Growing up, exercise was not really a priority. I played outside a lot, because we did not have video games or cell phones. I rode my bicycle constantly because that was how we got places. I played soccer for a few years during elementary school, but quickly dropped it when I entered junior high. Not until I was about 38 years old did I figure out that exercise was important. Even then, my husband was the impetus for this decision as I was really looking for something that we could do together to spend some time with each other. His schedule is erratic so I decided that I would start to run with him on his days off. To my horror and shock, I couldn’t even make it around the block. I was truly out of shape. Slowly but surely, I was able to build up over time to 3-4 miles. I don’t run fast or hard. I run consistently and slowly, but I am usually able to make it the whole way.
Around this same time period, my lower back gave out. It had always bothered me a little, but one day it just quit. I literally could not move off the couch for ten days. After massive doses of steroids and ibuprofen, I was told to try some physical therapy. Although this helped, it did not alleviate the constant twinge in my lower left side. A friend asked me if I would like to try a pilates class, and after two or three private lessons, I started a weekly regime of two-three classes. The core strengthening exercises helped lessen the burden on my back, and coupled with running 2-3 times a week, completed my exercise regiment.
I recognize that it is hard to get moving. I am someone who is very happy to lie on the couch and read all day. That being said, I am really proud of the fact that I can attend a fairly difficult yoga class three times a week and hold my own. I am not the “best” in the class. But that isn’t what it’s all about. I challenge myself every day, whether it’s yoga or running, to do the best that I can do for that day. I think that my body is benefitting from this routine, and I know that it helps my mind and my overall outlook on life as well.