Shoving me out the door

Now I’m walking in the mornings, and it’s all my sister’s fault. As soon as I open my eyes, I experience this nagging feeling that I should be going somewhere. So instead of being here . . .

(I couldn’t leave my bed unmade even for a photo!) . . . or here . . .

Or here . . .

Or even here . . .

I was out on Glenwood Bloulevard on a rainy morning that had only brightened this much by the time I returned from my route . . .

Since my usual philosophy concerning physical fitness is something along the lines of “why stand when you can sit, and why sit when you can lie down,” you may wonder how my sister coerced me into doing this. And my answer would be, she asked.

But it was more than that. She’s been walking for years. Early in the mornings I would see her passing by in running shoes, hat, and sunglasses, with her hair pulled back in a tail. She pretty much never missed a day.

Every time I would pick up a piece of pizza or an oatmeal cookie, I would think of her out there somewhere, not letting unhealthy food touch her lips and forever walking, walking, walking. I’d feel guilty and . . .

Well, not really. That’s a lie for two reasons. When it comes to food, my sister does splurge, which I won’t describe here because someone she works with or gave birth to may read this, and then I won’t be included next time she craves something from the Dairy Queen.

Also, I didn’t think about the walking much until recently, when my body started morphing into the form of an old lady. (I’ll be 49 in a few weeks.) Now that various parts of me resemble my grandmother, I have a different view of walking.

My sister didn’t know I’d been thinking that the workout video I sporadically followed wasn’t cutting it anymore and had begun to contemplate doing something more. She had no idea how right the time was when she asked. She simply invited me to join her in a lifestyle she’d been living out in front of me. And because I felt a need, I said yes.

That’s how influence works, I guess.

I walked with my sister a few times, but our schedules are different. And I like to go as soon as my feet hit the floor.

Today I left the house at 5:50 am. It was tough because of the humidity that clung to my skin and filled my lungs. Then when it began to rain, I almost turned back. I decided to wait it out, and the sprinkles soon stopped. I almost cut off a few feet of the trip but decided against it. If I compromised this time, it’d be easier to cut off more and more, until my morning walk dwindled into a quick trip out to the curb for the paper.

It’s amazing how the gentle incline near the middle school seemed like a difficult uphill climb on the return trip. (If you know the street, you’re calling me a wimp right now–but remember old lady body here.) And by the time I reached Parkwood Avenue, I was scoping out a shortcut to my backyard which would necessitate scaling a tall wooden fence. I actually considered it.

Well, I resisted temptation and made it back, having completed the course I’d mapped out for myself. The real test will be to see if I continue walking when I get back from my vacation. I’ve circled the Monday in question on my calendar. If I hit the sidewalk that morning, after weeks of eating out and sleeping in and whatever, I’ll know this habit I’m working on creating has become a life change.

Now it’s your turn to share. What has become ingrained in your life because of someone who influenced you–either years ago or more recently? Please share in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!

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2 Responses to Shoving me out the door

  1. Mary Roberts says:

    I was never a fan of exercise either, but almost ten years ago now, I started to jog. The source of inspiration was my friend, Barb. For some reason, I thought that if she could do it, I could do it. I chuckled when I read about “the hill.” I remember a tiny incline in our neighborhood that I called a hill and I tried to make sure that I ran in the opposite direction so I could run down it. Barb couldn’t figure out where the hill was and she laughed when she saw that tine incline.

    My journey with running has been up and down but, after ten years, exercise is a permenant part of my life. Currently, in the Texas heat, I am settling for an early morning walk. I love that time. Its benefits go way beyond exercise. I love the brain time. A newer routine of mine is to carry a couple of note cards with Bible verses on them. In a 45 minute walk I can learn serveral verses and then I just need to review them. My mind just seems to work better when my body is moving. I am hoping that this new passion for Scripture memory will inspire someone else, like my daughters.

    Keep up the walking, Renee. I hope you slip right back into it after your vacation.

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