I have always been athletic. Even as a kid growing up with 5 brothers I was indeed, and still am to some extent, a tomboy. Playing tag, army and most outdoor fun was a daily activity for me. By the time I was 16, I was working out regularly and intergrading this activity as a lifestyle. Now at 52 I have continued to work out 5-6 days a week along with surfing. But I had this nagging sense of need to find and incorporate a cardio work out into my life. I could surf hours and still have endless energy but running seemed exhausting. I had always looked at runners and thought, wow that looks like a lot of hard work, I don’t think I could ever do that but at the same time admired their devotion.
“I need more cardio work”, I told my husband Glen. “Maybe I could run in place each day starting with 3 minutes and increase it as I became use to the huffing and puffing.” Feeling my heart healthier already the idea of maybe even reaching the 5 minute mark in a few weeks was a reality, “cool”, I thought as I trotted in place. Glen gave me an encouraging smile, kissed my cheek and said, “Ya, go for it!”
So onward I went, determined to reach that 5 minute mark. After finally reaching the 5 minute mark of trotting in place it was, to say the least, a great thrill for me. I next decided to try my evolving love for running outside on one of our trips to Northern Baja a year ago. There is a 3.25 mile loop which we refer to as the circuit in this desolate area of Baja that we camp and surf at every fall and winter. Within this 3.25 mile circuit dirt road you will find various rocks of all sizes, soft dirt, hard dirt, maybe some mud if the tides are extreme combined with big waves, sand and some small hills. The visuals are breathtaking. Mountains on the background, various cactus and shrubbery serve well on the eyes. Yes this was my beginning of outside running or as I called it, my walk/runs.
At the time I didn’t have proper running shoes since my movement consisted of 5 minutes of in place trotting. So I laced up my Sketchers, called for my 2 dogs to come along with mommy for a, um, run and off we went! A few minutes of walking followed by a few seconds of running was my beginning that day. I smiled as I would see a big bolder up ahead and say to my loyal 4 legged boys, “come on, lets make it to that rock.” And when I did I was beaming with pride. I’d make it back to camp where Glen would be anxiously waiting for me. I’d come trotting in, my face all red and sweaty and dead tired but excited beyond words. I would give Glen detailed descriptions of how far I made it running and then walking. He was so proud of me. Each day I would head out and hope to run just a little farther than I had the day before. After 2 months I could run the entire circuit, rocks, sand and all without stopping as I concentrated so as not to trip over those rocks or sink in that sand and dirt. I was hooked, running was now a part of my life and my heart.