The last time I updated this space, I talked about how I wanted to start working out again. Then I promptly…did not work out. It was not until late May, when I attended Book Expo, that I had that “click” moment that made me “be” about it and not just “talk” about it.
Book Expo America is the premeire place for book lovers. Publishers, authors, librarians, book sellers, and bloggers all meet to talk and share all things book. Walking through the Expo is an dream; people thrusting books into your hand, giving you the scoop on what’s to come, authors available to chat up, meeting up with friends. On the first day, within minutes of hitting up the Expo, I was schlepping around three or four tote bags filled with books. After three days or gathering books, over one hundred pounds of books (no exaggeration…I had to ship a bunch of items back home and the boxes weighed a lot) I made a decision that I never wanted to feel this weak and sore again and was going to do something.
“Something” came in the form of following up with the calls for running meet-ups with the Black Girls Run (BGR) Philly group. A friend would share her runs and when I would comment, she would encourage me to come out. She never pushed the issue when I was no show, me having ignored the alarm I had set and opting to snuggle in bed. But nursing a hurt ego convinced me to actually join the group on the run instead of wistfully looking at the progress everyone was making. I set my alarm to go out early on a Sunday morning and while everyone in my house was still asleep, I pulled on some workout clothes and sneakers and crept out of the house and made the first meet-up. The next day I set the alarm for an even earlier time and got up to meet the group and I’ve been setting the alarm everyday for eight weeks.
BGR is amazing. Supportive, encouraging, motivating, gently encouraging me to push myself, to run my race, to show up and be present for myself. When I was walking/wogging/running before, I always felt like I was competing with my fellow runners and I did not always have the tools to follow myself. This time around, I feel empowered. I feel strong. I feel ready to receive the physical fitness that I deserve.
Working out several days a week has helped with my chronic illness. At my last visit I had stable labs. My stress level feels lower. Like, I’m stressed because *gestures vaguely at the world at large* but I feel like I am able to cope a bit better in this world. The job is not as awful as it had been (more on this later…maybe). I am sleeping better than I have in a while, not waking or tossing and turning for hours and my calves are looking quite fetching.
The Librarian asked me about future running plans I told him that I am taking things one day at a time. You see, my normal is to start a thing and jump into it with my whole being and wallet, making it a thing I am instead of a thing I do. I push myself until I lose interest, half-assing it while knowing I just should give it up. This time around, I am treating running as something I am doing. If I need to take a break, I will without damning myself. If I find that I need to change it up, I will and be gentle with myself as I do it. I am enjoying the progress and conraderie that has come with running.
I look forward to my runs. It’s a way to start the day with a gift to myself, before I am required to do all the things for other people. I appreciate the way I have grown and the stronger my body is getting, appreciate how far I have come and enjoy being able to run without having to recover for days.
See you on the track!