Last year I started running to run for myself. I will not lie to you, my dear friends; my Garmin said that I did a lot more than I did. If I ran 4 miles, it would show 5. And I was comfortable in that lie- it made me feel like I was getting somewhere without putting in the effort. As some of you know, I had a tiny medical thing come up–in the scheme of life, it is small, but it felt significant. It felt like the world was crashing down on me, And then the doctor said those words that no chubby middle age women should hear- ‘you need to slow down and relax.’ HA! That was Get-Out-of-Jail free card. That was my excuse not to try anymore.
I did. I slowed down. I used the excuse that I had a medical issue. I already knew that I was cheating myself on my runs; what would it hurt if I just stopped? Do you know what I didn’t stop doing? Eating! I love food! I love cooking (well, at least five days a week). I love bread and coffee with cream and sugar. I love Netflix series that I can watch for hours. I love pretending to write when in reality, I was not writing-not writing, writing. I loved saying I had a blog but getting discouraged when no one was reading them. In other words, my friends- I was ok with not giving even 50%. Don’t tell my kids.
In December, I found a challenge, a small running challenge. It had a calendar that I printed out, and for a lovely two weeks, I did it—somewhat. I got bored. I got discouraged; I didn’t have the Garmin to lie for me anymore. So I lasted two weeks. Did I feel bad? Nope… it was the holidays! It was COVID. It was winter. It was dark. I didn’t have new running shoes. I didn’t have running clothes. I had every excuse in the book…not to like how I look and not to do something about it.
Do you know who did do something in 2020? My mother. My mother had a goal; it was a significant, overwhelming goal. She had strange mini-goals amid her large goal that made no sense to me. And damn it! She meets her goal. And I was her biggest cheerleader, secretly mad that she was doing it. I won’t say that it encouraged me to move; it did the opposite. My parents have had survived some of the most significant medical concerns known to man—and they were getting healthy. I was blown away and ashamed. I was not getting healthy. I was not writing. I didn’t even have goals.
January 1st, 2021- I stood on the scale to see where I was. Ouch! Hello Oreos and pizza. I see you on my scale! I said to myself- ‘Self, you will not be left behind by your parents.’ But what was my goal? Of course- I sat down with my new Legend Planner and wrote that I was going to lose 20 pounds in January; run 100 miles a month; write every day for 1 hour; finish knitting two baby blankets by March; work full time; vacuum every day (because puppy polar sheds a small bear); cook a Keto meal every day, and do that weird fasting thingy where I don’t get to eat for 16 hours a day. I was doing to be where I was when I was 25.
HAHA…..that shit is not going to work for me. So why do I want to run? I want to run to burn off my crazy. I am not afraid to say that- I need to run to burn off my crazy. I get crazy sometimes. I know that you are surprised by this. But it is true. People laugh at me when I say it- but it is true. I like running. I like running slowly and listening to my music while attempting to dance on the treadmill or the road. I love singing along with the music, especially rap. Nothing like seeing a middle-aged, chubby woman trying to keep up with Eminem and Lil Wayne- while running as fast as a slow walk. It makes me happy.
I don’t run every day anymore- my knees hurt. But I am now walking on my off days, intentional miles. Sometimes my walks are laps around my living room as I watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch or listen to some virtual lecture. Yesterday I did 2.25 miles while learning about the history of the sewage system in London. Don’t judge!
I have joined a group…it is called Run the Year 2021. We are supposed to get 2021 miles in one year. This is not just running miles; it is all the miles that we accumulate in the year. So my hours of vacuuming puppy polar hair counts towards the end goal. It comes out to 5.5 miles a day total. I can do that! Right? Damn, 11 days in, and I will tell you- there have already been 3-4 days that I was doing living room laps to get my miles in. But, it is a group of people like me. We are all running and moving for a reason. And here is the best part- other people are running their crazy off too! I am not the only one! I have peeps! I have peeps that are also in their 40’s, overweight, barely making it 3 miles without stopping. But we are doing it together.
So, my first actual post of the year- I am committed to running. I am committed to writing. I am committed to cheering on my parents in their achievements. I am not committed to Keto- that food is difficult to make! But, I am committed to trying at least two new recipes a week. That seems more doable to me. I am committed to having only 1 cup of coffee a day with four creams and two sugars. The rest will be black. I am committed to saying no to Oreos- except on the last Saturday of the month, and then I am only allowed to have five instead of the whole bag. I am committed to living room laps…because why not? Why can’t I get those last steps while watching a new Netflix series?
Goals are funny things. They can’t be found off of searching Google. They can’t be too big or too small or take too long. Goals can’t be combined with someone else goals. They are personal and doable only to you. You can have a cheerleading squad, but my mom taught me in 2020- they have to be your own goals. I am not sure if I will make it, but I have learned that I have no excuses not to try. I think that is the true start of the race!!