Saturday was a landmark day! I went for my first run in 8 months and BOY was it a high! There are only two things that could get me to take that long of a break from running – pregnancy or a serious injury. This time, Baby #3 was the cause of my running hiatus and at 3 weeks postpartum, I was thrilled to feel good enough to officially hit the road again. I’d kept up with the elliptical machine and strength training during my pregnancy, but running was against my doctor’s orders. And running is what I’d been longing to do.
I firmly believe that the key to having regular exercise in your life is to find things that you love to do – activities that draw you to them. If you hate to run, then you are not going to get out there every day and log the miles. You’re going to pull the covers over your head and say “maybe tomorrow.” So while this post is about my love of running, I hope you’ll use it as inspiration to find what YOU love. Maybe it’s tennis, or Jazzercise, or the Wii Fit, or kickboxing, or spinning, or WHATEVER turns you on. I urge you to keep exploring options until you discover something that lights you up. Because when you do, you will never look back. That activity will call your name, drawing you out of bed or out of your office and into the gym or onto the field. And you will willingly, gladly, eagerly respond.
How do I know this? Because I absolutely love to run. Ever since I first discovered the mood-enhancing, endorphin-releasing, calorie-torching power of a long run on a warm sunny day 13 years ago I’ve been hooked. I’ve dabbled in all sorts of distances from the rather long (including several marathons – 26.2 miles each) to the rather short (like Saturday’s run) and everything in between. No matter the distance (okay, maybe except for those last few miles of a full marathon) I love every single second that I’m out there; I think better, feel better, look better and am a better wife-mother-daughter-friend when I am running regularly. It’s not about the distance or the speed for me; it’s really just about being out there! And often, about with whom I’m sharing the road.
Some of my closest friendships have been built on running trails as we’ve logged miles and shared the humdrum fabric of our day-to-day lives. We’ve worked through significant life decisions, comforted one another, and slain demons together during these runs. Laughter, tears, and quiet companionship each have had their place as the seasons have changed and our lives have marched on.
I ran solo on Saturday. I’m not fully back up to speed yet and my running friends would be seriously slowed down if they were to run with me right now. Being out there alone is fun in a different kind of way – I’m focused on the exhilaration of breathing and moving and feeling the wind on my face. It’s pure running. But I’m glad that one day soon, I’ll hear footsteps landing next to mine and there will be new stories to mark the miles.
Photo Credit: The Running Bug