I ran just shy of nine miles on Sunday. It was a beautiful only-in-San-Francisco October day, with warm sunshine and clear skies. I took a few tough hills, but other than that I relaxed and let my iPod carry me through the city streets. Nine miles. Wow.
Lately I have been so upset about some regained weight and tight clothing, that I’ve lost faith in my own capacity for accomplishment and success. Its been a blow to my ego that, having been a self-described ‘weight loss role model’ for several years, I am back to struggling with the scale again. Weight loss and subsequent maintenance was never easy for me, but it felt do-able. The past six months or so, however, I’ve wondered if I had completely lost the ability to string a few healthy days together and get a few healthy weeks under my belt.
So it was with some trepidation that I set out on Sunday afternoon for a long, slow jog to Golden Gate Park and back. Running has never been my favorite exercise, and I have always felt that the challenge for me has been more in my head than anything else. But over the summer I increased my running bit by bit, even while my food intake was somewhat out of control. Once I got over the first (huge) hill, I knew that I’d be able to make the rest of the run. I even added a half-mile at the end because the music was just so good, the breeze was just so warm, and the feeling was just so … amazing.
Cut to the same location, just about exactly four years ago, when I had reached the highest weight of my life. That fall day I had actually driven to the Park, because I didn’t think I could run all the way there. I got out of my car, began slowly running and WHAM. The pain in my lower back became excruciating after just a quarter mile. By the half-mile mark, I was panting so heavily that I couldn’t go any further. Defeated, I walked back to the car. I remember leaning on the steering wheel and crying. At that moment, I felt as if there was no hope in the world that I’d ever be fit again. Depressed and feeling helpless, it would be months before I worked up the courage to even TRY to lose some weight.
Perspective is a powerful thing. I ran nine miles on Sunday. Wow!!