Run, Dena, Run!

Back in the day, I was long and lean and danced my butt off in the studio 6 days a week, 5 hours a day.  I never had to worry about putting anything in my mouth, and prided myself on being the girl who doused her movie theater popcorn in butter and ate cheese fries after midnight.

I don’t need to delve into the specifics, because we all know where the story is going.  I no longer have the metabolism of a 20-year-old, the stamina of a dancer, or the time of my youth.  I can also add two pregnancies that have left my body not quite the same way it started the 9 months before each birth.

Now, before I get the, “But, Dena, you told us we need to love our post-baby bodies,” comments, I want to be clear.  Any improvements I want to make to this body that I have right now, is not based on a self-loathing body image.  Fitting into a smaller jeans size is only the icing on the cake, which frankly I like to eat.  I want to be healthier, now and in the future, more active, and more able to keep up with two kids who are going to out-run me very soon.  I refuse to give up eating delicious treats (albeit, maybe in smaller portions), so in order to balance my inner foodie with my aging metabolism, exercise needed to make it’s way back into my life.

In my quest for a better me, I, like I’m sure many of you, have paid for gym memberships I rarely used, maintain a library of workout DVD’s that now make excellent coasters, shaken my booty to Latin beats with the retirees at the local Y, and expanded my curse-word vocabulary at the likes of Jillian Michaels and Tony Horton.  I just could not find something that I wanted to continue with and pursue.

Exercise for me needs to be quick and effective.  As a busy working mom I have little time during the day, so I needed to find something that I could do in 30 minutes or less, either in the early morning hours (Ha! Not likely!) orafter the kids went to bed.

It’s funny that running turned out to be just that.

Why?  Because I HATE running.

I was the girl who had a sprained ankle/broken toe/headache/stomach-ache/name-your-ailment note from home on those days when we had to run a mile in gym class.  I would rather play Bombardment and take a Nerf ball to the face than run a meter, never mind a mile.

So, when I got the urge one day to want to run, I was unsure where it was coming from or what to do with it.  Maybe it was the success that the other ladies in the Working Moms on the Move program were having with the Couch to 5K program, or hubby’s training for the Hartford Marathon, or just stress making my subconscious want to run.  Whatever it was I decided to go with it.

I started slowly with running/walking around the neighborhood.  It was hard, but I didn’t hate it.  I was starting to, dare I say, like it?!?

With support from the hubby (which may have been encouraged by the prospect of creating a small man-cave at the same time), we re-did our garage and added a treadmill, TV, internet, and kids play things.   I no longer had any more excuses, I could run in any kind of weather with the kids awake or asleep.

A while back a friend posted this picture on Facebook (I do not know the woman in it, but I would like to give her a hug):

The caption was, “Say what you want, but she’s DOING IT!”

Hells yeah.

I may not be running straight for a full mile yet.  I am by no means breaking any records for speed.  And I probably look more like Phoebe on Friends than Flo-Jo when I run.

But, I’m doing it.


6 thoughts on “Run, Dena, Run!

  1. Pre-kids, I earned my blue belt in four months. FOUR MONTHS. I was working up to train for my brown belt when I got pregnant the first time. Back then, I was an ass-kicking size 6… now, I can barely throw a side kick. I look like a much weaker and plumper version of my former self, but you know what? I still do it. My roundhouse kicks are a little less powerful due to my pelvis, and my left punches are not as strong due to a previously broken wrist, but I’m still out in the garage, punching and kicking, sweating my ass off, and loving it. And loving it is all that matters, right?

  2. Running is an awesome no excuses way to give yourself the biggest confidence boost to do more! I say this all the time- anyone- ANYONE can run! Any skill level, any pace, just run! And it’s one of the cheapest sports out there- a great pair of running shoes and some spandex and out the door you go. You would love running a 5K- set a goal for yourself and watch as you blow past it! awesome, Dena!

  3. omg, you just reminded me that I had a dream last night where my running partner was someone who looked like me but had blonde hair and we decided we wanted to try running exactly like Phoebe ~ so we did and laughed our asses off! Maybe we should have a 5K like THAT! lol! Anyway, loved this post! I’m also a running fool who’s not breaking any speed records, but at least I’m doing it! Hells yeah! ♥

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