Saturday, June 18, 2011

Run For Your Life

Exercise has never been my thing but I'm far from being a lazy person. I have always had the desire to get moving but just never could find a form of exercise that satisfied my niche or that I felt comfortable doing. I bore easily so any sort of stationary exercise like yoga, weight lifting, or aerobics bores me to tears. I get no satisfaction out of exercise that seems to have no propulsion to it.

I did find that I have always enjoyed walking and hiking. Unfortunately at this time in my life I don't get to hike near as much as I would like, but I do look forward to one day having the pleasure to do it a bit more. Kids do grow up eventually...

Back in December of 2010 I took the Christmas money my dad always so generously sends me every year and went to Academy and bought me an ab board and comfy warm-up attire that would motivate me to get out and walk in the cold.

I was doing pretty good there for awhile. I was faithfully working on my ab board every day and had managed to work up to 60 sit-ups a day with ease. As for walking....well, somehow I just couldn't motivate myself to get out the door and walk against the cold wind chill temps most days. My walking was sporadic to say the least. I ended up spending most of my time on my bike so that I could make my regime in the cold quick and painless. I also found that I like riding a bike for pleasure more than I do for exercise.

That's when it hit me. I could run. I have a couple of friends that run and my brother who is a year younger than me even manages to work morning runs into his busy schedule. If they can do it surely I can too, I thought.

Before I could even implement my plan to start myself on a running training program my little Brandi died and I lost all motivation to move..period. I even quit doing my ab board which I had become pretty skilled at.

Here is the really cool part of this story....

When we first adopted our dog Bo in January 2011, the name he had been given by the shelter and on his paperwork was "Hanno". They told us we could name him whatever we wanted that since they didn't know his real name. One of the volunteers had temporarily named him Hanno.

A couple of months ago while browsing the web, I came upon this website that gave the meaning of different names. I thought about the name Bo had been given in the shelter...Hanno, and how odd of a name I thought it was so I searched it on the website.

I was a little taken aback to see that the name Hanno means "Gift from God". I mostly thought about all the times he had seemed to be a gift from Satan...

Then I realized how much a gift he has been for me. Because Bo is a high maintenance dog he needs a good bit of exercise. I am forced to get up and move whether I want to or not. He gets a mile and half morning walk and I usually walk him about a mile in the evening when Toby is at work.

A few weeks ago I thought about how all the dog walking was taking up some of my free time and if I could just move a little faster it would cut my time in half. I thought back to before Brandi died and how I had wanted to incorporate running into my life.

So with Bo on leash, I started to jog a little at first. Bo thought it was great. He didn't have to drag me along anymore. I won't lie, those first couple of weeks I was winded as hell and panting for my life after less than a block, but each day I pushed myself forward a little more staggering running and fast paced walking.

After a couple of weeks I found that I could run a little farther each time and with less gasping for air. I also found that I really enjoyed the running after the initial shock of first time runner trauma. My legs and calves stopped aching and they began to feel stronger.

So now my goal every day is to run a little farther each day. I find that I actually look forward to my run/walks now. This is the longest I have ever stayed with an exercise regime and I find that I am getting a little addicted to the way it makes me feel.

I feel different. I feel more confident and stronger. I won't go into to details, but my digestive system works better. I feel more in control of my life. I have something to work toward. I don't get as winded or tired as I did before. I have more energy and I don't feel like I have been ran over by a truck when I get up in the mornings.

If I feel this good after only a few weeks of training, I can only imagine how I will feel when I can run a mile non-stop...or two miles...or three, etc.

I have a goal. I want to be able to hike the hills, backpack and maybe even run a small marathon or two in the future. I'm almost 47 years old and I have no desire to be a geriatric. I don't want to be one of those older folks you see sitting around complaining about aches and pains or what medications they are on or when their next doctor appt. is. I want to be out there running and walking and seeing and enjoying my world with these years I have left for myself.

I can only thank the monster dog named "Hanno" for my motivation. He is the reason I get out that door everyday. He literally prods me with his paw to get up and out the door. If it weren't for him I'm very sure that Toby nor Summer would drag me up off the couch to take a run/walk.

Thank you Hanno!!


  1. I loved this post! Hanno is your buddy - just as Lucy is my husband's running buddy. He loves running because he has her to go with him, I think. Okay - now I'm inspired - off to the treadmill - jogging will have to wait, but at least I'm moving, right??

  2. I'm so thrilled with this post, especially coming on the heels of the post where he nearly drowned you! I have a geriatric dog who cannot take long walks anymore, but I have a beagle that would freak out if I suddenly started taking her on long walks. Maybe I will!
    OK, you've inspired 2 of us now! :-)