Exercise gave me more than great legs

I was recently contemplating the physical goals I want to tackle in 2016 – my first marathon since having a child, Intensity max, that hill that I didn’t make in 2015. I sometimes feel like I’ve digressed in my fitness, but I am still going at it which is what matters. Besides, even if I don’t run like I’m 18 anymore working out continues to teach me about myself and life.

running

Sacrifice form, sacrifice results

For nearly everything you do there is the right way and there is the short-cut. It might seem smarter to just take the easy route, but you won’t truly end up in the same place. You miss out on the lessons you didn’t realize would be a part of the journey and lose an opportunity to work muscles and skills you might not have otherwise.

Whether training for a marathon or working on a project at the office there are times I’m tempted to cut corners – skip that long run or pass off the grunt work – but I know that won’t get me nearly as far. If I don’t put the work in I know later I will feel it, either at mile 13 or when I didn’t learn that new technology that could have advanced my career.

What you can accomplish is a combination of mind, body, and heart

I started running when I was fifteen. Athletics weren’t really my thing. You were more likely to find me reading a book than lacing up tennis shoes.

Those first days included lots of breaks and more walking than running, but I kept pushing myself. Fifteen years later and I am still running. I am also pushing myself in other areas of my life because I know if I keep at it I can accomplish more than I ever imagined.

When I started grad school two years ago I doubted I would make it to the end. February marks the end of the program for me and I made it with my sanity (mostly) intact and several new friendships.

You can have too much of a good thing

When I began working out at fifteen I received nothing but praise. As the years progressed, exercise became a part of my daily routine and my go-to for stress release. This is exactly what everyone says you are supposed to do, but in college the good habit became an obsession.

I would spend three hours a day working out and when not working out I was thinking about it. Remembering how unbalanced my life became reminds me that I need balance and boundaries. It is good to spend some time alone and some with friends. I can’t work non-stop or have fun with no care in the world. It is okay to need a break from being a mom and sometimes to drop everything else in the world for a Teddy Bear tea party.

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