...I walked 8 miles with a friend, delivering the print version of the Sunday service to those without internet, soaking up the sun even in the cold wind, and getting some exercise in too.
My 30s are when I learned that I really need exercise more than I thought I did. there was a brief period in my 20s when I had a gym membership and a personal trainer, but honestly I just didn't last long (a year maybe?). It was only later when I realised the difference that exercise makes to my mental health. And also when I re-learned to love running. I ran a bit in college but of course I had the Chicago lakefront to run along, so who wouldn't enjoy that? Living in suburbia, running was a different story. I mostly ran in the neighbourhood, and rarely longer than a few miles, and I used to say that I loved "having run" far more than I loved "running." I liked the feeling I had afterward, but the during it was....a bit of a slog.
When I was about to turn 35 my friend Julia decided to come visit and run a half marathon while she was there, and I decided I could probably do that...more to prove to myself that my body *could* do it than anything else. It turned out to be amazing -- the training was great for getting into a routine, and the race itself was gorgeous, and I was hooked. I ran another race in Edinburgh the following year, and then when I was injured I missed it more than I thought possible. Now I'm only running short distances again, and more sporadically than I would like, but my exercise routine is still daily in a way it never was before...and if I miss a day, I notice it. I can feel how important it is to my brain as well as my body.
I never in a million years thought I'd be the girl who needs to work out every day, but there you have it...I'm a healthier person for it. :-) though I am the SLOWEST runner ever, I actually do love it...though in many ways I think I would still say what I like most is Having Run, because I really do it for the mood-boosting/mind-clearing effect more than anything else.
I thought I'd look for a poem by a runner and the first half 100% sums up the experience I have, hahaha. (the second half in many ways captures the experience of getting older, actually, though she does so from her lens as a mother).
Here is the first half of Rachel Zucker's poem "wish you were here you are":
|maybe next year again...|