Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I "heart" fitness

I am a bit of a fitness nut...not so much a nutrition nut but, I definitely have an affinity for fitness training. I truly love working out and running. Because I have small kids, I workout in the wee hours of the morning while they and my husband sleep. I think I would be too exhausted at the end of the day to lace up my running shoes anyhow. And, it is kind of fun to be up before the bulk of the population.

I run two days a week with my running buddy and that same running buddy is also my workout partner. Three days a week we carpool to our church where our trainer meets with us and others willing to punish...oops! I really meant PUSH...our bodies at 5am. On Saturdays, I meet up with my brother and we take in our longer runs that keep us ready for a half marathon now and then.

I don't see myself as a lean, mean muscle machine. Probably because I haven't developed the same love I have for fitness with my nutrition. I am sure that is coming though! As we were running this morning, my buddy and I tried to find our true motivation for getting up before the roosters and running with lights on our heads so we can see through the darkness. Why do we do this?

We realized we do it in large part for our daughters. Both mothers of young girls, we are trying to be examples for them. We are trying to keep ourselves in decent shape so we don't criticize our weight or appearance in front of them. It really struck us that we don't want to beat ourselves down in front of our girls and have them inherit that same warped perception.

I'll admit to standing in front of a mirror and bemoaning my shape; my size; my hair; my face. But, I am increasingly conscious of this now that I have a daughter. I don't want her to think she is ever anything but beautiful and exactly how God intended for her to look. I know, right? I should feel this same way about myself.

Unfortunately, somewhere around junior high my self-confidence took a nose dive. I struggled with self-image for years. High school was modern day torture. I withdrew into myself and became painfully shy and awkward. Anyone who knows me now might find this tough to imagine...I am the girl who talked to the guy who dumps the solar potties in Yosemite on my last hike to Half Dome. I have the gift of gab and I regularly exercise it.

I don't want my daughter to ever feel inferior. I don't want her to wrestle on too-tight pants and then feel so large it feels that she is taking up more than her allotted space on this planet. I don't want her to give so much thought to her appearance that she misses out on some of life's little gifts like meeting new people or trying new things.

It wasn't until I started skydiving that I finally released the chains that bound me. It was when I started to purposely exit an aircraft in mid-air that I developed a sense of being able to do anything and accomplish anything. I began to care less about my hair and began to realize that I had a lot to say about a lot of things.

A shining moment for me was when I was talking to two guys at the drop zone and making both of them laugh. I couldn't believe I had captivated the opposite sex. When they began to argue about which one was going to ask me out on a date I was completely flabbergasted and, admittedly, flattered!

After I stopped skydiving, I took up running which lead to my love of fitness. No longer a spring chicken, it takes a bit more effort to keep myself in semi-decent shape. But, I do it because I honestly do crave the endorphins and I want to do what I can to help keep my self-image from warping again. I work out for myself and for my daughter. My amazing little girl that once told me, "I have the prettiest mommy. I just love you!" I replied that I loved her back and that she was positively beautiful. It was at that moment that she looked up at me with those cocoa brown eyes and said, " I know, Mommy. I know." That is the self-confidence I want her to hang onto too!

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