A little over a year ago I decided to make exercise a real priority in my life. The reasons were both vain and virtuous. Baby had really cut back on her nursing and without that extra 500 calorie a day milk making burn the number on the scale was starting to creep up. And I just felt better, so much better, physically and mentally with regular exercise. I am usually the kind of girl who is good with moderation; I can eat just two cookies or a handful or chips. I found that exercise was different for me. When I aimed to work out three times a week I clocked in twice. When I aimed higher for five times a week I might manage three. Moderate exercise was leading to inadequate exercise. So somewhere around the beginning of last summer I quietly decided that my goal would be to exercise every single day – no excuses. I even put it on my to-do list every day so it was there staring me in the face every time I checked my phone. I wanted exercise to become a habit; something that I wouldn’t want to skip – like brushing my teeth. Most weeks I don’t manage every day but that’s OK because I really do exercise A LOT now. It’s taken me a year but I’ve finally gotten to the point where if feels strange to have a day where I don’t get a workout in. Exercise isn’t a joy every day but more often that not it is. Even when it’s not a transcendental experience it’s always pleasant – it no longer feels like a chore. I also find awesome things happening when I run. When I run I feel like a good mother. I am excited to come home to my kids. I find my thoughts drifting to all the good things going on in my life. It’s when I run that I feel most able to conquer going to medical school.
Kids brag all the time but being vocal about our accomplishments seems to be beaten out of us, especially women, by the time we reach adulthood. I am proud of this accomplishment dammit. I’ve run and danced and 30 day shredded through crematorium arthritis, a partially torn calf muscle, varicose vein surgery, plantar faciitis, and an evil blood blister that, while the smallest of my injuries, has been the most painful of all. I ran on the days I had exams. I danced when there was a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. When I went to visit my parents or the in-laws my running shoes came along. I love that when my doctor asks about my exercise and I can honestly respond, I run 3 to 4 miles 3 to 4 times a week plus a couple of cardio dance classes each week.
Yesterday I did something the old me never could have imagined she would want to do. I went on a running “date” with Husband (running and date: two words I never would thought could coexist in the same sentence). We hiked straight up a local mountain and then ran back down for a total of nearly 6 miles. Then we went out and feasted on pizza (I’m certainly not losing weight through dieting). It was exhilarating and I definitely see more trail running in my future. I know it was a fantastic workout because my quads scream with intense soreness every time I use them to stand up and sit down. I haven’t had that feeling since I was on the volleyball team in college! Today, with all that soreness I could have easily taken a day off. Instead I put moleskin on my foot, laced up my running shoes and went out for a jog.