About four and a half years ago, Gary and I began running and our journey toward fitness and a healthier lifestyle. For the first several months, I worried that I would quit because that’s what I had always done. I would get excited about exercise, and then after a few weeks, I would skip a workout, and then another, and soon I just gave it up altogether. Only four years ago, I didn’t stop. I kept running until soon I could run 13.1 miles. I kept running, and friends joined me. I kept running, and began having others ask for my advice. We also biked and did some other at-home workouts, and after a couple years, I added Zumba to my workout routine. Fast forward to Summer 2013, and Gary and I are both instructors at Everbody’s Fitness. Heck, we two used-to-be-out-of-shape-middle-aged-non-athletes even attended – and survived – a fitness conference. And now it’s stopped.
Four and a half years later and I am totally struggling with motivation. We are still coaching a Biggest Loser team, but I need it as much as our team members. I am back to teaching Zumba, but there are five other days in the week I am not exercising. Oh, I have excuses. We have been crazy busy with Addison’s golf and band, and I have a new teaching position this year that is keeping me incredibly busy. But realistically, I feel worthless. After my surgery, I was unable to exercise for a few weeks, and that quickly got me out of the habit of making time to workout. I still can’t do what I really want to do, which is run, so I just don’t do anything. Every day I tell myself that tomorrow I will do a DVD I bought at the conference, and every day I find some lame reason to avoid it. Each day I say that the following day I will eat better. I usually have those little discussions with myself after I’ve seen the number increase on the scale or when I put on a skirt or pants that are too tight. That seems to be happening a lot.
As I was teaching Zumba last Tuesday night, reality stared me in the face; I was in a mirrored studio for 45 minutes. All I could see was my once-toned-now-flabby belly and the love handles that are making a repeat appearance. I worked my ass off that night, and have done nothing since. Next week I begin teaching Tabata Bootcamp. I have my group of 15 participants, but I don’t know if they all realize that they will be helping me as much as I help them. I am going to be working that bootcamp just the same as all of them, and I hope it’s just what I need to get my head back in the game.
I still question whether or not I will be able to run again. I guess only time will tell. The thought of starting over from the beginning is something I find nauseating. It took years to gain the endurance and speed (I use that term lightly) I was finally proud of, and only a few months to lose it completely. I haven’t had a good run since early April. I so envy all those who are training for the Evansville Half Marathon, a race I PR’d at last fall. My husband will be running, and several of our friends will be running their first half marathons that day, so I plan to be at the finish line cheering them on. I have to admit, though (and my husband can attest to this), the last time I did this it didn’t go so well. I was so depressed that I wasn’t running that I couldn’t enjoy the race at all. I was actually a big baby. I can’t say that I won’t be a little (or extremely) sad, but I will be equally proud of those who thought they’d never run a 13.1, and will cross that line. I remember my first time…it was incredible!
I don’t share this blog for sympathy or accolades. I share it because I want everyone who is struggling to know that we all struggle at some point. Even those of us who have been working at this whole fitness thing for a long time have days when we want to eat every sweet and every chip we see. We have days we go through Walmart and shop in the middle (supposedly the healthy foods are all on the perimeter of the store). We have days we eat pancakes, sausage, eggs, and fried potatoes for supper (well, it was really good). And then we suck it up and get back to business. It’s time for me to suck it up. It’s time for me stop sucking it in. Tomorrow. I’ll start tomorrow.