Becoming a part of this group was the impetus that I needed to start thinking about fitness and healthy living. So even though I took off on a 7,000-mile road trip a week before the race and never completed the "goal" that I had set for myself, I made a lot of progress towards the larger goal of getting in shape.
For whatever reason, or rather - host of reasons - I didn't rejoin the group for the summer or fall seasons. But when I received an e-mail from them a few weeks ago announcing that the winter season was beginning on January 10, I tucked the date in my mind with the thought that maybe I would attend.
When I went to bed this past Friday night at 11:30 PM, I highly doubted that I was going to get up at 6:00 AM to go running in the dark. Yet Saturday morning rolled around and like clockwork, Henry was up at 5:00. He was brought in to bed with us and while I laid there nursing him, I kept thinking that my bed felt so warm and cozy. And the baby was so cuddly. And the house was so quiet. And the triplets were sleeping so peacefully. And wow, this is as good as it gets.
And then, for some reason that I absolutely cannot explain, I moved the baby over to Charlie's side of the bed and I got up. I changed out of my warm pajamas and in to running clothes. I put on the running shoes that I've worn on only three occasions since my second triathlon in October. I grabbed my iPod. A bottle of water. A banana. And I slipped out the door and in to a dark, cold morning.
All the while, I was thinking WHY am I doing this? No one is expecting me. No one even thinks that I am going to be there. I could go back in to the house and go to sleep for quite possibly, the next two hours and no one would be the wiser.
But instead, I climbed in to the car and drove 30 minutes north to our running rendezvous. After 10 minutes of exchanging pleasantries with women who I hadn't seen in seven months, I wrote a check for $80.00 to cover my enrollment in the winter season, I signed up for a 4-mile race that is scheduled for St. Patrick's Day. And then ... I ran two miles.
While I was running - or rather stumbling along and trying not to fall down - I kept thinking that I might never be a "good" runner. Or a good swimmer. Or a good cyclist. But, exercise makes me feel more alive than I normally do, and if it helps me to not morph in to something totally soft and squishy, all the better.
If you are having a difficult time getting or staying motivated, I highly recommend joining a group. The group that I am now a part of, Moms in Motion, has teams in 4 countries, 46 states and 162 cities. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training® (TNT) is another great international organization where you raise money towards cures for blood cancers and in return, receive training and support for a host of athletic events including marathons, half-marathons, triathlons and long-distance bike rides.
Charlie just recently joined a Swim Masters group at the YMCA and three times a week, is in the pool swimming laps with 20 other people at 6 AM. There are a lot of groups out there. It's just finding one that works best for you. But it is my honest opinion that it helps to have support and encouragement.
I'm not sure what the driving force was that got me out of bed this past Saturday morning. But now that I've gone to a meeting and shown my face and written a check for the season, I know that I'm committed and I must continue.
Or, I must quickly plan another cross-country trip.
*****As an aside: Someone left me a comment a few weeks ago asking if I could post a link to my post on tying my shoes so my feet don't fall asleep. Here's that link.
As another aside: Have you set any fitness goals for yourself this year - and if so - what are they and how are you doing?