During summer vacation, it’s very rare that I wake up before nine or ten o’clock. My husband leaves for work around 6:30, but unless he comes to kiss me good-bye, I don’t take notice. I have acquired an obliviousness to his alarm clock and subsequent sounds in the bathroom and bedroom as he gets dressed. So it was to my surprise that last Thursday I woke up as he was leaving. He had indeed come to give me a kiss, but this time, instead of immediately closing my eyes again, I kept them open and made the quick decision to get out of bed. I had a newfound morning energy that I was grateful for. Perhaps it is necessary to explain that the night before, I had prayed hard that I would be able to get up early enough to go walking/jogging before the oppressive summer heat and humidity kicked in outside. Realizing that my prayers had been answered, I quickly dressed and prepared for my exercise excursion. All of this was done with haste, as I didn’t want an opportunity to lose the motivation that had worked it’s way into my morning.
The app on my phone told me that I only traveled 2.5 miles that morning. This was certainly not the exhausting 4 miles that my husband and I had walked the weekend before on the river trail near our apartment. But, with a pretty painful burn in the region of my shins that had started not long after walking up the hill to get out of our apartment complex, I was still impressed with myself. Today is Sunday for another two hours, and I can’t honestly say that I exercised again like I did Thursday. There will be more days like that though. I am determined to make it happen.
For the past several summer breaks, I have always been determined to lose weight. With nothing distracting me, no work to make me tired at the end of the day, I always knew that summer break was the perfect time to really take charge of a diet and exercise regime that I desperately need. My physical health is a big obstacle in the path of motherhood. With excessive weight, it has brought on diabetes and high blood pressure, all of which will greatly diminish if I lose weight. Doctors have been telling me this for years, and yet, I have not done anything about these health conditions other than continue to get my medications refilled. With two weeks of summer already gone, I know it’s not too late to start the regime that I got a glimpse of on Thursday. A line from a song that I like says: “Surprise ’em with a victory cry”. That’s exactly what I want to do in the fall. I want to go back to school and surprise everyone with a different version of myself. Looking thinner is a bonus, but truthfully, I just want to be healthy.
There is so much inspiration around me that I simply can’t ignore. There was a dream I had a while ago where I was running and I wasn’t in pain from the effort, I wasn’t so out of breath that I couldn’t speak, it felt good to be running. My oldest sister had weight loss surgery around Easter and from pictures I’ve seen of her on Facebook, she looks fabulous! I don’t want to be the only one in my family who is not taking her health seriously. And while there are so many other people and quotes and stories I have heard that I’m drawing inspiration from, I am most inspired by a stranger in an SUV. About nine years ago, I was planning to go tandem skydiving and while I was within the acceptable weight limit, I was determined to lose a few pounds anyway, just to be on the safe side. I decided that running around the neighborhood was the best way to do this, actually, it was my only choice. So while I was running up the sidewalk, passing several businesses along the way, a lady in an SUV was pulling out of a bank parking lot. She rolled down her window as I jogged by and she yelled “You go girl!” I will never forget that. It has sort of become my exercise mantra.
Tomorrow begins a new week. There is opportunity waiting for me on the other side of the night. I am one teacher who is determined to make the most of her summer. There are no rules for summer vacation. Nothing says that I have to sleep in every day. Setting an alarm clock in June is not blasphemous. I will make this happen. I can do it.