I originally started writing this blog at the suggestion of a friend. Deep down I thought she was crazy but I decided to give it a try. I have grown to enjoy it. It helps me think things through. I don’t always come up with the answers I am looking for.
I started running again because I saw a picture of myself and I realized I didn’t like what I saw. I started reading about health and fitness. Then I read more about the foods we eat. When I lived in England and Turkey the food seemed fresher. I am sure it was. We ate seasonal fruits and vegetables that were not imported from the rest of the world. Now, I prefer to eat organic foods preferably those that are locally grown.
One thing I have always known but it was really confirmed when I started spending more time over seas is that I am fortunate to have been born in the Country that I was. When we lived in Turkey we used to joke about being a Turkish millionaire because the Turkish Lira had yet to been re valued. For example 1,000,000 Turkish Lira was equivalent to about .60 cents U.S. As an American I didn’t realize just how fortunate I was. While living in Turkey I ran but only around the local community and never really ventured out. What an opportunity missed! However, my Crohn’s disease was very active at that point and I was yet to be diagnosed. All I knew was that I had to be aware of all the bathroom facilities. I did get to travel around the country and see some amazing things and it was also at this time that Jordan showed (she was 2-4yrs old) me what an amazing athlete she was going to grow to be. It was also at this time that I first learned of cross fit.
We moved back to the States after 2 years and I focused more and more on fitness over the next 2.5 years. I realized it helped me with stress and I also enjoyed the challenge. I loved cycling and swimming and while I was running a lot I didn’t enjoy it. Probably because I had so many i.t. band problems. I would run and work up to 6 miles and then irritate my legs. Then it took me months to rehab and I would do it again. It was a cycle I couldn’t seem to break. I started doing more cycling, swimming and cross fit. I was still running just not quite the distance that I had hoped for.
When I moved to England I stayed active and continued doing Cross fit exercises. I also started cycling more. it was amazing riding through England. I loved riding the village streets and roughing the cobble stone roads. It was tough on my but it was worth it. I cycled past pubs, churches, and castles. Up and down hills through rolling farmlands. I continued to swim but the dollar was weak and the British Pound was strong and it cost me about $10 every time I went swimming. So I would swim a lot when I went to the pool. I figured if I was paying ten bucks I wanted to get my monies worth. When I was living in England I was diagnosed with Crohn’s had my surgery and was medically retired.
After that I moved back to the states and specifically to NE. The gym there was amazing! I guess it has to be when you live in such a cold state. I loved going to work and heading to the gym on freezing cold winter nights. The gym had weights, an indoor track (3 laps was one mile), a pool, in door soccer field, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and racquetball courts. I think you get the idea. The gym was awesome! It was somewhere between England and Nebraska where I developed my love affair with fitness.
My family life had been in distress for several years at this point and the gym was an escape. I would breakdown emotionally running laps in that gym. Going to the gym was spiritual for me. I made it through the Nebraska winters and started running on some of the best trails I have ever run. Nebraska’s slogan is “The Good Life”. I’d gladly go back to the greater Omaha area. I feel as though it is one of the United States best kept secrets. But all good things come to end (eventually) and we had to move again.
I found myself in Florida where I know live. I took advantage of the warm weather and kept running. I only had a few great runs. Most of my runs felt forced. I felt like I had to do it. I didn’t want to do it. After some time went by I ended up moving to my apartment. It was a long time coming but my fitness fell by the side. I was working out but not hard and not loving it. I did enjoy spin class but it wasn’t giving me the change I needed.
This brings us to December 2012 Jordan and I went to the track and started slow. We increased our mileage every week by 10%. I started going to an unorganized/organized (does that make sense?) run leaving from our local running store. I am not always out going and I would go to the run see some faces and leave. Now I have a few friends or at least people I chat with every Tuesday night. Jordan and I also started doing 5k runs and I think more people know her than me (she wins and I just finish). We have made friends and made our selves more and more healthy. We eat better (no more fast food), enjoy the out doors and inspire each other to push farther and faster.
In one week I will run my first half marathon. I am nervous and excited and proud of myself. I feel as though I have come a long way. Especially for just one year of serious running. Now I don’t know if I will be the lion or the gazelle on Sunday. But I guarantee I’ll wake up running