Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I hesitate to post this because I'm scared it will be short-lived. I tend to get excited about something and then let it fizzle out. But even if that does happen, it's something that is growing me at this moment, so it's worth writing down right?
If 2013 was the year of focusing on my mind & spirit, 2014 is turning out to be the year of focusing on my body. Not that you shouldn't focus on all three at once, but it seems that for whatever reason, they've been more spread out for me and one always seems to take more priority than the other.
Six and a half years ago, I had all the time in the world to exercise. And I definitely took that for granted. Not to mention that your metabolism in your twenties is quite different than your metabolism in your thirties. But in my late twenties, I had two babies pretty close together. And I was (and still am) so endlessly grateful for the privilege of staying home with them full time. But because of that, exercise quickly got moved to last priority. The few times I was able to get to the gym, the sweet childcare workers had to come and pull me out of the zumba or yoga or kickboxing class I was in every.single.time. My first born was not a fan. And I let that be my excuse not to work out. I made up lots of excuses actually. Budget constraints, baby constraints, time constraints, weather constraints...you name it. And because I wasn't actually struggling with my weight, I just kept telling myself it was fine to put off exercise until I had "more time".
Fast forward a few years and I have been SO sick of feeling lethargic. I've just never been one to wake up in the morning excited to work out. But the real motivator for change in recent months has been a nagging lower back pain that is only relieved by, guess what?... Regular and frequent exercise. I wake up every morning with fierce back pain and achiness UNLESS I have worked out the day before. At age 34, I refuse to wake up in pain every morning if there is an easy remedy to that. I was ready for a change.
So back in March, I found the perfect group exercise class for me which is called Barre. It's a combination of pilates, yoga and ballet. And it's been a lifesaver for building my core strength and easing my back pain. Not to mention it tightens up your whole body, especially your boo-tay. It was the first time that I actually got up in the morning excited to go to the class and work hard.
I was feeling excited about the changes I was seeing. But then a friend challenged me to sign up for a marathon relay where I would have to run a 6 mile leg. I kept telling myself I was not a runner. I don't even like running! But I was feeling strong and decided to go for it. I wanted to take on a new challenge. Well I think that event was single-handedly the biggest turning point for me this year. I realized I COULD do it. I could run 6 miles if I put my mind to it. My body is strong. My mind is strong. And I deserve to prioritize my health. Suddenly running six miles didn't feel like a chore, but instead it felt like an hour of alone time to feel strong and challenged and grateful. Grateful for my legs and lungs and fresh air. It was time to talk to God... for dreaming and praying and processing.
This has been such a breakthrough for me. And guys... I actually enjoy running! I've been running regularly ever since that race. And because I put my mind to a distance much further than I thought I could do, I was able to tap into an ability I never knew I had. And it feels like a gift. It feels like a new world to me. I set my alarm for 6am on Sunday morning so that I could run another six miles as the sun was rising. #SundayMorning6at6 And I did another three miles last night. And I feel like doing it again tonight. It's a beautiful thing to feel strong and able and proud of yourself. It's not about a certain distance though. It's about setting my mind to something physically difficult, and accomplishing that.
I can't wait to see where else this journey takes me.
Do you run? I would love to hear from anyone else who is enjoying it as much as I am.