Today I ran 3.25 miles. You read that right: miles. Now, for those of you who exercise frequently, 3.25 miles may not seem so daunting. However, for me, it was definitely a milestone.
You see, way back in high school I was on the track & field team, weighed about 40 pounds lighter, and ran pretty regularly. By no means was I a star athlete. In fact, I joined the track team to “get in shape”. But during a typical practice we ran at least 2-3 miles before beginning our intensive training. I wonder, at times, how I was able to maintain such a rigorous regimen. Nevertheless, the work-outs under Coach Chisholm helped to instill an appreciation for working out and being healthy.
In my college years…
I didn’t gain or lose the “freshman 15” as so many of my friends experienced. I was generally the same weight throughout my time as an undergraduate. And, I worked out fairly regularly, maybe once or twice a week. But, I did not pay too much attention to my weight nor my physical appearance as I was a bookworm and was more concerned about making A’s and getting into graduate school compared to clothes, clubbing, or boys. Well, maybe not the boys.
In graduate school…
I realized that my metabolism started to take a nosedive after my 25th birthday. And, on top of that, I found out that I was lactose intolerant. The latter was such a shock to my system as I loved milk and cheese and cream cheese on a bagel and cheese and yogurt and cheese… (you get the picture). I did not cut the dairy out completely–thank goodness for supplemental lactose pills!–and I found an acceptable substitute in soy milk. However, I neglected to increase my level of exercise activity in the face of these new changes with my body. And, as a result, I slowly put on the pounds. But this post is not intended to be about weight. It is more about maintaining a certain level of activity.
In my current work…
I sit. A lot. Often, a large portion of my time is spent in front of a computer. Additionally, when baking, I am typically stationary as I work for hours at a time standing in one place. Only trips to the oven and/or sink break up the monotony. So I had to consider alternatives for counteracting my lack of activity. In reality, however, the only alternative was to resume my exercises. Thus, I was inspired to begin my runs again, not only because I was getting older and wanted to improve my overall health but because I wanted to be active again.
In March, I ran for the first time in over a year. It was so tough getting through that first day. My pounding heart, sore legs, hurting chest, and gasps for air did not help either. However, today, I felt great knowing that I could run for 3.25 miles without collapsing from exhaustion. It is my longest distance to date according to RunKeeper*; and, therefore, it is a mini milestone.
I am always up for a challenge; and maintaining a running routine has definitely been one. But the runs have also made my journey as a small business owner that much easier. How? By recognizing that I can do anything when the commitment is there. And committing to a running schedule has mandated one last important thing: that I prioritize each day’s events so that I have enough time and space to reach another milestone.