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.