly Fat Matt. I’ve seen the struggles he has gone through, and it motivates me to have my sons see me keeping myself healthy. It’s that important and necessary for me to have them see me doing something for myself that is good and healthy and will keep my heart beating.
So on days when you just feel it can’t be done… just start again. There’s nothing like keeping yourself healthy… with every morsel of your being.
Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by Healthy Choice. Please visit http://www.spokespersonwanted.com for more information on Healthy Choice and to print a free $1 off coupon.