Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Tricks

This is, very obviously, not an exercise/diet/self improvement type of blog in any way, shape or form. If anything, I could be called an enabler for such things as chocolate addictions. However, I think it is worth mentioning, necessary to mention, even, that exercise has totally changed my life.

Well. Maybe not rocked it to its core or anything. But it was definitely a big part of what finally lifted the fog I felt lost in for a few months following my last miscarriage. The greatest thing it did for me, even more than the faint but still visible physical changes that are surfacing, was to allow me to see myself in a new way. I got to reinvent myself.

See, I have always thought of myself as somewhat soft, if you know what I mean. A bit of a wuss about things like headaches, colds, menstrual cramps, slight variations in temperature, having to sit in the backseat, etc. Not a fan of anything that would cause me to perspire, and certainly not a seeker of muscle tone. A girly girl, definitely. (I think the fact that I got through childbirth- TWICE, even- without an epidural shocked me more than anyone else. Sure, I had said I really didn't want one, but I said it with kind of the same mindset I am in when I say I really don't want a second piece of cake. Even I don't believe myself.)

I have never enjoyed exercise, and I felt that as long as I watched what I ate, that was good enough. (I'm using the term "watching" very loosely here.) But after that second miscarriage, I was so sad, so conflicted, and more than anything, so flat and numb feeling, that I knew I had to change up something in my life. And I had heard that those endorphins can cheer you up, so... I begrudgingly requested a gym membership for my birthday in September. Aside from a brief hiatus after my hernia surgery, I've been going two to four times a week ever since, kids in tow, and walked, jogged, biked, done the Nautilus circuit, and even tried out the hot tub. Just once, though. Mostly I've run, which is perhaps the most shocking part of it all.

I've always hated running, and more than that, I'm not really supposed to run, since I have weak knees. I've been advised to ride an exercise bike or swim for cardio instead. But I'm a terrible swimmer- I look like I'm drowning when I try to swim laps- and I hate being on the bike. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. So, I'm running anyways. And slowly but surely, I am enjoying it. Looking forward to it, even. Once I start panting, actually getting my heart rate up, it feels good. My body craves it, sometimes. I can feel my pulse quicken when I approach the track, much the way it would in the past upon spotting a box of chocolates. Okay, it still quickens for chocolate. But but BUT- now it quickens for running, too. And that is something I never, ever thought I would say.

I am pretty proud of myself.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You SHOULD be proud of yourself!!! And now you know to that it is good to try something for a while. You never know what you might actually LIKE that you never thought you would (within reason of course)

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Yay! Good for you! I can only imagine what living through a miscarriage is like but I do know the ravages of hormones and I know how exercise can totally change our bodies and minds inside and out.

Congrats!

CAQuincy said...

You go, girl!

And see if your gym offers water aerobics. NOT the geriatric kind--the AEROBIC aerobic kind. It's a GREAT workout--and a bit easier on the knees. (Not that I'm dissing running. I hate to admit it, but I love it, too. Shh! Don't tell anyone! They may expect me to start in on it again!)

What a great way to help the healing....

Shelly said...

That could be the best endorsement for running that I've ever read. LOL!

Rose said...

You've made me want to go run. I mean, I'm at work and can't, but it was motivating!

Billie said...

That is amazing. I understand although right now I am in a definite hate attitude towards the gym.

Jess said...

You SHOULD be proud of yourself. This is amazing! I can't believe you haven't mentioned it before now! I'm glad it's done you so much good.

Chelle said...

I agree with Anonymous and Jess; you SHOULD be proud. Working out is tough, it takes a lot of backbone to commit yourself to a program, even to one that makes you feel so much better about every aspect of your life and you appear to have tons of backbone. Soft? Not you. You're a warrior.

You should be proud.

RachelAnn said...

I'm proud of you. My gym is so close I could WALK to it and I still haven't gone in a week and a half.

Erin said...

OH, I shouldn't even be ALLOWED to comment on this post. YAY FOR YOU! That is so awesome. Running really HAS changed my life-- all the way to the core-- in so many ways. This post makes me so happy for you.

Mommy Daisy said...

Wow, that's great. I'm glad that exercise has helped pull you out of your slump. Honestly, it's a great stress release. I don't know why I can't stick with it. But I noticed that a few times over the last several months when I was really upset about something, I felt like going for a long walk just to wear off some pent up anger. I was so surprised that it helped as much as it did. You keep it up, you're doing great.

d e v a n said...

That is awesome!! YOU are awesome.

Bird said...

That is so awesome--maybe I should ask for a gym membership for Christmas. Lord knows I could use it.

SarahMcow said...

Wow. I have similar feelings about exercise - and hope to get back to it one of these days (I have a 6 month old...) For years I refused to run - at all - because I was convinced that my legs were two different lengths and that was the reason I ran funny. I still run funny - but have decided it's just one of those things... First time reader - love your insight. I'll be back to check in.

desperate housewife said...

Sarah- My legs are two different lengths, too! For real, they've actually been measured. I run funny too! I have great feelings of inadequacy on the track, believe me. But I try to soldier on.

Kelsey said...

I learned to love running in college, because Erin was such a good running buddy. I'm hoping to recapture that on my own someday, but I haven't yet. I'm excited for you - and I'll remember to refer back to this post when I need inspiration.