“Your posts about your workouts always sound so enjoyable. Heehee.” This is the response from the lovely herecomesgiselle to my post The Grind. I started to type a response, and it occurred to me that it might be worth an entire post.
You know, I actually enjoy working out now. When I was in the military, there was always a number to beat. This looming cloud of a line I had to meet and, hopefully, beat. Now, I have no other goal then do it until I want to stop. I use that time to listen to my body and clear my mind. The only pressure is the pressure I put on me to exceed myself. It’s funny, but, as I got older, I realized that the only pressure that I’ve always had is the pressure I put on me.
When I was young, I was always active. I danced for years, then I fenced. Right after high school, I joined the military. That was the first time that I did not exercise for enjoyment. I had so many sit ups, so many push ups (which I was always great at), and a time to run. The runs always kicked my butt. It was a mile and a half and the fastest I ever ran it was 13:50 which is a 9:22 mile if my math is right (I was 19). That’s still a crappy score in the military, FYI. I then picked up swimming in lieu of running for my last few years.
Now, I run all the time. I’m pretty sure that I could at least tie my fastest score if not beat it, this big monster of a score waiting under my bed or, more aptly, under my plate. The difference is that, now, I run for fun. The only goal is to be a better me, and I will run everyday if it stops the horrible chest pains I used to suffer (OK, I still get some attacks, but they’re a lot lower on the pain scale). I’m going to be a fitter woman, a better mom, and just a better person, because I’m always becoming a better me. I even have almost no hip pain except in really extreme weather. This is pretty awesome. I honestly thought, in early 2013, I might just get a cane in the winter. I’ve lost a lot in 2013 (not weight, but in life), but I gained a lot too.
But the one thing I never expected to gain was a quiet head during my run. I used to spend the first mile or two just thinking about my life, but somewhere in my shuffles I would use that pounding of the pavement to come to a thoughtless place (I had already mastered meditation for pain control). This zen place I found was awesome. I never want that place to go away. I took all the crap from my life, and I stepped on it.
But for all my wordpress buddies, I want you to try this. Take all that shit that’s stuck in your head. All those doubts that you’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, fit enough, or good enough and step on them. Go for a walk and squish them under your feet. Take those haters to the punching bag and hit every bad word that some has ever said about you. Pick up a weight and know that it’s just a manifestation of your baggage and lift it. Just sit and breath and know that it’s OK to let go of the mantle of doubt and fear; let it go out with the hot air of your breath. See, it’s OK to feel those some times but it’s always best to let them go, because everyone is worth more than they’ll ever know. You touch lives even when you don’t see it and it makes the world a little better. I know that not all of my friends out there are atheist, but I think that all we have this when we die is what we leave behind. Even if you don’t agree, I think you also believe that when we leave this world, we should leave something beautiful in our wake.
Come with me for a walk; I challenge you!