I jogged along one of the local greenways this morning. The sky was overcast. There was a light fog still hanging in the treetops. A misty rain cooled the air. And I smiled.
I could hear the birds singing over the sounds of The Dave Matthews Band and The Eagles keeping me company on my iPod. I watched rabbits and tiny squirrels secreting away found treasures as they searched along the path I followed. I ached to explore the geocaches I knew were hiding nearby, but I stuck to my plan for the morning and pushed myself just a bit harder than I had on my last run.
It seemed easier today - day seven of my new fitness routine. Perhaps because the sun wasn't beating down on me. Perhaps because I wasn't pushing a jog stroller filled with 31+ pounds of preschooler. Perhaps because the exhilaration of being outdoors made it fun to push myself just a bit farther than I thought I could go.
But the most important part of it all? I smiled. About exercise. About sweating (ick!). About being outdoors, near nature. Each of those, for me, is its own accomplishment. I'm not an outdoorsy girl. I'd like nothing more than to cook and scrapbook and craft all day long. Indoors. With air conditioning. But none of that is going to help me be fit and healthy enough to chase my kids in the backyard for hours on end, to ride bikes when they are older, or to just have the energy to do whatever fun thing it is we want to do.
I'm opening myself up here. Telling you about my 'secret' new hobby.
My son asked me, as he scootered along beside me on my first or second run, why I was running. I told him that I wanted to be healthy enough to be able to play outside with him and not get tired. That's just one reason, though. I also want to take off some of the pounds I've added over the last several years. I don't like the way I look in a mirror, and my mind's eye sees me in a totally different body. The body that I want back. Yet another part of the story is that I want to be a better role model to my kids. We are turning off the tv (and computer, and video games) and going outside more. We have joined a pool for the summer, and the kids will be taking swim lessons. We will be buying a lot of sunscreen this year. No matter. That cost is just a small investment in what's hopefully going to be a lifestyle change around here.
I'm learning to run and I'm having fun. I never imagined I'd say those two things in the same sentence. And never, ever, with a smile.
I have a goal in mind, but I'm not quite ready to share it publicly. I'll keep you posted on the ups and downs (as I'm sure I'll have some of both). For now, the clouds have moved on, the sprinkles are gone, and the sun is shining. It's time to unplug and get outside!