The Road to Health

9 Aug
Me after my first son Matthew was born.

A blog, an open journal of sorts, how scary right?  “I don’t know where to start,” I tell the people close to me.  “Well why are you doing it”, they ask?  To which I respond, “because I think it might help someone, and it will help me to put my journey on paper”.  Well then if that’s what your goal is, start at the beginning and talk about what’s important to you.  Start at the place that mattered the most, the turning point.  “Okay,” I think.  Here goes….

In the beginning, my goal was to lose weight, look better, and be healthy.  Two kids, 40 pounds later… yep, it’s about that time.  There’s nothing more daunting than the overwhelming goal of taking care of you, especially as a mom. You’re going through life and suddenly you find yourself responsible for one, two, maybe more people.  Taking care of yourself takes back seat.  That’s okay, it happens to the best of us.  Eventually though we remember that we matter, and we have to take care of ourselves, in a way that makes us feel human again.  For me, that was getting back in shape.

Me after my second son Jack was born.

I remember the realization I had sitting on the coach, completely exhausted, drenched in spit-up, watching Days of Our Lives, thinking I have to get back to me! I looked around at the people I respected, moms who seemed to have it all together, happy, in-shape, well rounded and thought, how the hell am I going to get there? I guess at the time the first mistake I made was looking at the big picture, rather than thinking of taking one step.

I finally decided I was going to start by running one mile.  That was the goal.  I strapped on my running shoes, went to Target to buy some shorts, because remember I had two young children, NOTHING fit, and I set off around the block.

The run went well for the first three minutes, and then it sucked!!!!  “Why does anyone actually do this?” I thought to myself! I considered turning around and chalking this up to a bad idea.  Thinking back when I finished I probably went home and ate a gallon of ice cream as a reward for my hard work!  Nevertheless, it was a step.  For those of you who know me well, you know where it lead.

I’ve learned over time to love running, to love fitness, but it didn’t start that way 5 years ago.  Now when I run I do my best thinking.  People ask me nearly every day about running.  They want to do it but they dislike it.  It grows on you, I always say, it really does.  Some days I smile running, some days I reflect, and some days I cry.  It fills me though and gives me perspective.  It reminds me I am responsible for 2 other people and if I want to do a good job at that I’d better put the oxygen mask on myself first.

Remembering back to where I started reminded me that it’s never too late to be who you could have been, or want to be.  It starts with one step, one foot in front of the other.  It’s a slow process.  If you go into it knowing that, and give yourself adequate time, you’ll be successful.  It’s very easy to get frustrated when you don’t see immediate results, whether it be with running, weight loss, or fitness in general.  Don’t look at the scale.  Don’t time yourself at first.  Just go out and try something.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you, find a role model, or a few, and take a step.  For me, that was around the block.  That block turned into 2 miles, then to 5, then to 15, and on to racing and now competing.  Most importantly, the step brought me back, slowly but surely.

What goals do you have for yourself?  What are the risks involved?  Are you willing to be patient, to wait for the results?  What happens if you fail?  How will that feel?  These are all questions I ask myself on a regular basis.  It seems to help me to think about fitness in this way.  There’s always a risk involved.  Then again, there’s always the chance that I might inspire someone along the way.  I guess that makes the risk worth it.

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