I ran on the sidewalk today.
Doesn’t sound like a big deal at first…but please, let me explain.
You see, I have always been self conscious about myself especially when out exercising. I have always been afraid of what others think of me when they see me in oversized tshirts and sweats (or sometimes more form fitting attire) when at the gym or out of the house for some exercise. “She is too big to be wearing that” or “Man, she looks funny.” were just some of the (nicer) thoughts that would run through my mind when I saw people were looking at me. Not going to lie, this impacted my exercise times and intensity and I don’t think I was fully getting the workout I needed.
I was most self conscious about going out and either walking/jogging around my neighborhood or around where I teach. I was (and still slightly am) always afraid of running into people I knew/know or students of mine while I am dripping in sweat, huffing and puffing, and not looking put together.
I am pretty sure this is why I remained out of shape for so long…
fear of what others thought of me exercising.
It really sparked something. I became even more proud of myself for getting up and completing any for of exercise. Because yes, I at least got up to do something. I have gotten myself up off the couch and have gotten in my exercise for that day. Why should I be ashamed?
The woman I saw in the park was such an inspiration to me because here she was jogging in the heat, wearing sweat pants and a racerback workout shirt, huffing and puffing, covered in sweat and beet red in the face. She was doing what she could and to the best of her ability. There is no way I or anyone else could fault her for being out doing something. I thought to myself if she can do it and not care, why can’t I? And that is when I decided to pick up jogging…officially.
I jog a couple blocks away from my house on a road that splits from the sidewalk down into a lower tier trail that hides anyone walking or running because of the higher tier sidewalk. This lower trail is what I always jog on because there is less exposure of me to the cars passing by which reduces the amount of head turns I would get because I am sure aside from being body conscious, this is what I always thought when I would jog
But on the way back, I remembered the first picture and the woman in the park. That it doesn’t matter how fast I am able to go, or even what I look like. What matters is that I am up doing something for and about my health. People may look and stare but I have to ask…”What have you done today?” and then smile and keep going.
Besides, I want to be like the woman in the park was for me to someone else. I want someone to drive by one day and see me out there struggling, leaving a trail of sweat, and looking like a drunken horse while I jog and think to themselves that they can do it too…and then actually do it.
So, I ran on the sidewalk today. For all to see.
Did I get looks and stares?
Did I care?
Not one bit.
What inspires you to get up and move?