And I've decided that the next thing I want to do is take up running. I've avoided it for so long because, really? Who wants to do that? But I want to build more activity in my life, and I want to live abundantly, and so I'm doing things that scare me, that challenge me, that I have believed for too long I can't do.
After my amputation in the 6th grade, my parents told me that it didn't matter, I could do anything I wanted. And mostly I did. I still played outside and ran around with my friends and played softball and biked (that one was hard) and hiked Civil War battlefields. My freshman year of high school I played first base for the freshman team, but really should have been playing JV.
Then we moved.
At my new school, softball tryouts were rough. We had an awesome team, like Olympic-trial-quality, practically. My inability (or, more accurately, never having learned how) to "slide" meant I was never in a million years going to make the team. Then I thought I'd play rec league - and ended up with a coach who hated being stuck with the lame kid and made me play catcher - which I a) hated, and b) really struggled with because of lack of ankle mobility. But he was convinced that having me behind the plate was where I could do the least damage, and so there I stayed. I stuck out the season, but quit playing after that.
Since then, I've slowly and surely downgraded my physical activity. Sure, I did a 5K on internship, and that was awesome. And this spring I spent lots of time playing catch with friends or against the Bockman wall. But on the whole, I'm not much of an exerciser. I've let
But no longer. I'm going to run. I want to run. I'm falling back into my isolated-self, Netflix-and-ice-cream bad habits from internship, and I definitely don't want to go there again. That was a scary, depressing time, and I'd rather not have it back, especially for an indeterminate amount of time. So I'm starting slow. I'm doing Cool Running's Couch to 5K, and slowly building up my fitness level. I don't so much care about time or distance. This is about me, and doing something that for too long I've believed I couldn't do.
The other attitude adjustment that is helping me, and taking the pressure off so that I can have fun with movement and activity, is adopting a practice called Health At Every Size. I'm going to have a lot more to say about this, but right now there's this: My whole life, I've been told that I'm fat and that I need to be dedicating all my efforts to weight loss. I believed that lie for so long, but then I stumbled upon the fantastic Ragen Chastain. She was the first person in my life to ever challenge that meme. The first person to point out that if my cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose all indicate health, then it really shouldn't matter what I weigh. The first one to say, "right now, your eyes are reading this webpage, your fingers are scrolling the mouse, your heart is beating, your lungs are breathing, etc..., so why do you hate your body so much?" This summer, I spent two whole days reading her entire blog straight through, and it was like a light switch for me. It truly has taken all the pressure off to live up to anyone's expectations but my own, and God's. And God says, "I want to you live abundantly".
Which is a great segue into my final point on taking up running - what's been holding me back from movement has been other people telling me that I can't do it, and the belief that if it doesn't impact the scale, then it was worthless. But as I wrote last spring about my Holy Spirit class, God has been doing some awesome work to free me from the lies, to remind me that no one can harm me, that God, and not anybody else, says who I am and what I'm worth. This running thing is part of that, I think. And it feels so, so good to be free.
So here we go - Couch-to-5K in 2 months.
God is good, indeed.