Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baby Steps

It's been a banner week for health: On Sunday I ran ten kilometres with my brother and sister-in-law in the Vancouver Sun Run! I managed to do it in an hour and four minutes- not bad for someone who literally hasn't run in months (I can't actually even remember the last time I ran before the Sun Run, so I was amazed that I not only ran it, but didn't have to walk once.)
Here's a picture of me running the race.
I'm on the left in the grey. I look fierce.
I actually beat my family, although to be fair, I only beat my brother because he is chivalrous, and ran the whole way with his wife. They crossed the finish line holding hands. Me, I'm pretty competitive when I run. So I steamed away as we crossed the start line, and met up with them after the race. I know, I'm klassy that way.
I also did my weekly workout with Leslie and walked part of the seawall with a girlfriend. But today.
Today was a new exercise in crazy personal best. 
My buddy Ari convinced me to walk from his house in Kits all the way to New Westminster. I knew it would be a long walk, but even I quailed a bit when he told me "it'll take about 8 hours." That's a full day's commitment. But it's my habit this time of year to enjoy my city as much as possible before I leave it for the summer. Plus I wanted to see if I was capable of an 8-hour walk. So I agreed, and at just after 9am this morning, we set off. There were train tracks:


River vistas...

...and at the end, there was Barbeque:

Nothing has ever tasted so good. Sitting down has never felt so incredible. MapMyRun clocks our trek at about 28 kilometres. I am very proud. And sore.
All this has been great because there have been some difficult things in my life lately and I haven't been handling them as well as I could have. But getting outside or working out has made a huge difference not only in how I feel about myself but also in how I react to negative situations or people. Just like performing, exercise throws you a whole bunch of endorphins, so the this winter's blues and bad moods haven't made a comeback because I am active. The sunshine helps a lot too. I find self-help books and trite daily 'meditations' incredibly patronizing and annoying, but a daily "sweat meditation" can bring new clarity and peace of mind to even the most fraught situation. Every mile run, every sunny-day walk, every weight I lift brings me a little bit closer to inner peace.
Not to mention that they can help you squeeze into a tight costume. 

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