If you’re going to invest any time in reading this, you may want to know a little of my story. It’s your story. It’s your neighbor’s story. It’s my mother’s story. I’m just working to change the ending of mine a little.
I was not an athletic kid. I was a book worm, loved (and still love) to read, and would rather curl up with a good book than do anything that would require sweat. I went through a “chubby” phase in junior high, but quickly outgrew that in high school and was thin enough. Actually, a lot thinner than I thought I was at the time. Anyway, this isn’t a blog about teen-age angst. It’s a journal of my journey as a middle-aged (gasp) woman, on her way to 50, in search of fitness.
My 20’s passed with only sporadic efforts at fitness. Aerobics were the calling card of the day & I’m not the most coordinated dancer around. But, I enjoyed the camaraderie of other young women, then other young mothers as we shared our lives and got to know each other.
When I entered my 30’s, I had yo-yo’d as much as the next person, weight up one year, down the next. I still was focused on a number on the scale, a size in my clothes. I wasn’t worried about my health. After a very stressful personal time in my life, I began to run/walk to relieve stress. It worked, and, bingo, it also helped with my weight issues. The problem was, that like everything I start, I thought I had to go all out. I was going to be fast, thin, win races. So, I did what I see so many young women do, I over trained. I ran too much, too hard, tried to be faster than my body really wanted me to be, and I ended up plagued with injuries and losing the desire to run because it hurt and wasn’t fun. So, I ran less and less. I ran sporadically through my late 30’s and early 40’s, never really developing a set routine.
And, of course, life goes on. I think late 30’s, early 40’s are particularly stressful times in most women’s lives. We’re raising families, working, our parents are getting older and frailer, and we generally think we have to be Super Mom and keep everybody healthy and happy. I know I suffered with Wonder Woman syndrome for years, and still have recurring bouts when I least expect it. My parents grew more and more frail and unhealthy, eventually requiring my sisters and I to take on a lot of their care. We shared the physical duties: doctor’s visits, cooking, giving them their meds, and had someone come in daily to help us with the cleaning and day to day tending. I took on the financial duties. This was such a stressful time in my life, running would have been balm to a weary soul, but I struggled with time management and motivation, as so many women do. Consequently, over the course of about five years, I put on roughly thirty pounds. Right after we put our parent’s in a nursing home, my mom passed away. As difficult as this was, it became a time of healing, of looking to the future and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, spiritually, professionally, physically. This blog will highlight the spiritual and physical journey. I know it’s a blog about running, but my spiritual journey is the biggest part of the whole life journey, so I won’t be leaving it out.
There are a lot of books, blogs, and magazines that highlight people’s journeys to fitness and/or weight loss. Mine may bore you to tears. Please, feel free to look away if it does. This journal is intended for women who have reached a certain age and think that it’s too late to try to get healthy, start a running (or walking) program, or to lose that weight that’s hung around for way too many years. It’s not a how to journal, there are plenty of those out there, waiting for you at the click of a mouse. Anyone is welcome to read it, but the message is from one woman’s heart to another’s. And, to be very honest, it’s mostly for me. To keep me focused and provide an outlet for all those thoughts that clutter my brain during my runs. And, to help me figure out exactly how faith and fitness will work together throughout the remainder of my days to keep me sane.
I’ll share some personal things, but none which will make you (or me) uncomfortable. For instance, I freely share the amount of weight I need to lose, but really, do you need to know what I actually weigh? I don’t think so. As I lose, I’ll let you know how much. I will share my goals with you, some very specific, others more general.
I hope in doing this that I will inspire you to get up and move. Because, truly, if I can do it, anyone can.