How To Rise Back Up After Hitting Bottom

 

Staircase going upI still remember how I felt that day.

My son was almost 9 months old, my daughter was two, and motherhood was kicking my butt. I was physically and mentally exhausted. Somewhere between my practice, my children and a blurred recognition of husband and home, I had nothing left. There was too much going on and I was constantly falling behind. Or at least that’s how I felt.

But mostly I was tired of being tired. All. The. Time.

Something had to change. Like my life.

And NOW.

That was 18 months ago.

The day after my I-better-swim-or-I’ll-sink moment, I decided I was going to start running.

The usual resistance ensued. I’ve never done it before, I’m not athletic, it’ll be too hard, what if I don’t stay motivated, blah blah blah.

But I persisted. I managed to stay awake that night and Googled new runners, what to do, how to get started, etc. I soon found what turned out to be the perfect place to start: the Couch- to-5k Running Plan.

At the end of the week, I signed up for a year at the gym by my house, and started my running journey on the treadmill.

This plan, by the way, is fantastic. It starts off really easy and you can’t screw it up. In about 9 weeks, you can go from no running whatsoever to running 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Back to my story. I then joined a group class (for 5K training). I had felt my motivation waning, but I wasn’t ready to give up. I also wanted to meet other runners for support and camaraderie.

The class turned out to be great; my confidence increased while my pant sizes decreased. I wasn’t graceful or fast, but I was having fun and best of all, I was running!

Six weeks later the class ended, yet I kept running on my own. I realized, though, running with other people was really fun, and the accountability factor was priceless. You paid for the class, and people were expecting you!

After a few 5Ks, a friend told me I could train for a Half Marathon. That’s going from 3.1 miles to 13.1!  More importantly, I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the idea of waking up at 5:30am every Saturday for months to train. I thought she was on crack.

As it turned out…she wasn’t.

In January of 2011, I said what-the-hey and joined a running club with hundreds of other people. Why not take the group thing to the next level?

The very same year, I ran several races, including 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, and three (yes THREE) half marathons.

So you see, even a non-athletic, mom of two little ones (one I was still nursing when I started!) and a practice owner can take a physical challenge head on–and survive.

I’d also like to point out that prior to this I had never liked exercising and wasn’t doing much at all. I had a lot of good intentions, but no action. A pretty sad combo.

Since I “discovered” running, I am a huge proponent of it. Actually it doesn’t really matter what exercise you do, as long as you like it enough to keep doing it.

For me, running:

—helped me lose all my baby weight (30 pounds!). I weigh now what I did in college

—gave me time to get out of my kids-work-eat-sleep rut

—gave me energy (HUGE)

—is fun because I met new people and found a setting I liked to keep me motivated

—has become part of my week, every week. I don’t run every day, but it has encouraged me to do other workouts as well, so I don’t get lazy or burn out (so easy to do!)

If you haven’t run, or worked out in a (long) while, I STRONGLY URGE you to start. Today. Everything else is just an excuse, and deep down you know that. Don’t say you’re too busy. That’s the worst excuse (and the least valid) of them all. Our bodies were meant to do more than just eat or sit.

If you want to lose weight, get more energy, take a break from the kids or just plain feel better about yourself, this is not a decision you will regret.

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