In August 2010 I wrote an article that I posted on my original blog, Home School Coach. It was titled I Don’t Run. In the article, I shared why I had begun running and why it wasn’t working out well. I also shared that I didn’t intend to quit running despite the difficulty.
It’s funny, but the reasons that I was having such a hard time running have been resolved over the last thirteen years. I have gotten a handle on sleep. I go to sleep early and rise early. I get enough sleep and I sleep at the correct times of the day.
I don’t eat junk or drink soda and my food is healthy. In the article, I said that having to think about food and cook differently is such a bother. It makes me laugh because that hasn’t changed, but I am doing it consistently anyway.
I now drink enough water and I exercise five days a week, most weeks, so I’m far fitter at 73 than I was at sixty. I also weigh 30 pounds less than when I was sixty. I have made many changes in my lifestyle and my thinking since 2010.
However, I did quit running. I didn’t have a strong enough reason to continue and walking is easier.
Here is why I am sharing this with you:
When you have a strong enough purpose, belief, or why, you can do and change anything. I have lived this truth and I want to share some real-life examples with you.
In my 73 years, I have learned that I can make myself do anything I need to do. I have learned that if I can’t make myself do something then there is a problem with my why or my belief in myself. I know that anyone reading this article will relate.
Back to the running. Recently I had to run for about half a block. I was pressed for time and being on time mattered a great deal! So, I ran. There was no grace in it, no flow; a bit more like lumbering, but I did it. When I reached my destination, I had to stand and work on breathing for a while, but I was smiling because I had just run a little over half a block.
As I said, I walk. Every day I walk with my weights. They are only 3 pounds, but they are weights, and I am walking with them. It counts! : ) As I walk I raise one arm into the air until I can’t hold it any longer and then I raise the other arm. I usually do 2 rotations of this and then I speed walk the rest of the way.
After my running experience, I wondered if I could run regularly. So, I gave it a shot. I ran half a block and then tried to breathe the rest of my walk. LOL The next day I wanted to see if I could do better. I ran a whole block in both directions, with some breathing time in between. That made me feel as if I could really run, like daily. In my mind came a goal – by Fall I will be able to run my whole route. To be sure, it is a short route of only five blocks but imagine me doing it at 73.
Why would I run if a brisk walk with my weights, at seventy-three is sufficient? Remember when I said you need a strong enough why. Well, my ability to remember details has lessened in the last two years. I care for my mom who has dementia and my grandmother on the other side died of Alzheimer’s. This creates a BIG why for me. I need and want a healthy brain. Walking is a great exercise, as is lifting weights, even if they are only 3 pounds. But it seems I need something more. Running is what I am determined to experiment with.
I have done a lot of study on the issue of brain health in the last five years. I have taken classes and read many books. I know what I need to do to have a healthy brain; this is my why and it is a BIG one!
Let me share another real-life example. I have always hated the cold. When I was a kid, coats weren’t cool, sorta like now, but I wore mine. I would rather be warm than cold. The same went for boots and gloves. I wasn’t cool looking, but I was warm.
I never enjoyed swimming because I don’t like the cold. Give me the beach over the water. I love the sun and warmth. I take showers hot enough to boil lobster, even in the summer. LOL I go out of my way to avoid being cold.
As I studied, I learned that when your skin temperature drops it helps manage insulin spikes, hence body and brain health. I read this in Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease–and How to Fight It. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has any type of health issue!
This information impressed me as a simple and effective way to fight insulin resistance, lose weight, and maintain better body/brain health. Now when I feed the chickens, I go coatless or in a light sweater. As I struggle with the cold, I remind myself that this is going to help me remain healthier longer. Over time, the chilliness of my skin has begun to feel good. This adjustment in my thinking has shocked me. As I said, I have always HATED being cold!
Then in the series Limitless, starring Chris Hemsworth, which my husband was watching, I learned that if you use cold water after a hot shower, it helps your brain. That was the whole premise for the series, to discover ways to have a healthier brain. I knew this was something I should try. I couldn’t imagine doing it, but I wanted to. Remember I have a very STRONG why.
For a couple of weeks, after my hot shower, I would turn down the hot water until I couldn’t feel warmth, but the water wasn’t icy. Then a few weeks ago I began making the water colder, much colder. I know that in time the water will be icy, like a frozen lake. It doesn’t feel foreign anymore and is almost pleasant. I only do it for a couple of minutes but that is a significant start.
If you had asked me even six months ago if I would run or stand in cold water on purpose, I would have emphatically said NO!! But here I am doing both because I have a strong enough why.
And that’s what it takes to make big changes. A reason that helps you overcome your resistance to doing what you aren’t even sure you can do.
I Have Made Major Changes and So Can You
I have made major changes in my life. Each change had a different why. They each required me to believe in myself, that if I was committed, consistent and had the right resources I could do it.
•I stopped raging and yelling.
•I overcame my fear of heights. I climbed a tall pole and walked across a 20-foot cable
without holding on to anything. I did it twice.
•I learned to manage my fear of speed and went on a short zip line. I may never do it again,
but I did it once.
•I gave up sugar, changed how I eat, and lost over 30 pounds.
•I began exercising regularly.
•I have made significant progress in giving up complaining, which was a family tradition in
my childhood home and extended family.
•I have learned to manage my penchant for annoyance and frustration with others ‘stuff’. I
will probably be working on this for the rest of my life, but I am making progress.
•I have rewritten some damaging money stories from my childhood and have gotten a grip on
•I overcame the effects of child sexual abuse.
•I have gone from having no boundaries to being able to say no and keep myself safe. Continue reading