Thursday, April 7, 2011

Enough is Enough

Last summer, my children, husband and I climbed South Turner Mountain at Mount Katahdin. It was a long hike for the five of us who have not hiked much in the past, but we were all very proud for having done it. Earlier in the summer we'd done a few hikes lasting an hour or so but getting up the mountain that day was an accomplishment, especially for someone who has been a bit lax in exercising much in recent years.

I'm often in denial about my age. It's not that I am ashamed to be 43, not at all. I am proud of every year I have lived and every little wrinkle I spot on my face is proof I have lived happily. I am pleased that I proved Mrs. Martin right all those years ago. (My high school English teacher told me years ago that I was bound to get wrinkles around my eyes and around my mouth because my face is so expressive and I use my eyes to communicate. She said that my constant habit of smiling was going to give me wrinkles and I remember thinking, "Okay. I suppose so. How else would I choose to live if not expressively?") But I suppose I say I am in denial because I never think of myself as being all that old. But then I see those 20 years younger than me and I remember, "Oh yeah. I'm not in my 20s anymore. Maybe I shouldn't eat this. Maybe I should build up my strength. Use it or lose it".

I was doing quite well last summer and fall; my energy level was up and I felt good. But then the holidays came and from Thanksgiving on, I put some seemingly selfish things on the back burner. I neglected to take care of myself physically. Oh, I had my reasons for doing that and they may even be justifiable and noble, but there has been a gnawing within alerting me that I have been ignoring something important. Something has been eating at my happiness and my health. I know the warning signs. I've been there before in years past. I suppose I should have recognized it sooner, but I let distractions get in the way.

I feel it in my bones. I see it in the mirror. There is no denying it. I am tired. I am well aware of my limits, but lately I have been pushing past them and it's not a good thing. It's time for me to get back to doing what I know I need to do to preserve my health and my well being. More sleep. Daily exercise. Less junk. Time outside. Deeper breaths. Tonight I am taking time to get my head on straight. Enough is enough. I owe this to me and to those I love.

It's time to reintroduce myself to the hills of my development and to the little box named Wii. It's time to plan some hikes and to finally purchase that new bike so I can go riding with Paul. If I can take an hour a day to write a blog post, surely I can find another 30 minutes at least to exercise.

I have plenty of motivation. Summer is coming, not to mention my 25th high school class reunion! But perhaps more importantly, I remember how I was feeling last summer and fall. I felt on top of the world, happy and fit. So it's time. Goodbye harsh winter. Hello spring. I've got a lot to do to catch up. It's going to be tough at first but I am equally stubborn. I'll cast aside my shame for the way I extended the holidays. Sedentary life is nice but there are going to be changes in store for my lazy butt.

I'm returning to the mountain this summer. I am determined to feel good again. The hardest part will be the trip there as I get up and move again. But I am going to remember the elation I felt when we reached the summit. I am going to remember telling myself to stay healthy for as long as possible. I'm going to use it so I won't lose it. Today (well actually tomorrow), I start anew. For now, I'm going to bed.

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