Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Hello! Happy Spring everybody! I sure hope you have been enjoying some warmer and sunnier weather! I know I have. Tyler and I have been busy over here in our animal kingdom getting ourselves ready for the BIGGEST GARDEN EVER! No, but seriously, we have been growing seeds a-plenty and got all of our garden boxes put together. It is going to be EPIC! I cannot wait.

I have also been spring cleaning, which has been very therapeutic for me. As my mom reminds me, I have an A-Type personality and boy, cleaning makes me feel so accomplished and at peace with the world. I love our home and any work I put towards it makes me feel a whole ton of pride.

So, back to today's topic: a secret! Not just any secret, but a workout secret. A couple of years ago I had a realization when talking to a Weight Watchers colleague. See, she was training for her first 5K and had really never done much running. She was struggling with it quite a bit. She told me, "I feel like dying every time I run. My lungs feel like they are about to burst, my legs hurt, and it just feels miserable. So then I stop and walk. I can't seem to run more than a couple of minutes." So then I told her, "Yep, that's the way it is for me every time I run. The first 3-5 minutes are the absolute hardest. The secret is... Keep running!" She looked at me like she thought I was full of it and we left the conversation there.

The next time I saw her she said, "I have to tell you, the advice you gave me on running was spot on! Instead of stopping when I felt like I was going to die, I kept running for a few more minutes. My body started to get used to the motion and it became bearable, if not enjoyable!"

See, the way I see it is when your body is not in motion, it tends me be, well stagnant (Duh, right?!?). Your joints have been somewhat fixed, your muscles are tight, your breathing is just automatic... in other words your body is just kickin' it. chillaxin, if you will. So when you go from a standstill to a run, for example, your body has to adjust. Adjusting takes time. Especially if the sort of exercise is different to you, your body is probably not quite sure what is going on. However, our bodies are SO smart that after some time, they figure "Okay, we are still doing this running thing, I guess I better get used to it" and then our breathing regulates, our joints don't hurt as much, and our muscles start to lengthen. 

I have been running now for 4 years (WOW! That's craziness!). And yes, every time I run the first 3-5 minutes SUCK. They are just awful. I always want to stop, I always think "why the HELL I am doing this to myself?" but I have learned to just keep going. Because after minute 5 it just doesn't suck that much. And then after about 10 minutes, the endorphins kick in and I start to feel GOOD

And that is why I love to run. Why I love to spin. Why I love to swim. Why I love to practice yoga. Why I just love to MOVE. Now with my arthritis, I never feel like working out. Since I am almost always in a chronic state of pain and inflammation, moving doesn't sound good. So for most of 2015, I didn't do a whole lot of moving. Well, not my norm anyway. And you know what? It didn't serve me. At. All. So now I try to move at a minimum of 5 days a week. Hard cardio that gets my whole body moving. And after those 5 minutes, I almost forget I have arthritis. And it feels awesome! A gal I used to follow on instagram had a motto of "If you don't move, you fuse." Sort of along the lines of "If you don't use it, you lose it" and I take that pretty seriously. Our bodies are meant to be in motion. If you need some inspiration, watch this video. In it this young girl with MS is running and just killing it! When she stops running, she collapses. Her coach has to catch her after every run. She cannot feel her legs while she runs. But she does it anyway because it's the only time she feels "normal". It inspires me to keep doing what I am doing.

So there's my secret. Not anything flashy or crazy. Really, what it comes down to, is pushing your body passed what your mind thinks it is capable of. Try it. You might surprise yourself. 

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