I wanted to share a little personal achievement with all of you, but first you need some backstory to fully appreciate it.
I have never been terribly athletic. It was the combination of not being able to do something well the first time and little natural interest. (Equestrian sports aside, of course. For those I have both aptitude and interest.) I was the child who hated PE. The child who was always one of the last to finish that dang 600 m. run. (Oh, how I loathed the 600.) The child who preferred sitting and reading to just about anything else. It was a good thing I was also blessed with a fairly high metabolism to make up for my sedentary preferences.
Fast forward to a body who gave birth to a set of large and full-term twins combined with heading rapidly towards age 50. (For those of you a little ahead of me, you know exactly what's coming, don't you?) You see, it seems that as we age our metabolism can slow down a bit. Okay, a lot. It also seems that at the same time our metabolism is slowing down, hormone levels are deciding to kick it up a notch, or ten. It makes for a rather toxic cocktail.
All this is to say why last summer, I decided that I had to something to if not reverse, at least stem the affects a bit. I really felt as though God was nudging me to run. I would have this little voice say to me, "You should start running." My reply to that little voice was always, "What are you insane (and since I was seeming to talk to myself, that was a valid question.) I don't run." And that statement was true. I didn't run. Ever. This conversation played itself out more than a few times until one day I found myself in the store buying running shoes.
Well, having spent money on those shoes, I felt as though I needed to use them... at least a little bit. So, without telling anyone what I was doing, I started. As I've already told you, I've never been in great shape. When I started I could only (barely) run one block and then had to walk the next. Over time I could run two blocks, walking the next, and so on and so on.
So I find it nothing short of amazing that last week I discovered that I could run the entire mile and a quarter.
Other than the fact that I am pretty amazed, why I am sharing this with you? Mainly it's because the difference this regular exercise has made in my mental health. I can't say that I have noticed a significant change in dress size (which, truly is why I do this), but I keep going because of the change in my outlook on life. There really is something to this exercise-thing. I feel better about myself and that spills over into all sorts of things. I notice a huge difference in the days where I run and the days where I don't. I just cope better.
And now I come to the real point of this post. If you find yourself in a similar situation, try getting out and starting some sort of exercise. I don't have anything to sell you, it just has made a pretty significant difference in my being able to deal with life. For the record, I still don't like it. I am never going to be a marathon runner. I find it dreadfully dull and cannot wait to be done. I make it marginally more bearable by putting language CD's on my iPod and listening to that. But I keep doing it because of how I feel afterwards. The running may be boring, but it certainly makes the day go better.