I think exercise tests us in so many ways, our skills, our hearts, our ability to bounce back after setbacks. This is the inner beauty of sports and competition, and it can serve us all well as adult athletes.
Back in June, I promised to write more regularly about my adventures at the gym. I have had the best of intentions of doing that but fell short. I've been going to the gym pretty regularly but have had a bit of slippage in my fitness plan. So I've regrouped and am back on track. Silly pun, I know. :)
I first started treadmill running a few months before my dad passed away. When I started, I wanted to challenge myself to do more than I had been doing at the gym, and the idea of running appealed to me. Little did I know how well my running program would serve me as I worked my way through the agonizing months following his passing. I would come home from a brutally hard day sorting through the contents of my childhood home, too exhausted to think, yet I could hop on the treadmill and just run and run. It took my mind to a safer place, where the only thing I had to think about was that day's running goal.
Then over the winter, things began to unravel with my grandma, and I found myself missing time at the gym. I was still in a dark place emotionally, and this time I let it affect my running. Truthfully it affected my entire physical self. Headaches, stomach aches, side aches...you name it. Each "ailment" kept me from running. Somehow I got away from the very thing that had helped me feel better about myself. I re-started the C25K program more than once but each time something got in the way.
After Grandma passed away in August, I finally decided it was time to put myself first for awhile. I opened up my C25K app and started over, this time vowing I would not make excuses. I told myself that I could take longer than 9 weeks to complete it this time. After all, what's the rush? And it would be OK to repeat a day once in awhile if I didn't feel ready to move to the next day's plan.
As of today, I'm ready for Week 5, Day 1. I've cut myself a little (but not too much) slack, and I feel solid in what I've accomplished so far.
My message to you is this: If I can do this, anyone can. I'm the girl who was last to be picked in gym class, the one taunted and teased for her lack of athletic skill. Maybe "it" for you is not running. Maybe it's swimming or yoga. Find something physical you enjoy, and just get started. It may help you in unexpected ways one day.
The body achieves what the mind believes.