Good grief. Getting back into a strong weekly exercise routine isn’t as glamorous as it used to be. And by “glamorous” I mean that back in the day I didn’t want to hurl at the top of a massive hill after running 20 minutes…why not?…ah…well you see that’s because, back in the day, I was actually in shape.
Not gonna lie. I will certainly toot my own horn here and say that I was a good athlete. I rowed competitively for 8 years straight (all my love to the ladies and gentlemen from both the Conestoga High School and Washington College crew teams!). It set me in place for some of the most unbelievable life lessons that only the quiet strength of repetition through matching 8 oars as one stroke, 8 bodies in one motion, and 8 minds toward one goal can do for you. It’s an amazing sport if you haven’t tried it yet. Then there was the bike trip in 2007. I cycled across America with 3 friends from college, and our mission (OTHER than to get safely from one side of the nation to the other) was to encourage Americans to quit smoking, and to promote lung health. “If we can ride across America, you can quit smoking.” That was our motto and we actually had an overwhelming amount of pledges. Despite the lactic acid filling our legs as we pumped each pedal to climb the Cascade Mountains in Washington, despite North Dakota’s extreme July heat pounding down on our every move, and despite the threat of massive trucks screaming by us as we pedaled fearfully along the side of the road…it was all worth it.
So yeah, that’s all lovely…but NOW what? I just have to re-train myself. It’s not easy, but looking back on all of the physical pain, the lessons learned, the medals won and lost, the friends made, and the feeling I got when I conquered personal goals – it’s all worth it. Sean, Stella and I all went for a run last Sunday and we successfully took on 5 miles. SO GOOD to say that again. To have both my man and my doggie each running with me was the most inspirational feeling. To keep things interesting, I also ran with Stella this afternoon. I figured, “I did 5 miles two days ago…what’s 3 miles today.” LEGS OF MUSH…THAT’S WHAT! My legs were super sore today. I ran most of it, then started to walk the last mile…and Stella got very confused. She kept looking up at me with that preciously puzzled face like something was wrong. How do you tell your dog “I’m out of shape” when she wants to run like the wind! So after she melted my heart a little, I gave in. We ran the rest of the way home, and we both were thankful.
Inspiration is everywhere. Past, present, and future…it’s everywhere. Rowing, cycling, and even running in past races have all been there for me in my past inspirations.
As for my present inspirations: Sean and Stella are my rockstars. My friends and family who hold exercising and healthy living to such a respectful level – they’re also constants in my life when it comes to inspirations. I also want to give a special shout out to a fellow blogger, friend, and former Washington College co-worker & alumna: Aundra. She has always been an inspiration with her ongoing projects, her blogging, both her meal and home project creations, her love of Zumba, and more recently – her reconnection with running. Check out her blog if you could use a little inspiration as well:
FIT FOR LIFE
That leaves future inspirations. Now, I’m not held to the demands of a competitive team like I once was, I certainly haven’t been fundraising for a cross-country cycling expedition, and I don’t really have any new goals other than simply feeling athletic again. So…where do I look for future success? Two things:
I’ll admit it…I’m addicted to Pinterest. Whatever. At least it’s a healthy addiction! Seriously though, this gives me constant inspiration for future workouts & meals.
The second future inspiration of mine has been this bad boy: Active.com, showing me all of the upcoming races (5k, 10 miler, etc.) in my area. Once I register for a run – I’m immediately held accountable for not only showing up and running the race, but also to prove to myself that I’m still pretty awesome. This page also lets you create your own profile. Pretty sweet! I’m feeling special already.
Between the GLORIOUS weather this summer has brought us so far, the 2012 Summer Olympics right around the corner, and…ohhhh I don’t know….the overall well-being of your heart and soul – find your inspirations. And if anyone needs a running partner – you better let me know!