This is going to be a series of 3 blogs. This is new to me so bear with me if it becomes confusing. I am just learning and hoping to only get better as I write and write some more.
It’s been three years, closer to four years since I lost something so important to me. What did I lose you ask. I lost myself. I lost my self esteem.
For two years prior I had found something that I loved. I found a firm ground to stand on. Running. I loved the feeling of sweating for 20-30 minutes, wondering if the run was going to be successful or if I was going to feel defeated because my legs felt to heavy to run for long. It took me a long time to build that endurance to run. Running intervals helped me to build endurance. Showed me what my body was capable of. There was such a satisfaction at the end of the runs knowing that I had pushed a little harder.
After years of exercising and yoyo dieting, I finally found the thing that my body responded to so well. Running. Such a love/hate relationship. I didn’t love running, but running loved me. My body took on a new life of its own. Fitting into pants that I had given up hope on ever wearing. Having curves in places I forgot existed.
Running taught me that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for. It showed me that my mind keeps me from accomplishing things that I am fully capable of doing. My mind tells me I can’t when I really can.
For two years, I took something I wanted and broke it up into bite size pieces. First, I went to the outdoor track and just started. I could barely jog 30 seconds at a time. But no one was watching, I had no one to impress but myself. I kept going back. My lungs would hurt, they would constrict and I would start wheezing. But I chose not to give up. I made an appointment to talk to my doctor. She diagnosed me with exercise induced asthma and gave me prescription for an inhaler. I went home with inhaler in hand. Then I went back to the track with my inhaler. It was still hard. But I wasn’t giving up. I decided that I would take in inside at the local recreation center. Very nervous. I didn’t really want anyone to see how I struggled. But I rationalized that being inside would decrease the pollutants and my breathing would be easier, also running on a treadmill would be easier. And I was right. Before I knew it I was running 1 min intervals. Then 3 minutes. I followed Jeff Galloway’s running program. I made playlist of songs that I knew to be distracting and motivating. I covered the screen with a piece of paper so I couldn’t see the time. I still remember the fear I had the whole week prior to my first 20 minute run. Then the total elation I felt at completing that full 20 minutes. I was flying high for days. Eventually, I didn’t need the inhaler anymore. My lungs had gotten stronger over time. I made sure to run on scheduled days wherever I was. If I was going on a date night out of town, I would check to be sure they had a treadmill so I didn’t miss a day.
What did I learn. That if I can take my goals and break up into time increments, I can accomplish anything I want. That sometimes I might need some help for awhile like with an inhaler until I can do it on my own. Consistency is required. With no consistency, there will be no progress. I learned that by giving my body the exercise it needed with proper nutrition I was operating at my best in all areas of my life.
I also learned that that can be taken away at any time. It happens so suddenly, so fast. Before you know it, you are looking in the mirror at a woman who is sad, frustrated and has lost hope. A woman who has gained weight on her body frame and lost faith in herself. A woman who has stopped putting one foot in front of the other.
You may wonder with all the positive talk about running, how I lost it. Come back for part 2 and I will share with you what happened in a short six month period that shook my world and how I lost myself during that time.