Fitness is a priority for me. Now…don’t stop reading…haha. Let me tell you my spin on it. Yes, there are all the advantages of weight loss and maintenance and good health, etc. – but, we all know that. I move because it opened up my world.
When I was in college, I started running. In fact, I had the first pair of “running” shoes ever sold by Nike to the public. I LOVED it! I ran all the time which wasn’t exactly healthy, but I was 19. I was abusing my body in all kinds of ways. I ran, drank copious amounts of alcohol, smoked, went to school full time and had 2 part time jobs. Eventually, I burned myself out on all those fronts, but the running would come back to me because of what it gave me.
I started seeing an acupuncturist when I was in the depression stage of the grieving process after my 2007 divorce, and I started to get my energy back. I’ve learned this about acupuncture. When I have treatments, my body starts to tell me what it needs. And I started to get this urge to run. But, running can be lonely, and I so needed to be with people, women especially. I found Mark Higginbotham and his Memphis in Motion group.
Mark trains new runners to complete marathons and half marathons with a walk/run program. Those Saturday morning long runs became my life preserver! The rare times I woke up and didn’t want to go, I would think about how I was going to miss Madelene, Stephanie, Ellen, Billie and all the other gals I ran with. Now, mind you, we ran together for hours on those long runs. There is a lot that women can talk about during that time. And we laughed our asses off–literally.
But, what began to happen is I got me back. My soul started to wake up and connect. I started wanting to eat right so I would feel better for those runs. I developed a routine for my life which gave me some structure and a focus. I couldn’t even begin to think of rebuilding my life as a single -heaven forbid- woman, but I was doing it in the context of rebuilding it with the goal of running a marathon. During that time, my depression subsided, largely from the exercise and eating better and just moving through the grieving process. And I had fun!! The running was social, and I discovered that people did like me–imagine that!!
I ran my first marathon in October 2009 in Chicago. I ran it with one of my new friends, Ashley Echols. Two friends of mine, Staci Trekles and Irene Martin went with me and volunteered at the 13 mile aid station. It was so fabulous to get hugs from them halfway!
I don’t really have a desire to do full marathons anymore, but I do know that running opens up a world for me naturally that I don’t always know how to create without it. And, maybe running isn’t for you..but SOMETHING is. What is it that your body or your soul keeps saying…DO….?? There’s a reason, and you have a wisdom within that makes no sense from the outside. Trust it and move on it. What can it hurt?
Discussion: What is it that you think speaks to you as something to help you move forward? What’s stopping you? What’s motivating you?