This could be good "life advice" to offer others: "When you get tired, just slow down...catch your breath...and then start again." However, it is the advice I gave myself last week when I decided to add a little something extra to my workout routine; I'm not really sure WHAT I was thinking!
Routine...that is a word that I pretty much hate. Doing the same thing over and over gets mighty boring, so from time to time, I will change things up a bit. I decided to start run/walking the neighborhood next to my house every other day. That might not seem like much to most of you, but did I happen to mention that I am NOT (and have NEVER been...) a runner? Not even in elementary, junior high or high school was I EVER able to run. I can remember my gym teacher putting us out on the track and talking to us about getting a "second wind" eventually. Well, all I can recall consistently getting was that stitch in my side...which in turn kept me from being able to run or liking it for that matter. So, you may be asking yourself..."WHY, then, at 49 years of age do you think you can run NOW?" Hmmm...GOOD QUESTION!
Well THIS is what I was thinking when I considered this "new" routine (ugh...no matter what I do, I can't get away from that word!). First, I thought about summer. The swimming pool water was heating up and I REALLY didn't want to miss out on any of that pool time. The gym is about a 25 minute trip, one way...that was a lot of time. Every other day I just did cardio...I could do that by running up in the neighborhood. Essentially, I could be "killing two birds with one stone", so to speak. So I put on my tennis shoes and headed out on day 1. While walking up to the neighborhood (which is quite hilly...) I needed to set some ground rules for myself. Walk to warm up...do NOT run the hills at first...and only run until I got tired, walk some more and then pick up the running again. I wasn't about to start believing that "second wind" stuff; I would do things MY WAY! And THEN my reward would be to have a little pool time that afternoon.
As I was beginning this "new routine", I also decided that I would not run with my i-pod in my ear. Oh, I LOVE to listen to my i-pod, but I thought that I could make better use of my "mental time". Our pastor is always talking about having a little "quiet time", so I thought this would be the PERFECT time for that as well. During the walking part, I talked to God and during the running part, I listened. The peacefulness of the morning was nice. I heard those birds entering into their own conversations, while the wind blew the smell of fresh clothes drying across the air. Most everybody had already left for work so there was no sound of vehicles or machines...just me and the great outdoors.
I took my advice about running until I became tired, then walking and starting again. I'm no expert at fitness, but this seemed to be working for me. When I got home I felt good! Not only did my body feel like it had a good work out, but my mind and soul did too. THAT'S when I began thinking about this potentially being a "life motto" as well. Often times, we tend to jump full force into things and go so strongly that we wear ourselves out so completely that in our exhaustion we lose the desire to do anything. Try the advice I gave myself. When you become tired...slow down. There is no shame in slowing down; it allows you to regroup and think about life. Use that time to participate in a couple of important conversations. First, find that quiet time with God that you most likely desperately need. And second, have a little "internal conversation"; as crazy as it may seem, I find that some of my best conversations have been with myself. THEN, when you feel like you've caught your breath...DON'T GIVE UP! Start over again, renewed, refreshed and ready to run the race again!