Oh for the love of spring activities. I found myself moseying down to the centre of town in Kelowna, BC recently. A mile in any direction sports about from beach volley ball, mountain or trail walking, running, biking, paddling, swimming, golfing – you name it, people of all ages were doing it! Seeing so many “movers and shakers” participating in their own “movement movement” inspired me. My heart smiled as I passed through.
I too was a runner many decades ago. Well a jogger, really. I participated in a multitude of 10 kilometre (10k) fun runs and a couple of 20ks. That’s the extent of me actually doing a marathon – adding smaller races together to equal one big one. I would aim to beat my personal best time. I usually ended up in the last quarter of the group. Truly though, I’m not very athletic, not flexible enough to touch my toes on the first try, not really strong with my spaghetti arms as appendages. Nonetheless, I move, I stretch, I lunge, I burpee and I lift weights. I’m more like a tortoise, using the slow and steady strategy to win the race – my race.
When I took up jogging in my “big-boned” teen years, I distinctly remember that first time out. My Dad mapped a one-mile route to get me started. What I thought would be a cinch in the car felt like a one-mile marathon on the street – feet pounding, thighs rubbing, sucking in wind with a sharp stitch in my side. Am I there yet? What, another block to go? Oh the pain!
Being a hard-headed Italian, I was too proud to stop. As the weeks passed during those early stages, jogging that one-mile became easier. Soon, I yearned to do two miles then three, then four…
Jogging taught me the importance of setting goals and the euphoric sense of accomplishment when I reached them. It’s symbolic for any goal you make in life. If you are standing at the starting line of a marathon-long type challenge, break it down into blocks and tackle one block at a time. In time you’ll be meeting personal goals that add up to significant change over time and will stick with you for good.
My exercise regimen has morphed through the decades. I used to jog; now I walk. Whether you’re an iron-woman Viking or someone content with walking, the important thing is that you do something, anything. Our bodies were meant to move; we’re meant to run, walk, jump, dance, ski, rollerblade, swim and saunter, although some better than others. Neighbourhood malls are safe-haven walking trails for fair weather types. If you haven’t already done so, join in. There really isn’t any excuse not to participate especially this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s true: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out my ebook, Skinny on Slim, the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.