Several years ago, BeckAY and I worked together in Ohio and became besties. BeckAY is naturally athletic and I really wanted to try a pilates class, so we joined the gym together and met 3 times a week to run and do a class or two. She brought the Gatorade. And damn, I will never ever forget balancing that freaking ball DURING a squatted wall sit for like 10 minutes, next to her. STILL hurts thinking about it.
For months, we kept up our routine. We left work a bit early twice a week and then met on Saturdays. I was running 2.5 miles 3x week before our class. Slowly, this routine became a problem for me. Well, less of a problem for me and more of a problem for my marriage. You see, two things were happening: 1) I was happy, getting in shape, and doing something for my own benefit, and 2) I was cutting it close on time to work all day, go to the gym, pick up the kids from daycare, AND get home in time to fix dinner and do laundry, etc. At the time, I thought something had to go (and no, it did not occur to me that I should punch Shoes in the nose and ask for help, either).
Since then, my head hasn't been in it. Just haven't been invested or remotely interested until BeckAY started training for a half marathon last summer. I started thinking of how I might be able to work a daily run into my schedule as a full-time working single mother. Not an easy task. It wasn't something I thought of every day, but it kept hopping around in the back of my mind (and also, bikini season is approaching, yo).
Then a few things happened all at once. I lost my load when I gained B; I no longer worry about anything. I realized that I have a fantastic amount of confidence now for that same reason. Then, last Monday, it happened.
It wasn't even 5 minutes past 5. I left work, drove the 2 minutes home, changed my clothes in less than 2 more minutes, texted BeckAY and B to have paramedics standing by, grabbed my iPod and I RAN. I felt my feet hit the pavement, stretched my legs to find my gait again.
I ran all the way to the babysitter's house. Actually, I ran 3 blocks farther than her house. And I ran HARD. The wind whipped my hair all over the place. I breathed in the delicious 68 degree air and felt the sun baking my thoughts out of me. I wasn't using energy, I was gaining it. I felt free and alive and insanely put together. Felt like ME.
The next day, I ran 4 blocks more than the day earlier. I'd love to get up to my 2.5 miles 3x week again, but we'll see. For now I'm just running. I don't need to lose weight, but running makes me feel healthy and alive. I am overcome with thoughts and emotions and I just want to run them out. Except this time its become a way to use up happy energy.
So in conclusion, two things are happening now: 1) I am happy, getting in shape, and doing something for my own benefit, and 2) I am still cutting it close on time to work all day, go to the gym, pick up the kids from daycare, AND get home in time to fix dinner and do laundry, etc. But this time, there is a difference. I am strong and independent and free. I am happy and supported. I have a cheerleader who tells me all the time, "Go get 'em, Girl!"
B runs, too. Can't wait to make a habit of a daily run together. THAT will kick ass.