When I first stepped out of the house this morning, it was to walk our dog in memory of Peanut, K9 friend of Bumbling Band member Linda (who mentioned him in comment #22 over on MizFit). It felt way colder than the 46 degrees reported by my iPhone weather app, and it had rained. Bela is very scent-oriented, so I'm sure the damp ground percolated with doggy smells. She even bounded a little bit, which is unusual, since she's generally mellow and keeps to a moderate trot; that is, when she isn't stopping 50,000 times to sniff something. Takes the old adage about "taking time to stop and smell the roses" to new (and pungent) lows, does our Bela.
I whined a bit to my family when I got back. "It's cooooooold! Oooooooohhhhhh....I don't feeeeel like running!" You know, that was one of my biggest surprises when I started reading more blogs by people who run regularly: runners don't always feel like running. Mr. Handsome-and-Handy suggested the exercise bike or the DVD, but I'm not sure if it'll be raining tomorrow or Friday, so I said, "I'll feel like a wuss if I don't run today."
I was already running...short on time, that is. So I decided to do 20 minutes then and another 10 later at the gym, before Body Pump class. First, however, I made time for my daily visit with Mary Lou! I stepped onto The Platform. I'm surprised Elsie the Cat, whose heated cat bed is right next to The Platform, didn't jump out of her skin: applause and cheering! "You are one and a half pounds below your starting weight!" Woo hoo! Mary Lou must think I'm feeling a bit peaked from such a dramatic loss, because she then said, "Need an energy boost? Add more protein, like lean meat, fish, and chicken to your diet." I'm doing fine with those, thanks to grill-master Mr. H&H, but good advice all the same.
So I added hat and gloves and went on my run. I thought again about myself and good exercise habits: how hard they are for me to establish, how easily I've let them slip away from me in the past, and how I really want to stick with them going forward. But funny how sometimes you get a little boost just when you need it: one of the neighbors, not one I know by name but by sight, pulled up next to me as I headed down the street.
"You're looking great!" she exclaimed.
"Wow, thanks!" I replied.
"It's great that you're running...I wish I could do it. I was a smoker, and I can barely walk to the end of the street now."
I wish I knew how to encourage people, in a concise way, to keep trying activity until they find something that works for them, without sounding really lame! And that running, while it's the cardio exercise I do most often, isn't the only game in town. I really ought to come up with a precanned statement for situations like these. Nickelodeon's "Get out and play/An hour a day" is catchy, but I don't think it would work well for everyone. Maybe, "Get out and walk/While on cell phone you talk?" Hmmm.
But for now, I settled on, "Walking's great, too!"
I was kind of surprised by the encounter, so I don't remember exactly what we said to each other after that, but it was brief and cheerful. I really appreciated her stopping to tell me that.
Further along, I encountered another neighbor, who was out walking his dog. I always stop to pet his dog, because he's such a people canine and is big and furry, so I got to talk to our neighbor, too. He, too, said how great it was that I was running. "I could never do that," he said. "I hate running." Since he wasn't sitting in the middle of the road in a car on his way to work, I got to elaborate a little more. "Oh, I know what you mean. I used to hate running, too." I confessed. "I started with walking, but added a little more running gradually, then I was running!" We then discussed our recent weather, and winter, and were on our merry ways once more.
Me, with a little more wings on my heels, thanks to some unexpected kindness from neighbors. May you also find encouragement when you need it the most and expect it the least.