Why Do This?

This is time for me. As my feet hit the pavement or the treadmill, I am ever aware that this measly fifty to sixty minutes belongs solely to me. And how I spend this time has reverberations on every other moment of the day. It is this time that clears my head, it makes me strong. It buffs away the extra nervous energy I always carry. It gives me confidence born partly from exhaustion and partly from the knowledge that I can push through. I can get past something that is really challenging for me. It helps me listen to my children, it helps me hear my family. It helps keep me from losing it on my family.

Since May I have had aching legs, sleepy eyes, but calmer thoughts. Bursts of energy from a quick three mile run. Full body tired from long bike rides. Waking at four to be at the gym by or before five. Every day I wake, I wonder if I will still be able to run, bike, lift weights. Every day is a challenge, a bargain,  a cajoling out of bed. Just five more minutes in bed, just run for five more minutes. It’s amazing how “just five more minutes” can be a reward and a challenge.

Since May I have refocused myself, lied to myself, challenged myself and unearthed myself. I have changed course and purpose. Beginning a journey that came from the desperate longing to lose weight and fit back into my clothes and then changing tracks because of failure. Digging into my own perceptions of body image and, if not getting past them, at least owning it.

Sometimes I lay in bed and picture a future that I can’t do this. How long will I be able to run? Should I take up swimming? As I grow older I watch the people who for so long were my caretakers growing older. I watch how their bodies determine what they can do. I’ve watched people go from stop to totally still. I don’t want to be still. I don’t want to stop. I have too many reasons to keep moving.

That’s why I do this.

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