Exercise is my Zoloft; it’s my sanity. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but I’m addicted to the wonderful feeling I get when I’m done. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I always come back to it, wanting more.
Once Scott was diagnosed, exercise was the first thing I let go. Of course, I tried to keep it up, but running a house, figuring out medicines, organizing treatments, along with working, caring for kids, and keeping life moving turned out to be a difficult job. Once he passed, I quickly learned just breathing took a ton of effort. Needless to say, I didn’t expect grief to be so hard.
Six months after loss, I knew that if I ever wanted to try to be happy again, I had to start working out again. First, I dove back into my old workout routines, which were rigorous and demanding. Needless to say, they were too hard, and I just couldn’t face them.
One day, after a long day of teaching, mothering, and life, I heard a voice, “All you have to do is put on a pair of shoes.”
Deep down, I knew it. Exercise doesn’t have to be sweaty, yelling, and rigorous. All I had to do was put on a pair of shoes. “But I’m so tired,” I thought. “I don’t want to change my clothes. It’s too hard.”
I knew the voice was right. I didn’t have to get sweaty, sweary, or crazy. All I had to do was put on a pair of shoes, leave the house, and stroll. I didn’t have to jump back to where I left off, but I did need to start. So I did.
I started out slow, but I started.
Eventually, I bought an activity tracker and set goals. I walked during my lunch, and any chance I could. I learned to work on my goals, and forgive myself for the days I couldn’t. Last summer, I found a home workout program that I loved and used it to start a daily routine.
Walking helped me get back outside. It’s outside where I feel connected to God. It’s also where I feel Scott. Nature helps me see the beauty of life; and shows me my blessings. Putting on a pair of shoes didn’t just help my body, but also my soul.
Now, over a year later, I’m back to hard, sweaty workouts, followed by completing my step goal each day. There are days I don’t feel the love, but I still do it. On the days I just can’t, all I have to do is put on a pair of shoes. So I do.
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