I Did It!

MaggieSmith/freedigitalphotos

It was cold this morning at 8:25.  Really cold.  Nine degrees to be exact. It was so toasty warm and comfy under my blankets, but, I got up and went out anyway.  My friend would be waiting for me, and I didn't want to let her down. And, of course, there was the entire group---if they could get there, I certainly was not going to wimp out.


Off I went to join our women-over-50 walk/run session.  Six other women were gathered in my pace group when I got there, loosening up as they waited for our coach to lead us outside with time piece and whistle in hand. We started walking. The wind was blowing a bit, so it felt colder than it really was. I was glad I had my neck gaiter on to warm up the air before it hit my lungs. It wasn't a good day to forget my inhaler; asthma and exercising in the cold don't mix very well. But my body wasn't cold; I had dressed in the right number of layers. Trying to keep pace with the group, I chatted with a gal I just met, sharing stories of how we joined the group. Even though the wind was blowing enough to make my cheeks sting a little, I was enjoying myself. I mean, how many other people were out there on a cold winter Saturday trying to improve themselves?


We finished our 3 miles of alternating running 3 minutes and walking 2.  I walked into the clubhouse feeling winded, sweaty, but really, really good.  Seriously.  I feel so good when I'm done.  Some of the feeling is probably the physical effect from getting all that oxygen flowing throughout my body and getting those muscles moving.  The endorphins zipping in my brain put me in a really good mood. And I just feel proud of myself for doing it.  Maybe a little virtuous.

I've been a walker for years.  At some periods of time, I had a walking buddy.  That was always fun as we would talk about everything on our minds while we got our exercise in. I haven't had a steady walking partner for quite awhile, but I remained faithful to my walks---at least most of the time. I know I've cut them back a bit since the dog doesn't want to walk as far anymore. And I know I wasn't challenging myself. By joining this group, I found a whole bunch of buddies that are cheering me on to push myself a bit harder than just a leisurely walk, and it's a good thing.


Whether you have one friend or a whole group, having support as you work toward a goal really helps. We have another 5K in a few months.  I'd like to go faster than the one we did in December. Nothing spectacular and nowhere near the top, but I'm going to do it better.


I like having the exercise scheduled on my day planner. It makes it a priority, something to look forward to. I used to jot it down after I exercised, but in this way, I don't come up with seemingly more important things to do.


Knowing friends will be there gives me motivation to get there. I don't want to let them down. Once I'm there, those friends supply a great social time that I was missing while walking on my own.


It was really cold out there today. When I got home and looked on the computer, I found out that the windchill was probably at 0 or below when we first started.  But, you know what?  I did it!