Last August my husband Adam and I went to New York for a week to celebrate our ten-year wedding anniversary. Seven glorious days of sleeping in, exploring (I’m sure we saw the entire city!) wining, dining, late nights, and walking, SO much walking. On the first day of our trip I wore the shoes I had carefully selected for the trip. A good pair of walking sandals, perfect for city exploring. Or so I thought. One large blister and an emergency trip to the pharmacy later I was wearing my good old Birkenstocks for the rest of the trip. Oh our poor feet! Adam and I figured we walked about twelve – fifteen kilometers a day. Every night we would put our aching feet up after soaking them in a warm tub, they would be numb from the pain.
Other than lamenting the fact that I had been silly enough to not bring running shoes for the trip, I also quickly realized how much easier all the walking would have been if I were in better shape. For the last ten years of my life I have been so thoroughly immersed in pregnancy, post partum, general motherhood/wifehood, and now homeschooling, that I’ve put my own physical health aside. Though I managed pretty well in New York (so easy to explore a city without toting around three kiddos and all their gear), I knew it could have been better.
So when I got home I joined a fitness challenge with a group of Moms on Facebook. I dusted off my neglected Fitbit and started aiming to get in my ten thousand steps a day. I started waking up (painfully) early to get my workout in before the kids woke up. I started running a few weeks into my new fitness regime using a five-kilometer running app on my phone. Adam and I started having a green smoothie for breakfast everyday. It was really challenging in the beginning, all of it! Getting up early, having the drive to get on the treadmill so early in the morning, nursing my sore legs and shins. And then it started to get easier. And easier! I started to feel a change in my stamina, my energy level, and my overall outlook. All of a sudden I had a drive I hadn’t had before.
It’s been six months since I started on my path to fitness and I feel incredible! I’ve continued to run and to work on my pace and stamina. I’m nearly at my new goal of running ten kilometres in an hour. I did the CIBC Run for the Cure with my marathon running Mom and look forward to doing more runs with her in the future. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my new leg muscles and cardio strength during weekly walks but mostly during the hikes we get to do as a family. If you had asked me a year ago if I could do a fairly challenging hike with a five year old strapped on my back I would have definitely said no, but for the new me it was totally doable!
On my path for 2016 I hope to continue to work on my strength and stamina. Right now I run three days, and walk four days a week. To this I hope to add more strength training, and weekend hikes with my family in the summer months. My long-term goal is to do some serious hiking trips with Adam. We are aiming to do the West Coast Trail in 2017 so that’s what I think about when I’m tying up my shoelaces at 5:30 in the morning.
Now whenever I put my hair in a ponytail the first thing my two year old Lhasa asks me is if I’m exercising. I love that my path to a better me is also building a path to long-term health, and fitness for my three girls.