Friday, December 14, 2012
Here’s where I am this week: the house is a wreck, we are behind in school work, nothing is ready for Christmas—no goodies baked, no presents bought much less wrapped, no cards ready… and I’ve had 3 sick kids and stuff going on every night of the week. Today is the first “free” day I’ve had in a while, so everything needs to happen today! (and here I sit writing)
If you are reading this and thinking you want to make a change, feel better, start moving, the day to do that is today. Not on Monday, not after the holidays, not when life settles down. Today.
And I’m not saying you need to start training for a marathon or even start running today. But do something. Today. And tomorrow. And every day after that.
When I started this journey, I had no idea I’d eventually decide to train for a half marathon. When I started this journey, I didn’t even know I was starting it! I saw a post on Facebook by a friend who had run at least a mile every day last year. I thought that sounded like a cool thing to do. So on New Year’s Eve, my daughter and I went out and ran a mile. It was awful. We decided NEVER to do that again. We decided to walk a mile (or more) every day instead. And we did.
It started out simply enough. One mile. Up to the front of the neighborhood and back is just slightly more than one mile. It was Christmas break, so it was fun to get out every day. Then school started back up, and we took my oldest back to college. We walked our miles on Broadway, Columbus, and 8th Avenue. We walked in the cold, and looked forward to summer. We tried to avoid it, but some days we had to take an umbrella and walk in the rain. We walked on the busiest of days, sometimes just before we were ready to collapse. Occasionally, one of us had fallen asleep and had to be wakened to walk. Our latest walk was 4am after a cast party this summer. Our rule is, as long as one of us is still awake, it counts as that day’s walk, even if it’s after midnight.
It’s not a killer workout. It only takes about 20 minutes to walk a mile, maybe a little less if you’re fast. (We usually are not.) You probably won’t lose any weight just walking a mile a day. I didn’t. I actually gained weight the first 3 months! But I also gained that habit. The habit of moving, of doing something every day, of finding a time to walk. And there is something to be said for being outdoors every single day of the year for 20 minutes. It makes you look at things differently and appreciate a lot you might be missing. Sights, sounds, smells… and for me, that time with my kids, which is priceless. It’ll help you appreciate where you live.
We posted a photo on Facebook every day. I’m sure there are those who are tired of looking at us. Believe me, there are days we’re tired of taking that photo. I joke that we could have a reality show just based on the nonsense that goes into taking that photo every day. Arguing, blurry photos, bad hair, and so much silliness! I recommend it. It’s fun, and it will keep you honest!
Go walk a mile. Find a route that starts at your front door, go about half a mile and turn around. It couldn’t be any easier. Like I said, it takes about 20 minutes, so if you’re not sure about the distance, just go walk for about 10 minutes, then walk back. Drive it in your car later and adjust your distance if need be. Keep it simple. Just GO!
Do it today, and tomorrow and every day after that. I promise you will notice a change. Eventually, you’ll probably want to do more. Maybe run, maybe lift weights, try a yoga class or swim. But don’t worry about any of that right now. It’s a busy time of year and you need to set yourself up for success. And you need to do it now!
I can’t tell you where your journey will take you, but I can promise you that every day you DO something, you’ll be that much closer to getting there. You don’t need to wait for the perfect circumstances, you don’t need to join a gym or buy new shoes or map out exactly one mile. Step out in faith that what you do will be the first step, and it will make a difference. Maybe you will join a gym, or get some great new shoes… or maybe, like me, you’ll spend 3 months just walking a mile and realising how great it feels to decide to do something every day and then DO it! And after that, who knows? The sky’s the limit.
It all starts with the first step. Today is Day One.
What are you going to do?