I started running.
Three times a week. Three miles. Thirty minutes.
It’s been about a month and while I’ve definitely hit a wall (figuratively though literally wouldn’t be a shock either) I’m still out there for a half hour in the freezing cold for three (long sometimes very long) miles.
I’ve managed to slip on the ice at least 4 times, possibly causing this nagging shoulder pain I’ve had. I’m tripped on the sidewalk at least twice. I’ve been sprayed with salt from a street salting truck and I’ve been honked at by at least one bus for taking too long to get up the hill by the bus stop.
But I’m still running.
Regular exercise and a healthy body weight will reduce my chance of a cancer recurrence. So yes, this is doctor ordered but behind that it’s something that I used to do that I miss doing.
I used to run with my dad when I was a kid and into my teenage years. He taught me to push harder going uphill, to relax and lengthen your stride going down. He taught me how to pay attention to my breathing so I don’t get a stitch. We would go after I was done with school and he was home from work. We’d go on weekends. We didn’t talk much. We just ran together. Even when we got to the driveway, breathless, we would just exchange a look and he’d say “You okay?” and I would nod, leaning over to stretch and catch my breath. That was the bulk of the talking.
And it was more than enough. In fact, whether it was around the neighborhood or a 5K, running with my dad is one of my favorite memories of growing up.
That was when exercising was fun. It was something we did together.
Now? Well, it’s a lot harder as an adult. But I still follow his rules. Long strides down the hill. Watch your breath. No quitting going uphill.
But I never joined a gym because I was self-conscious. Even at my thinnest I never felt thin enough. Ever.
I think that sucks. And I know I’m not the only one.
So imagine my delight when I saw this video, made by SportEngland a UK government agency as part of its This Girl Can campaign. I think it hits the spot.
Now they just need to make one for all the guys out there that need a little boost, too.