I was late for work, as usual. Ahead of me I could see co-workers entering the building, but I was so far behind them, shouting “hold the door” would have been ridiculous. I kept huffing along with my bags in tow (Why must I carry so much crap?!). Suddenly, a head popped out of the door and shouted “RUN!”
Now, I usually don’t run unless I’m being chased. But something about the way she looked at me made me do it. I ran to the door. When I got there, all sweaty and out of breath, my co-worker said with a giggle, “I just wanted to get your heart started this morning!” Well, ok, thank you. This 5-minute episode not only had me winded (out of shape much?) but it stayed with me all day. I got up to my office and began the “you’ll never guess what just happened” stories. I had a good laugh about how ridiculous it was and how crazy it was of my co-worker to TURN BACK, pop her head out and motivate me to get moving.
So many questions went through my mind the more I reflected on it. Why did I run and not just wave her off? What went through her mind right before she yelled? We hardly know each other! Was she trying to tell me something? Did I NEED to get my heart started? Does she think I’m fat? Am I fat? OMG, I’m fat.
Later that day, something else happened. Call it a coincidence. My work offers wellness programs during lunch hours and it just so happened that today’s program was called “Couch to 5K,” presented by a local running store. Holy cow! Was this another sign? I don’t know, but you can bet your butt that I attended. I sat and listened to the benefits of running and exercise in a room full of people who looked a lot like me: they were mostly middle-aged, out of shape and short on free-time-in other words, working moms! The more the trainer talked, the more interested and motivated I became. But still, I was holding back.
And then, that same day, one of our CTWM bloggers, Tara, reached out and asked if any of us wanted to sign up for a road race together as a CT Working Moms team. Well, that was it. The final sign I needed. Without hesitation–or thought–I replied “I’m in.”
I realized that it didn’t matter what made my co-worker do it or why she choose me. What matters is what I do next. I’m going to start training for a race. I’m going sign up for a race with my CT Working Moms and I’m going to finish it. The hardest part is going to be taking that first step, literally and figuratively.
Like any of us, I’m a busy person. My life is filled with all the craziness that everyone else’s is. I can make excuses with the best of them. But I really want to do this because I need to. I need to feel good about myself. I need to feel the confidence that comes with a strong body, one that you’ve earned. I need to push myself in order to have something to be proud of, something that I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears into.
To accomplish this, I have to start making time for me. I need to find the time, wherever it’s hiding. I need to find my voice to ask for the time. I need to give myself the permission that I deserve this. I deserve to want to work hard at this and succeed (or fail?). I have some really great inspiration on my side.
I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that one day this inactive caterpillar of a mom is going to wake up and be the super-healthy, sporty butterfly. But unless I take that first step, I won’t even come close. So to my co-worker, I owe you one. Thanks for getting my heart started. The rest is up to me.