During the boys’ first week of school, I got a text from my neighbor at about 8 pm on Wednesday night.
Ms. Neighbor #1: I’m thinking of walking before going to work in the mornings. Want to join me?
Me: Sure. When do you want to start?
Me: Sign me up! When?
MN#1: Sorry so early, but 5:45?
Me: I’ll likely be up anyway, so sure.
We walked that Thursday at 5:45. It was a good, fast, 30-minute walk. As much as I grumbled about getting up, it was nice to get out and get some exercise in before the chaos of the day began. We didn’t walk the next day, because she had to prep for going out of town. I did my usual exercise video. (I have been doing at least 5 days of exercise a week since July!!)
When MN#1 got back from her Labor Day weekend excursion, she texted me again, asking about walking regularly that week. She also asked if we could move it up, as she was running late after the 5:45 walk. I agreed. We walked for two mornings at 5:30, and then that Wednesday morning, as I snuck into the bathroom to get changed, I noticed I had a text. Two of her kids were sick, and she had been up all night. I was up and dressed, so I went for the walk by myself. At 5:30 in the morning. Yup. I did!
During the remainder of that week, I not only walked with her for a half hour before most of our neighborhood was awake, I came home and did my 30-Day Shred workout once the kids were in school. I felt pretty pumped. I mean, that was almost an hour of exercise a day, yo!
Last week I walked every day with my neighbor at 5:30. It was ridiculously hot for most of the week, so walking at 5:30 wasn’t so bad. I had meetings almost every day, so doing anything but my walk wasn’t possible. At least I got that in. I considered it a win.
This past Sunday I got a text in the afternoon. My neighbor had to be to work early on Monday and Tuesday, so she wasn’t going to be able to walk with me. Guess what? I set my alarm and got up those two mornings and walked all.by.myself. For serious. I checked with her last night. She said she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be joining me today. So, I got up, even after being up a couple of times with a coughing Cole, and walked at 5:30 this morning. (While walking by myself, I may or may not have cut a minute off of my walking mile…it’s amazing what walking by one’s self in the dark will do to one’s pace! Oh..and I may have downloaded a flashlight app on my phone…you know, to keep an eye out for any unsavory predators….or skunks. Dang, there are a LOT of skunks out in the wee hours of the morning!!!)
A month ago if you had told me that I would willingly drag myself out of bed at 5:20 in order to exercise, I would have chuckled. That’s what nights were for. A year ago, I would have laughed at you maniacally. Now, though, I have realized how much better I feel after exercising. Even just that short amount of time helps. (Oh, and I have been able to get in some video, as well, this week.) I have more energy..and I am not nearly as achy or winded after playing with my kids. I just feel more…more balanced.
It feels good to get up and pound the pavement. I still am not the biggest fan of exercise. I don’t like “the burn”. Nor do I like “the sweat”. Holy gross. But. BUT. I do like feeling better in general…and not having as much muffin in my top. And seeing the scale dip instead of rise. Sooooo, I’ll keep on keeping on. And when it gets too cold to walk outside–and it will–I will drag my (not-so) flabby butt out of bed and do the treadmill.
I truly never would have guessed that this would be my lifestyle….ever.
Editor’s Note: I do have a fabulous reinforcer for my behavior. 90% of the time, as I walk up my driveway, I see Tate’s smiling face peering out of our front window. His megawatt smile and “Hi, Mommy!!” make it all worth my while–even if I’m sweaty, gross, and feeling the burn.