I am not an athlete.  Oh, no.  DEFINITELY not an athlete!  I was the girl who nearly cried when it was time for the “mile run” in gym class (and then walked most of it anyway).  I generally hate working up a sweat for any reason and I could swear that when I am out of breath, death is upon me.  When I can hear my heartbeat in my head, I’m pretty sure that means I am going to explode in a matter of seconds.  And when I get a side ache, it is definitely time to give up whatever I am doing and lay down.

I should also probably throw in here that when I was 16, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease.  I dealt with the pain for 5 years before having surgery and was pain-free for 5 years!  Then, in October 2009, I gave birth to our first child and three months later, I was completely laid up– unable to move without excruciating pain.  The doctor’s response was to put me on three heavy narcotics and schedule me for steroid injections since being a stay-at-home-mom with an infant and six weeks recovery from surgery just wasn’t going to cut it.  Well, as it turns out, taking three heavy narcotics for the pain and trying to be a full-time mom didn’t cut it either:  I was drugged up and tired ALL the time.  And I was terrified.  Here I was at 26, completely debilitated by pain…. What was it going to be like in 20 years?  Would I even be able to move?

That was probably the moment I said, “I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.”  And thankfully, a friend who had a similar back problem recommended yoga.  This was not a new idea to me, but I had resisted jumping on the yoga-train due to the misconception that it was a spiritual fad.  I didn’t want to sit around and chant.  But I knew that what I was doing obviously wasn’t working, and I needed to branch out.

LONG story shorter, yoga worked.  In a matter of 12 weeks, I was able to drop all of my narcotic medication and now only take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for any flare ups.  But even more exciting for me, I could sit with my legs stretched out in front of me, bend at the waist and TOUCH MY TOES!  I hadn’t been able to touch my toes in over a decade.  It was in that moment that I said, “If I can touch my toes, I can make my body do just about anything.”

….And now I run.

My mom is a seasoned runner.   And my mom is 50.  AND she ran her very first marathon last spring!  *insert proud daughter face here!*  This fall, I decided I needed to make a goal for myself because while I would hit the treadmill every once in a while, I didn’t really have motivation to stick with it.  My mom and I decided we were going to train together in preparation for the 2011 FM Half Marathon.  We are using the Jeff Galloway interval method and I LOVE it.  The running/walking combination provides both physical and mental breaks that make the run much more enjoyable and much less torturous (as would’ve been the experience of my prior-self.)

Each week requires one “long run,” with increasing distances.  With only 9 weeks of training left, I have increased to 8 miles.  EIGHT MILES!!  And I haven’t cried, and I haven’t felt like I was going to explode, and I haven’t given up.  If you would’ve told me, even a year ago, that I would be training for a half-marathon in the near future, I would’ve laughed.  And I probably would’ve asked if you were feeling ok if you said I would actually be enjoying it!  But alas, I call my mom after every long run, just to say, “MOM!  I actually did it!  It felt great!  I feel amazing!”

To which she replies, “You’re hooked.”

I guess I am.  :)

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2 Responses to Hooked

  1. Lori says:

    CONGRATS to you!
    I’ve been running for 4 years now. Every step is hard. But I so enjoy it while I’m doing it and after I’m done.
    I’d like to get into yoga. Do you recommend any specific dvd?


    • I wish I had a suggestion for you, but I actually attend a semi-private yoga class. I LOVE my instructor, and honestly, if yoga is something you want to learn in order to practice in the privacy of your own home, I recommend attending a basic yoga class for 4-6 weeks (one or two classes a week). This will give you the basic poses and routine to implement on your own!

      Seriously, yoga is probably one of the best things I have ever done for my physical health– especially for my back! I highly recommend it! Good luck!