Hungrier. Tireder. Thirstier. Fitter. Happier. More productive.
So I’ve been consistently working out for a few months now, mixing a few days of strength training with a few days of walking/jogging each week, and I’m definitely feeling the difference. I can easily do reps of exercises now that stymied me before, and I’ve progressed from only walking laps on the track to alternating walking and jogging (soon I’ll be jogging the whole time). Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, I’ve come to look forward to the times in my day I’ve reserved for exercise–and when I say reserved, I mean that I’ve put them on my calendar each week and tried to treat them as sacredly as I would any other meeting or commitment. Recognizing and honoring my own needs feels pretty good. I enjoy getting out of my head and focusing just on my body and what it can do, and throwing a ball against the wall twenty times can feel quite therapeutic when you’ve had a rough day! I also just feel more aware of my body–all those natural needs have increased, so instead of struggling to remember to drink more water, I find myself constantly grabbing for my water bottle. Instead of forgetting to eat breakfast, I’m eating the same muffins I usually bake for my girls to eat. When 5:30 rolls around, I’m starving for dinner.
Training for the Warrior Dash has definitely been the driving motivation, but I’ve also been influenced by our own First Lady, who’s been a fitness inspiration to all of us who want Michelle Obama’s arms or just want to celebrate Michelle Obama’s arms. Whether she’s surprising a jump-rope team, enlisting Beyonce to surprise dancing kids or slam-dunking on the Miami Heat, I love the approach she’s taken to encouraging us all to be healthier. I know that leading a healthier lifestyle has made me a better role model for my kids; last night, Lucy had me doing ballet stretches in the kitchen, and Sophie’s signed up for lacrosse (which she’s never played) and is looking forward to being able to talk about exercise the way Lucy and I do now. To be honest, Sophie is partly signing up because I told her she had to play a sport this year, drawing a hard line I copied from interviews I’d seen with Michelle Obama where she talked about forcing her kids to play sports. Apart from the actual fitness, I know that modeling self-care (a struggle for me) is another important example to give them.
The Dash is in early May, but my sister and I are already talking about our next fitness goals; someday I want to do a color run for sure. Maybe someday I’ll sign up for a softball team or be like my cousin Angie, who’s set herself a goal to climb all 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. Wherever my fitness journey takes me next, I feel stronger and more confident that I’ll able to lead the way.