Today marks 57 days consecutively that I’ve walked or ran at least 1 mile. (I actually thought I’d hit the half-way mark a while ago, but discovered I had miscounted, darn it!) While my poor sick daughter was resting comfortably after a bit of soup, I knew my daily mile was still waiting for me. It wasn’t much, but I walked it around the house, chased the dog, played fetch, raced the dog across the back yard, did laps around the inside of our house, and walked up and down the driveway. Then I repeated that a million times until I’d clocked in my mile.
It occurred to me during this little jaunt around my home that this 100 day streak thing has taught me a lot. More than I expected, in fact. It’s taught me be to be creative. That a workout doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective. The laundry and the dishes can wait. The house doesn’t need cleaning first. I just need to choose to get it done. Even on vacation. Even when the kids are home. (They need exercise, too!) Even when I really don’t feel like it.
Making the time to get in at least a mile a day is essentially an appointment on the calendar. It’s become an appointment I don’t cancel. I don’t tell myself, “Next week.” Or “I’ll start Monday.” It’s today. It’s everyday choosing to move. You know what? There is time in the day to get it in. It may seem easy for me as a stay-at-home-parent, but I have plenty of friends who work full-time, have families, and still manage to get in daily physical fitness. It can be done.
I’ve had to relearn in this process that rest and recovery are just as important (if not more so) than going balls to the wall. There is nothing like the feeling of a crazy strenuous workout. You feel AMAZING afterwards, but rest days are actually where the muscles rebuild themselves. If all we do is tear them down during training and don’t allow for adequate recovery, we set ourselves up for injury. I’ve felt disappointed on the 1-mile days at times because it can feel like I’m not doing enough, that everyday should be a beast day. With cross training as well as running, recovery time is essential. I am typing this still sore from a leg day two days ago! It was painful to walk a mile yesterday, and today, less so. Tomorrow I will be back at it, but only because I’ve let my muscles rest and repair.
Finally, goals and accountability are crucial. When I know that I have friends in my corner rooting for me, it helps me keep going when I don’t feel like it in the moment. In these 57 days, I’ve never finished a mile or a workout and thought, “Meh. That sucked.” I’ve felt better at the end than I did at the start. Every. Single. Time. I also have a really, really hard time setting a goal and then not following it though. It bugs me. It’s just easier to tell my mind to hush up and then go get it done.
Here’s to the remaining 43 days!