I wrote the first Phase Three post a year and a half ago and I still find myself scratching my head about this stage of life. I guess if I could categorize my philosophy on this era of life, I would call it the “Why Not?” stage.
I’m not old, but I’m not getting any younger either and anything I might be thinking about doing, or have always wanted to do, will never be easier than it is now.
So, I started running.
I have never been either active or athletic. Ever! I was the brainy girl in school, literally the last one chosen for every team (unless it was raining and we were doing math quizzes in place of recess.) I’d much rather read, sew, write or do anything else but move in any capacity that might resemble exercise. But a few months before my 50th birthday, I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app on my iPod, bought some running shoes, struggled into my sweats and started.
I can’t really say what came over me – except that I had always rationalized my lack of activity by blaming my surroundings. I’d visit beach towns or lovely rural areas and there would always be people outside, jogging, walking, biking or skating and I’d tell myself, “If I lived in a place like this, I’d do that too.” And then I’d go home to the high desert and feel smug that the heat, or cold, or wind, or traffic was sufficient reason to stay comfortably inside.
Then we moved. To a small, quiet, beautiful rural community in the mountains. In fact, I was living in the very place where I said I’d do that too. And I’m looking at turning 50. And I think, “Why not?”
So, like I said, I downloaded the app, struggled into my sweats and set out.
Oh, it was brutal. The first week was alternating 60 second jogs with 90 second walks. I huffed, I stumbled, I turned beet red. I sat with Ziplocs of mixed veggies on my knees when I got home. I limped for weeks.
I kept going.
I repeated each week’s program at least twice, sometimes three times, before I was ready to move on to the next. I ditched the app at Week 5 (about 12 weeks in), turned on the music and just ran. But when I say I ran, what I really mean is: I lurched, I stumbled, I gasped and panted and sweated. There is nothing glamorous or sexy about it.
Three years later, it’s still not pretty, but I’m still running.
More to come…