Sights and Sounds of Summer, pt. 2 {MILEstones}

Funny Confession Ecard: If you see me running, call the police.

I was a card-carrying member of the “I Do Not Run” club. For anything. Several years ago we had a very short layover in Europe, for which we had to all-out sprint in order to make the flight, and I was ready to miss the flight instead of run that far. For as long as I can remember, I used to say that I couldn’t run past the mailbox, only being facetious, but it was literally true. There’s a lesson in the Power of Words there, but that’s for another post. I figured my husband could be the physical specimen of the two of us, I helped raise seven athletically gifted, fit children, so by default I was permitted to hide behind the wall of insecurity I had erected since I retired my swim team bathing suit from high school. Lately, though, an inner conflict was running at a fever pitch. Knowing that a huge part of my life, exercise, was such a failure for me really began to wear on me. As odd as it sounds, my angst was spiritual in nature. I couldn’t escape thinking, “I’m a teacher; a Bible Study leader. How many times have I encouraged someone to leap out in faith and trust God for His help? Shouldn’t that apply to my being in the best possible shape I can be?”

Deep down, I knew I was given the gift of time to take better care of myself, but I wasn’t sure what it would look like in real life. I am a veteran of many diets, all resulting in minimal success. Finally, earlier this spring, I had some testing done ~ holistic in nature ~ to determine how my body processes certain foods and why my metabolism all but shuts down at will. The doctor gave me great insight into as to the how’s and why’s of some of my struggles, and more importantly, designed a game plan to right the course of my health. I should clarify here that I wasn’t suffering from any health deficit; the greatest manifestation of my body’s struggles was presented by it’s inability to sustain weight loss. So, armed with supplements and a very short list of optimal food choices, I embarked on my determined course of action.

First order of business, he said, was exercise. I was to exercise 30 minutes a day. In my mind, this wasn’t a problem. It swirled around my brain in a foggy, gonna do, pretty soon, I’ll-figure-a-way-to-work-that-in, kind of way, for two months. After two months, I had an appointment to assess my progress, do some further testing and tweak the course of action. When he asked how the exercise was going, my intentions were to find a way to articulate the swirly, fuzzy state of my exercise program and make it sound structured and routine. However, before my brain engaged, my mouth blurted out “give me the reason I need to exercise.” He firmly, yet calmly stated that none of this would work if I didn’t exercise. BAM!!

Within the last year, I began feeling the urge to run, seeing myself running in my mind. Those thoughts usually caught me so off guard, but with my new health plan firmly estabished, I decided there was no better time to start running than now. I’ve joked in my Facebook and Instagram posts that I wouldn’t dare call what I do running. That’s an insult to runners. It barely qualifies as jogging. I call it trotting. It’s slow. It’s deliberate. But I’m moving faster than a walk. I decided to go to the track because it’s much more cushioned than the concrete streets and sidewalks. And I also call myself the Goldilocks of trotters, for I choose the time of day when the weather conditions are near perfect. When I first began, I walked a warm-up lap, and then began trotting the second and third lap. Each day I went, I set out to add at least a half lap, until this past week when I ran my first mile. Ever. Like, all my life I honestly don’t ever remember running a mile. If I ran one in junior high PE, I blocked the pain out of my memory. So, the summer of my 53rd year, I began a fitness routine that involves running. Insert every cheesy it’s never too late to start cliche [here], but it’s true. I doubt there is a satisfactory way to communicate the exhilaration I feel. I can only describe it as an issue with d-e-e-e-p roots being yanked out and trampled and burned in victory. I’m no longer defeated. I’m no longer intimidated. This milestone was for me, indeed, spiritual.




  1. Jill says:

    Just your daughter here beaming with pride…because I just ran a mile and a half (in my 23 years of age) and felt like I might collapse. Just more proof you’re Superwoman. I love you!

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