Friday, May 16, 2014

A journey of a thousand miles...

On Sunday May 4th, I started a journey.

It began at 6:00 am on that day and I'm still running it.

In a previous life, {read as "before I had kids"} I used to run regularly.  I started very begrudgingly in college, my second semester when it was my turn to take PE 100 - affectionately termed "RUN 100."

The goal of this torture class was to prepare students to run 3 miles or 30 minutes, whichever came first at the end of the semester.
Needless to say, I took this "pass/fail" rather than for a grade that might further tank my grade point average.

I did continue to run after I passed this class {by the skin of my teeth}, but it was never something I particularly enjoyed or felt good at.  It was something I did WITH my husband, because HE enjoyed it and I wanted to be with him.

Fast forward to today and my "journey" hasn't taken me too far.  If I had to imagine it on a map, I'd say I haven't moved far from the starting "dot."

BUT, this Mama likes her sleep.  More specifically, this Mama tends to stay up late working and doing housework when everyone else is in bed, so I've never been an early riser.

EVERY DAY starting on Sunday May 4th, I've gotten up at 5:30 or 6:00 am and gone for a run or a walk, followed by an indoor workout upon my return.

Now, I must clarify: the term "run" is used rather loosely here! My first attempt included running "segments" that were as short as 38 seconds and no longer than 2 minutes. And I struggled to get to those times because I never imagined that I was so far removed from the "runner" that I once was.

So, while my journey is just beginning, here are some things I've learned while running {or walking, depending on the day}:

  • Sometimes you have to put yourself first and it has to be ok.  No Mommy guilt! It's like the airplane analogy: when the oxygen masks drop, put yours on first so you are better equipped to help others.  If I don't take care of my body, eventually my body will not allow me to take care of my family. In addition, my days go so much more smoothly when they start earlier and I can get a jump on the day BEFORE the kids arise.
  • The first step is always hard no matter when your last "run" was, but if you don't take it, you can't make progress and you can't reach a goal.
  • Looking at nature first thing in the morning,  I'll never understand how the existence of God can be questioned. Wonderful sights and sounds greet me each morning and they've made their way into this post via my iPhone camera.

  • Running at 6:00 am is WAAAAY different this time of year than trying to run at 9:30 am! I won't be trying that too many more times!
  • Sometimes, you just need a day off.  On Wednesday, the only day so far that I have not run or walk, I stayed in the bed just a tad too long and my kids were both up before I could make it out the door.  Instead I worked out with my hand weights and did my "floor" exercises, while my kids proceeded to make fun of me.  But guess, what? Thursday's run was my best one yet!
It's hard to tell in the picture, but the clouds looked like rolling ocean waves and they
were actually moving! It was so cool!

  • There are parts of life, that just like running, are not within my control.  Think about what it takes to make an ideal run: for me, it means good running shoes, mostly flat terrain (not in my neighborhood!), no dogs chasing me, and music whenever possible.  But is EVERY run ideal? No! Not even close! There is no way to ensure life is always "ideal" either.  Just today, I took someone's words and began to internalize them.  Blaming myself for something that wasn't my fault.  A situation that, in fact, I had no control over at all.  Running is helping me learn to let go.
  • Practice never makes perfect because there is no such thing, but it does make progress.  So when the going gets tough, as it does daily, I tell myself that by persisting, trying my best, and pushing farther whenever I can is progress no matter how small or slow.
  • And lastly, have you ever realized just how many earthworms are in the road first thing in the morning? If they love dirt so much, why in the world are they on the blacktop? So maybe the lesson for me is, unless you want to get squashed, stay out of the road! LOL!
Do you run? If so, what's your favorite tip?

While I have seen some progress in my journey, it is largely frustrating.  If you have any ideas that will make things easier, please share.

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