Having made a major life change two years ago, I’m now at a place where my pursuit of fitness is not just a hobby, but instead it has become a part of me, it is a lifestyle. It is not something that I would randomly wake up one morning and decide that it was no longer for me. I love to run. I love how strong it makes me feel, I love the burning in my lungs, and I love how it makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Running is a great time to reflect on life, to work through life’s riddles, and to come to peace with oneself while taking in the fresh breath of nature. Actually, talking about running right now makes me wish I could go running right now!
It definitely helps to have a love of running, and in some cases it does take time to cultivate that love (or in some people’s cases, it may not be a love so much as a respect for the run), but just because I love it does not mean that I don’t go through a roller coaster of motivation that at times attempts to sabotage my resolve to continue in my healthy pursuit.
I am a Mom. I am a wife. I also have a career that I love, but that can also be demanding, stressful, and emotionally taxing (this description can actually apply to motherhood and being a spouse at times as well! Love them, but it’s true!). These things alone fill each day to the brim with responsibilities.
So how does one find time when there is the demand of motherhood, the struggle to maintain a healthy marriage, and the expectation to perform flawlessly at work? Well, it’s not easy, and I’m definitely not perfect. I believe that the key to successfully balancing all of these things is to do your best to remember not to be too hard on yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations (easier said than done right?).
This morning I was exhausted. The thought of getting out of bed to go run, a thought that generally gives me plenty of momentum to pull my tired self out of bed, did nothing for me today. I wanted sleep, I craved sleep. My body was fatigued and my mind bargained with my desire to get up, whispering softly that what I needed was not a workout, but a day of rest. Today my mind won, and a rest day is what I took.
Does this mean I’ve given up? No. Does this mean I’m weak and have lost my motivation? No. I believe that I am slowly learning to listen to my body, to take rest days when my body pleads with me for a break, and to ignore those thoughts that tempt me to drift back to sleep when I know a run is needed. And I know that a rest day today means that tomorrow morning you’ll find me lacing up my shoes before most are awake, and hitting the pavement for an early morning run. And although I may not always have time to go as far as I want, at least I go.
I have realized that my journey with running is like a long term relationship. In the beginning It was exciting, even thrilling as I discovered a new passion, and fell deeply in love with a lifestyle of fitness. Now that running and I are well acquainted, I find that even though I truly love it, some days I just need a break. And usually one day is all I need to get me back to craving a good workout.
So if you ever have days where motivation is lacking, don’t feel bad for taking a rest day to recoup, just don’t abandon your pursuit of healthy living for a few extra minutes of sleep each day. Don’t justify a sedentary lifestyle due to a busy schedule. We are all busy, we all have responsibilities and obligations, but I truly believe that making time to take care of your health and well being is so worth the time.
So now I’m off to bed! I happen to have a date with my running shoes in the morning. Night!