I’ve confessed in the past that I used to be quite the couch potato.
As my kids became more active as toddlers, I realized that I was having trouble keeping up.
It wasn’t until I was going through a very tough time emotionally though, that I turned to exercise for some stress release.
I’d jog when I was angry and I’d beat on the punching bag when I was frustrated. Somehow exhaustion (which came fairly quickly at that point) allowed all my anger, tension, frustration and even panic to temporarily flow from my soul.
When finally I found myself in a better place emotionally, I lost my motivation for exercise again. It took lots of encouragement and coaxing, sometimes even coercion from family members to keep me doing some moderate exercise. The truth was – I just didn’t enjoy it. After years of doing the minimum, maybe the occasional walk, everything was hard and I mean really HARD!
I had no lung capacity. Jogging for 800 meters at a time was the limit and then I would have to walk. The doctor called it: exercise induced asthma.
My daughter started jogging with my brother and his family and for me there was just no keeping up with any of them. My brother suggested that I put my son (who was too small to jog with at the time) in the baby-seat on one of their old bicycles and come with. The kids loved it.
Determined not to get left behind, I started jogging on my own. That was 10 years ago, and what a journey it has been. I found out that if you stick to it, eventually everything gets easier. No, not easy, just easier. As I lost some weight, got into better shape and got rid of my preconceived ideas, exercise became fun.
Yes, you read that right. Exercise became fun.
Today I can do things that I couldn’t dream of doing as a kid, teenager or young adult and now my exercise routines include many different things. Running, flipping tires, and even swinging a sledge hammer is part of my exercise routine.
I’m a practical girl and once I allowed myself to look at the practical value of exercise; more energy, better every day as well as long term health, and even looking better, it was hard to stay negative. The practical me therefore also found it hard to look down on any kind of exercise that has practical value. I like having good all-round fitness, strength, cardiovascular, endurance as well as flexibility.
I’ve learned to enjoy challenging myself, seeing what my body, and sometimes even more, my mind is capable of enduring. The biggest lesson I think I learned is that it’s never too late to start.
At 39 most of my kids friends can’t keep up with me, and at 74 even my mom is still doing leg raises and yard work to stay in shape.