You guys, I ran six miles on Christmas Day. Six miles! It is the first time, in my entire life, that I have exercised on a major holiday. And I’m thirty-five (freaking) years old.
In fact, when my in-laws visited on that day, they saw my water bottle at the end of our long lane and slowed down; they then looked around and saw me jogging up the hill toward our driveway. I could have stopped. The old me would have saw it as a sign to throw in the towel. Heck, I’d have caught a ride to our house (long driveway, save the effort). But current me, I kept on running. And I logged another three miles before turning in my lane to join in the second celebration of the day.
And you know what? We had fun, opening gifts and making memories. My most meaningful gift that day was one of time and effort, the gift of intentionally moving my body.
It may sound silly to you, and that’s ok. But please know, it is a big deal for me. Since a knee injury my senior year of high school, I have struggled with moving my body consistently. More specifically, exercising. For almost seventeen years, I allowed that injury to take something from me. It’s ludicrous to think about it now, but I really felt like it took the chance to play soccer in college. Would that have been cool? Heck yes. Would I have enjoyed those types of friendships, experiences, challenges? You bet. But did it (or does it) define me as a person, as a woman? No. Does it impact my family, my ability to be an entrepreneur, my drive or determination at thirty-five? Hell no.
This month, I’ve committed to running and/or walking three miles every day. It was a challenge posed by Robin Arzon of Peloton fame (@RobinNYC) – she calls it #3for31. This time last year, three miles was my long run. Like literally, as I was out of breath, praying to the big man upstairs, all but doubled over, asking how much longer?! And two years ago? I would have struggled walking that far once a week, if I’m being honest.
Who am I anymore? Have I turned into a runner? I certainly do not look like one. I’ve haven’t moved my body consistently for over a decade and a half and had two babies along the way. I’m somewhere between a size 16 and size 14. And that’s after putting in a lot of work, for over a year, day after day - and dropping three dress sizes, you guys.
I’m challenging you to look in the mirror, to be vulnerable with yourself, to identify the limiting belief(s) that are holding you back. My guess is that injury or accident or bad decision from the past made you stronger.
This journey we’re on, we are built for it. Let's keep moving forward, one step at a time. Today, tomorrow, the next day.
P-S- If you are just starting an exercise regimen, or are changing up your routine, please consult a professional. And if this is a season of rest or recovery for you, please take it seriously. Your health, your heart, they matter.