Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Follow that Sister!

I am not going to write another post about how lame and unmotivated I am; I've decided enough with the self-loathing already. I'm almost forty and I've done some pretty kick-ass things and been through some stuff, but my modus operandi has been to berate myself, flogging and lashing in all manner of a monk in that Name of the Rose book. To wit: I rationalized, for over a year, that I am overweight because my subconscious self associated being fit and thin with my unhappy times living in a one bedroom walk-up across from a bar and alongside the railroad tracks (you know which side). Therefore, once I moved away from my steady diet of gin and tonics, trail runs, and bad dudes, I got, well, you know...fat and happy. I repeated this logic out loud to a girlfriend this summer and she furrowed her brow, and said, "Or, it could be that you had a baby and did a doctoral program and you let your physical regimen slide along the way." Or that. And, she continued, it's normal. Life happens. We fall out of good habits even as we are forming other good habits. Well, now she went and got all wise on me, like a good girlfriend! I let this new logic marinate in my brain for a few months. Still not lacing up the running shoes, mind you, but marinating nonetheless...

Fast forward a couple months and I'm packing my running shoes into a suitcase along with my swim suits and sunblock because I promised one of my Sole Sisters that I would run on the beach with her on our trip to Aruba. This Sole Sister I'm referring to is the one who runs marathons, half-marathons, and races in which she sets Guinness World Records for most runners with Santa hats on. And, did I mention that she does it while wearing the most kick-ass, brightly-colored running skirts (yes, running skirt! She's that hip!) and a high-tech GPS system strapped to her wrist. This sister does not play. Did I also mention that this is the sister who, a little over a year ago was not a "runner"?

This same sole sister has sent me inspirational emails, phone calls, running maps in my neighborhood, and a books with titles like Run Like a Mother and Slow Fat Triathalete to send me not-so-subtle messages about picking up running again. I think she remembered, perhaps more vividly than I, that running was a big part of my life for a long time and that I can do it again.

So, after a few days of playing on the beach, drinking fruity drinks in the kiddy pool while our kids splashed and played, and staying up late catching up, we set our alarms, laced up our shoes, and hit the beach at sunrise. I was nervous. I had not run with this sister in a few years, and I was scared that I wouldn't make it past the first grass hut without shin splints or side cramps. But, Sister assured me that "Garmin" would alert me with interval walking spells to make this first run bearable. Location calculated, shoes tied, and we were on our way, running on the packed sand as the tide licked our feet, my lungs opening up with each stride. My sole sister doesn't know this, but I was marveling at her with each step, looking at her tall, muscular frame, blonde ponytail swish-swishing back and forth and aforementioned kick-ass bright skirt moving with the breeze. As the tide came closer, we had to fall in single file and I followed her. I couldn't help but admire her as she run ahead, thinking of how far she has come in her journey to become a bona-fide runner. She looked so strong. I think we ran just a little over a mile that morning--far less than she would have run had she been on her own, but I was reminded that morning that the most important thing is to get out and move.

I've gone out once since then and did the run-walk method she recommended. I downloaded "Run Keeper" for my iPod, also her suggestion. Now to find a sassy running skirt...

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. We've all been there, you're right, it's just about 'get out and move" Good Luck :)