Active

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I chose two words at the beginning of 2010: active and story. How these two words played out in my life surprised me. First let me tell you about active.

I have never been a very active person. Not physically, socially or in any way really. I’m not using this as an excuse. It’s how God made me. I’m perfectly content to sit snuggled on the couch with a blanket and a good book. Being the introvert that I am I don’t need a great deal of social interaction. I have a few close friends and I’m content.

I have never enjoyed exercise or any physical activity really. But as I slowly inch closer to 40 my body doesn’t keep weight off as easily. So active was my primary word for the year.

I failed miserably at being active the first half of the year. I tried to get back into a routine of walking and did okay, but age creeping up on me seemed to be halting my metabolism. I give up easily.

Summer arrives and while Squirt is in golf clinic I decide to walk on the treadmill at the fitness center. I also decide to try running. I barely make it one-tenth of a mile and my lungs and shins are killing me. I try several times but always end up with the same pain. So I settle for simply walking. And for about 6 weeks I do pretty good. But something begins to bother me. I’ve never been a runner. I’m the girl who finagled ways to get out of running that mile in the one semester of PE I had to take in high school.

I ask my chiropractor about my shins. Shin splints just as I suspected. He tells me two simple things to do to improve them.

Then the motivation I needed happened. My sister gets engaged. That though is only part of the motivation. While trying to find a dress for her wedding I happen across one at a store where I never buy clothing. I try on a size ten. It fits, but is a smidge snug. My mother advises me to get the size twelve.

I won’t repeat the thoughts slashing through my mind at that moment. This is a family friendly blog after all. I bought the size ten.

So I begin again trying to run. A tenth of a mile during my three mile walk. The two simple things recommended for the shin-splints work. The pain is much less and decreases each time I run. Slowly I try building up my distance.

By this time it is September and time for my sister’s engagement photos. She was so skinny I knew I had to kick it in gear. I couldn’t be the pudgy sister in the photos.

Determination set in and every few days I added more running. I also went up to a total of 4 miles run/walk five or six days a week. Soon I was up to half mile intervals.

And to my surprise the weight started melting off. My metabolism had been jump started. My dress fit great for the wedding.

But I didn’t give up. Even after the wedding I stuck to it. I never weighed before I started running so I’m not sure about exact weight lost, but it’s close to fifteen pounds. Two pants sizes down. I even miss it on days when I don’t run. I can walk up stairs or walk around all day on a field trip and never have to catch my breath.

I had a set back the weekend before Thanksgiving. Somehow I hurt my ankle. It seemed okay on Monday so I ran/walked pushing harder. Bad idea. The ankle was unhappy. I am still not sure how I injured it, but running on it must have ended up spraining it. It was swollen and bruised. Being the week of Thanksgiving and the Alabama/Auburn game I couldn’t keep off my feet. After three weeks of trying to stay off of it, it felt well enough to start back. Fortunately my metabolism didn’t slow down too much during the three weeks off and I’m back to running the distance before the injury. I only run a mile at a time and I alternate running/walking which seems to be the key to the metabolism boost.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty stinking proud of myself. I never thought I would be able to run. I know though that none of it is done on my own. Most of my running is done while praying. Never could I have done this in my own strength or determination.

A friend shared a quote with me when I first started running. I don’t know who to give credit to, but I say it to myself often when exercising.

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

It has been painful, but I am stronger for it. For every step I run a little less weakness, a little bit stronger. I’m not kidding myself though. It’s not my own strength. And for that I’m thankful.

Now how to tell about story? Until next time.