Last year in April, I decided to start regularly working out. I have definitely always had an on again/off again relationship with exercising. At the beginning of 2018, I was in an “off again” phase. I had just started grad school towards a Library Science degree, and as it turns out, grad school added a bit of extra stress to my life. (Go figure.)
I decided to start exercising mainly as a way to cope with stress. I was in the midst of a stressful group project with school, and I was so stressed out that I had literally started losing my hair. Exercise was one of those things that I knew was going to help my mental and physical health, but I had convinced myself I didn’t have the time. I worked full time, I had a young child, I was tired!!! Until one day I just decided I was done with the excuses, and I would just start doing it. (Read more about how I motivated myself to start exercising here.)
I started out running 2-3 times a week – and I surprised myself when I had kept it up for a month, and then two months, and three… I surprised myself even more when I started to look forward to it. (I also surprised myself when I began having major hip and shoulder pain from running… a reminder I’m not as young as I used to be!)
I told myself if I made it to the year mark, that I would write a post about it: so here it is. 1 year of exercising. 1 year of staying steady with a goal. 1 year of not giving up on something. It feels good.
I did have one major low point in past twelve months about Christmas-time through February. I had gotten a cold and had stopped exercising to recover, and I had just finished a really stressful semester at school, and things in life kind of seemed like they were falling apart for a bit. My energy dropped, and for a few months even when I tried to exercise, it was hard. I had lost progress and speed on my runs, and even just doing a slow jog felt like I was running underwater. I know my mental health was at a low point too – it’s so interesting how our bodies and minds are so intertwined. I really thought this was the point I would give up running.
During this time, I still managed to go on runs, though some of the time it averaged only once a week, and some parts of the run I would just walk. But the point is, I kept going. Really by the end of February I started noticing the runs were getting easier again. The weather started getting warmer, and I was enjoying running outside again.
Today, I went on a run around ACU’s campus – my normal route. From my house and around the trail it’s about a 2.7 mile run. I don’t run it very fast – I average between 9-10 minute miles. I wish I could say that after a year of running, I’ve made some amazing gains in strength or speed, or even my physique. I haven’t really made any of those gains, but I have stayed steady – which I think is also a worthwhile goal. Sometimes that’s the best we can do – and it’s good enough.
I am good enough.