A month ago I had knee surgery—endoscopic, three tiny incisions to trim a torn meniscus. It was really quick and easy with a short recovery. The hardest part for me was that I couldn’t run for a month afterwards.
I have been a runner for 40 years now; two NYC Marathons, a triathlon, several 15ks and multiple 10ks and my knees still work. They have served me well and I am grateful I to be able to keep on running, just shorter distances says the orthopedist.
My body was use to its daily run and to the calories it burned. In the month I was recuperating I put on 10 pounds and, despite using the elliptical at the gym and doing short walks, I quickly became out of shape.
Not good. As a client so descriptively put it, “it’s like carrying a 10 pound bag of sugar with you all the time. I never thought of it quite that way, but he’s right and I can feel the energy loss to prove it.
But happily, I am now running again. I love my daily run. It has so many benefits beyond feeling trim and fit. So many of us carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and necks but I find running releases and relaxes that tension which drops behind me as I move forward with a more oxygenated body.
Running allows me to reconnect to the natural world in a more intimate way. Spring comes through the serenade of the Peepers in March and the bullfrogs thereafter; summer with steamy cool mornings; fall brings crisp winds; winter the beauty of a light snowfall. I have discovered that there are phases to each season. I have witnessed bushes, trees and flowers in their full glory and am aware when they bloom each season. The leaves in the fall go from bright oranges and yellows to muted browns and grays to bare branches heading in to winter.
My body thermostat seems to function more accurately—I stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. My system overall just runs more smoothly.
But the biggest payoff is in my psyche. As my brain relaxes and I experience a deeper connection with and pleasure in my physical self, I sense the support of the earth beneath my feet and feel the power of possibility in my life to do whatever it is I choose to go for as a goal.
There is something truly empowering about feeling fit enough to take on life’s challenges. By committing to a daily exercise regimen, I prove to myself that I can stick to something that is so good for me. I gain self-respect and appreciation. And I know I can use that same discipline and wherewithal to manifest my dreams. How about you? Whether it is running or some other daily exercise, the first step is the hardest. After that, it becomes a new, life affirming habit with huge payoffs.