I am overweight, diabetic, and I have gray hair.
I am 4 years away from celebrating my 50th birthday.
I started walking six years ago when my doctor told me my bad cholesterol was a little too high and my good cholesterol was really too low. She wrote out a prescription for medication to help get my levels where they were supposed to be. I cried. I gave myself 24 hours to enjoy my “pity” party.
She didn’t say anything about exercise. Don’t know why that didn’t come up in the conversation, but it didn’t.
I started walking the neighborhood in the early morning hours the next day. I couldn’t do a mile without feeling extremely winded. I never knew how determined I could be.
Until that day.
I kept walking inside my neighborhood every morning … even took the poochies with me most mornings.
The hill that literally took my breath away that very first morning? Piece of cake after a couple of weeks.
I started counting my steps.
I knew when to leave so I would avoid the demon newspaper delivery woman.
After several months of the same loop, the same speed bumps, avoiding the same delivery van … I was getting bored.
Hub insisted I stay inside the gates of our subdivision. I did just that until the morning I saw one of my neighbors leave through the pedestrian gate to go run the parkway.
The moment I stepped through that gate was heady: I felt the way Eve must have felt when she bit into the forbidden fruit. I was fearful but at the same time, empowered.
Since then, I have stepped through many gates, crossed many thresholds. I’ve walked miles outside the subdivision, on roads I never would have imagined being on. I’ve walked several races; walked for causes, walked for fun.
I’ve begun the transition from walking to running. This transition is slow. I had such lofty goals for myself: I would complete the Couch-to-5K in 9 weeks and reward myself with a graduation present of running my first 5k at the end of February.
My reality: I began the program on January 3rd and should be starting Week 5 today. I have yet to begin Week 3 because the soreness in my quads took a full week of inactivity to finally subside. I now am blessed with a cramped muscle in the sole of my foot that refuses to relax no matter what I try. My foot has been cramped since last night … and it really hurts.
I hope I can get out the door sometime today. Guilt about not greeting the sunrise with an early Sunday run is starting to set in.
Being 46 and overweight brings a dimension to the mix that I hadn’t counted on at the beginning of the month. I’m listening to my body more these days. I take more time for recovery than I used to. I read more about what I need to do to take care of this overweight, middle-aged body of mine and the safest way to transform myself into a physically healthy middle-aged woman. I wear my RoadID and carry my phone with me every time I leave the house.
I have to.
I’ve worked out with someone in distress and neither of us had a way to call for help. All I could do was walk/jog/trot as fast as I could to get my car so I could pick her up and get her help. I’m never putting myself in that situation again.
50 isn’t too far off.
I plan to be here to enjoy every minute of my journey!