Where once, I measured my distance in kilometers, now I aim for the tree at the bend and then, when I reach it, set aim for the next landmark/tree/bench/bend in the path to keep me moving ahead. I run. I walk. I run. I walk. But always I keep moving ahead.
I am rebuilding my muscle strength, reawakening my cellular memory to the act of running.
It is there. Those cells that remember the joy, the exhilaration, the sense of accomplishment in running. It is just that for a long time, they have lain dormant. They have stayed asleep.
I began last weekend. For months now (maybe even years) I have been telling myself, “I have to start running again. I miss it. I need to get in shape again.”
And my critter voice has responded. “Tomorrow. Not today, you’re too…. tired, hungry, busy.” Or. “It’s too cold. Rainy. Late. Dark. Early…”
Last Sunday, when I thought about running, my critter stirred and started its litany of reasons why not. But this time, instead of letting it have its say, I told myself to ‘STOP!’ GET TO IT!
I realized that it was my mind that was making me falter. My thinking that was talking me out of lacing up my runners and getting to it.
So, I decided to quit thinking about it and just — Get to it!
It is working. Each day as my critter has stirred and begun to chatter, I have simply stopped it, dead in its tracks, and laced up my runners. I’ve quit thinking about getting out on the trail, and gotten out on the trail.
It’s been wonderful!
Yesterday, as Alexis and I ran ahead of TZ who had stopped to take a photo along the path, I thanked her for giving me a new goal, something to look forward to for the future, I told her.
What’s that she asked.
To still be able to enjoy this experience of running around the Seawall when I am 80, I told her.
It is a good goal. A laudable one. An important one.
It is a new thought for me. To look that far into the future and decide what I want to be able to do physically to ensure my life has richness, depth, meaning.
I want to be able to run fast. To enjoy the feeling of my body being fit, in shape, flexible, supple.
I want to be able to get outside with my daughters and enjoy being physical with them.
And the only way it’s going to happen in 20 years is to ensure I’m taking care of myself now and building the muscle capacity to keep doing what I’m doing now, then. And if I stay stagnant now, I will be even more stagnant in 20 years.
Time to get to it!
And as Alexis said, “Not just with me mom. With your grandbabies too!”
They are not in the world today, but they will be one day and I agree, wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to run and play and truly enjoy all the world has to offer as they grow up? Wouldn’t it be amazing to be outside, alive and fully present, my body strong and capable of running after them?
I can do it. It will be so as long as I stop my critter’s chatter and quit thinking about doing it and just do it. As time passes and I continue strong and my critter’s chatter fades into the distance of the past, my goal will become my present. Step by step, day by day as I continue to lace up my runners and get to it.