I am 25 pounds heavier, and a decade older, than when I last ran for fitness, and 40 pounds heavier than when I ran competitively. But I've still got decent form, and somewhere in my muscles is the memory of what it feels like to be strong and confident in my body.
I have recently started a variation of the popular Couch to 5K program, alternating walking and running for a 30 minute workout. My old self would have scoffed at what I count as a workout these days. What I consider serious running now would have been a mere warm up for my younger self.
I am determined to claw my way back to fitness, or some version of it. I was a relatively active person before becoming a mother; I exercised regularly at the gym during the week and in the winter I skied every weekend. And I kept up some semblance of a fitness routine in the early years of motherhood. When my first child was still able to be confined to a stroller, I would strap her in and walk and walk. But as she became more active, somehow I became less. My priorities changed, and working-out just kept getting pushed down the list.
My daughters are older now. They can work-out with me (as they sometimes do) or be left alone for short periods of time as I walk-jog around the neighborhood. It's time to return to a healthier me.
I'm at the age where my biological mother began to get heavier, and in the past year especially my body has begun to move in that direction. Is biology my destiny, or can I successfully fight back with diet and exercise? I don't need or want to be a twig, but this body I am walking around in these days doesn't feel like mine. I'll never be the runner I once was; those days are past. But I'm sure there's an older-but-fit version of myself in me somewhere. I am working my way toward her one day, and one workout, at a time.