Well, I’ve had enough. Losing my breath while bending over to tie my boots was the last straw. Roll upon roll cut off my air supply as I reached for the laces and the struggle disgusted and scared me a bit! Diets are only a temporary fix and it was time to practice what I preached when I was busting on all those folks I knew who were trying the latest fad diet; eat right and exercise is the only solution. Probably could cut back on the adult beverages as well. So that’s it. No more excuses, no more last hurrahs. I stumbled on a great deal for a new pair of running shoes last week foreshadowing my current declaration. Tomorrow morning, I Run!

Not that I hated exercise (I love to work out with free weights and bicycle) I just never really liked the idea of running or jogging 5k’s or even a .5K! Little aerobic exercise and poor eating habits had taken its toll. My alarm was set for 5 AM but my eyes popped open at 4:30. I laid there for a few minutes contemplating what I was about to do. For final motivation, I grabbed my belly with both hands overflowing and rolled out of bed. I quietly changed into my running attire and stepped outside onto the front porch. I smiled as the cool, quiet September morning greeted my senses. I could smell the grass I cut the afternoon before mixing in with the earthy rich smell of leaves starting to turn colors and die on the trees. I loved this time of day. Reminded me of sitting in my tree stand waiting for first light. I had thought about this moment many times over the last few years and it was starting off better than I had imagined. My plan was to start this process slowly with intervals of walking and running during the first week. The first quarter mile was the toughest. So bad that I envisioned myself wearing a sports bra to quiet my bouncing pectoral muscles! Gradually, by the end of the first mile, my muscles tightened a bit and the jiggling became bearable. During one of my walking intervals, I even briefly forgot that I live inside the city limits. Pausing for a moment where one of the streetlights had flamed out I was able to look up and see a nice patch of stars filtering through the treetops. I had our little urban neighborhood all to myself for the moment and I was glad it was still dark enough to hide the sweaty mess I had become. All things considered, I was tolerating this running thing better than I hoped. I was probably still a long way from experiencing that Runner’s High, but I felt a little buzz as I turned down my street and spotted my house less than a quarter mile away. Time to finish strong. Keeping my eyes glued to the finish line of our house I launched out of my last walking interval into a brief sprint and then into a more manageable trot. Arriving back home I put my hands on my head and plodded up and down the sidewalk out front until my breathing returned to normal from the 3 miles of abuse. By the looks of my clothes, any neighbor waking up and peeking outside may have thought it was raining when they saw me. I was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt as my initial dread turned to hope. I would absolutely try and stick with this routine and shave a minute or two off my time tomorrow. I often say it, but I had just experienced more evidence that the answers to some of life biggest problems can be discovered with a little time outdoors to clear your mind and soul.

About the author

Boyd Lawton

Lifelong resident of the beautiful state of Maryland. Enthusiastic participant of everything outdoors and a passionate writer who strives to get everyone up and outside! From the mountain peaks to the sandy beaches and everywhere in between I’ll be there to experience that feeling and write about it. C’mon out!

Member of American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI)

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