|I thought this picture was representative of what I am trying to do.|
Bring back some of the person that I was before.
Connect the dots with walking.
Walking for me has been an on-again, off-again habit. I started running back in my 30's. I was younger and all my body parts cooperated without complaint (looking back I am amazed how little I appreciated that then.) I was a hobby runner. I ran about 2 miles several times a week.
On those runs I discovered a few things about me and exercise.
- I feel better within a week. It happens just that fast.
- I improve in time and speed quickly.
- I sleep better.
- I am happier.
- I love the natural rhythm of running.
Also in my 30's I discovered that:
- Regardless of all the positives exercise gave me, I always stopped. Always.
In my 30s, however, the benefits weren't so in-your-face important. After all, I was 33, 35, 37 ... and I didn't need to do anything to feel better or look better or be normal. I wasn't disintegrating before my very eyes. I was going to live forever - every 30 year old knows that!! So why work up a sweat if the person I see in the mirror is just fine!! (The logic of 30 year olds!)
So I stopped.
So I stopped.
In my 40s, the person in the mirror was less sure about living forever. I tried running again. Mistake! My knees popped, my lower back spasmed, and my plantar faciitus (foot/heel pain) began ... all were a constant reminder that pounding the cement was probably not a good idea for me. But still I tried, because I was never very good at listening to my body. After a few falls and injuries that benched me, I stopped running, but tried walking.
I know, I know. There are ways of working into a running routine safely, but that didn't happen. (The logic of 40 year olds is ... I am still 30. I don't need to do anything special. I am still "young.")
So walking it was, and walking gave me all the same positive benefits.
But still, I stopped.
In my 50s the reality of the physical decline was hard to ignore. And now I knew I wasn't going to live forever. But I still had another 100 good years ahead of me. I also saw more of my future watching my mom struggle with the aging process that was complicated by her inactivity. So I "fixed" my feet with prescription orthopedics, bought expensive walking shoes, and put time aside to walk regularly.
And guess what happened ... (all together now), "She stopped."
Now I am in my 60's. The road ahead doesn't look any rosier that it did 10 years ago. Regardless, I tried to keep walking, but it was an off-again, on-again kind of thing! All the benefits I know by heart, all the consequences of non-movement clearly understood ... all the excuses have been used up.
So I am walking the roads again.
Next time: Talk the Walk - Mind Games