Last January I signed up to participate in a 10-week program to train for the Cooper River Bridge 10K Run/Walk. The group began training in downtown Charleston so participants could build strength and endurance, but after a few weeks we began training on the bridge. I remember being intimidated by the steep incline and the length of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, so I set small goals and started slow. That first time I just walked to the top of the incline and back down. Next time, I walked about halfway over and back. Soon enough I was walking all the way over the bridge and back. And finally I accomplished my ultimate goal: I completed the Cooper Run Bridge 10K Run/Walk. I felt so triumphant!
Walking became my exercise of choice. It is gentle enough for my impact-sensitive knees to withstand. It fits my budget. It can be done almost anywhere and anytime, and I enjoy it. I am mentally clearer, make better food choices and have more energy when I incorporate walking into my daily routine. Unfortunately, soon after the Cooper River Bridge Run I injured my foot. It wasn’t a serious injury, but it was enough of a problem to disrupt my walking routine. It’s been several months and my injury has resolved for the most part, but it’s been a challenge returning to my walking routine. Given the benefits of walking, it’s counter-intuitive to think getting back in the “exercise groove” would be so difficult. So why is beginning to exercise again such a chore for me?
I know it’s not putting on my walking shoes that’s such a chore, but I can’t even seem to get that accomplished. Perhaps part of the reason is I’m waiting to feel like walking and I’m also waiting for the perfect time to start. But let’s face it, that’s just not going to happen. Inspiration to exercise is not going to strike me like lightening. Sometimes, we have to do something in order to feel like doing it.
So that’s what I’m going to do. The hot weather is gone and my foot has improved, so this evening, despite quite a long “to do” list, I’m putting on my walking shoes and getting out there. I’m going to walk even if I don’t feel like it because I know that it all starts with taking that difficult first step… and I’m hoping there’s no stopping me once I start.
I’ve shared my goal for the fall: get back out there and get a move on! What’s your fall exercise goal?
Join us for October’s Support Group, “Get A Move On!” on Monday, October 22nd from 6 – 7pm in Mall Classroom 1 at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.
Trish Jarrell, RN, is the clinical manager of the Bariatric and Metabolic Services program at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.