Yesterday I went out for a “wog.” I guess first I should explain that a wog is a word I made up that from walk + jog, because I’m no runner, despite my efforts. I’ve been following a Couch to 10k training app on my phone and things had been going well. Challenging, but feeling good. The sun was shining, the weather was especially warm for a N.C. winter and I felt energized- ready to tackle this week’s challenge! But less than halfway through, I was dragging. My legs felt like lead, I had a cramp in my side and all I wanted to do was throw my “running” shoes into the street and go take a nap.
I let myself wallow in the self-pity of what I deemed a wasted trip to the gym for about 15 minutes before going to pick up my 4-month-old daughter from the gym daycare facility. I walked in and saw her chubby cheeks inflate with a smile as she saw me from across the room. My heart melted. I scooped her up, kissed her cheek and suddenly got some perspective.
Today wasn’t a failed wog. I had momentarily lost sight of the bigger goal. My goal isn’t to set a record speed in a 10k; it’s to make sure I am able to run alongside my daughter’s bike when she’s learning to ride in a few years. My goal isn’t to run 20 minutes straight without walking, it’s to maintain the ability to dance with my husband at our 50th anniversary celebration.
I don’t exercise for medals, trophies or recognition (good thing, since I don’t have any of those). I don’t choose healthy, homemade meals over fast food cheeseburgers because it’s easier (it’s not always). I don’t choose an extra hour of sleep over Gossip Girl because I don’t care about what is going on between Chuck and Blair (because I do care). I choose these things because I want to live my best life (sorry to steal your line, Oprah).
Living, to me, isn’t about simply breathing for another day; it’s about experiencing the ordinary moments of everyday life with vitality. I won’t be able to savor the moments of my life if I’m deprived of energy, can’t walk outside without getting winded or am reliant on prescriptions to make me feel good.
For me, health isn’t about fitting into a certain jean size or depriving myself of pizza (which I could never do- I LOVE pizza), it’s about treating my body with love and respect and finding a balance so I feel my best and, therefore, can give my best to being a wife, a mom, and a friend.
I share my journey on my blog because I want to show others that healthy living is doable and want everyone to experience the joy of how good it feels when you are taking care of yourself. All it takes is making one healthy decision, and then making another. Because we all deserve to enjoy the moments of our lives and those moments are best enjoyed with a healthy heart and healthy body.
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