Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Got Me Started

On Thursday morning I did 45 minutes of  a Tae Bo DVD I had bought about eight years ago.  I was amazed at how good it made me feel--especially in the core area.  As I punched, kicked, and jumped, I asked myself why I haven't been doing more Tae Bo lately. . .and I didn't have an answer.

Oh, Billy, I can't quit you.

I remember clearly the day I called the number from the Tae Bo infomercial.  I had decided that enough was enough.  I was tired of being fat and inactive, and I was tired of fooling myself into believing that I "wasn't that big."  The day my new tapes arrived (yes, they were VHS), I sat down with the first video and a bag of fat-free potato chips and watched it.  On the couch.  No movement, except to put the chip to my mouth.  That's how pathetic I was.


I had paid for these tapes, so I intended to use them, and I did.  Everyday.  At first I thought I would die during thirty minutes of exercise, but gradually I was able to increase my fitness and my skills.  Eventually, through exercise and tracking my food choices, I lost about forty pounds.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I do Tae Bo after losing about forty pounds.
Tae Bo was a gateway drug for me.  I moved on to other challenges:  biking, walking, Bhangra dancing.  I loved all of it, but what I really wanted to do was run.

For nine years, I watched runners on the Blue Line run by my house for the Akron Marathon.  Eventually I had two children, and together we would cheer on the runners going by our house.  Each time a runner passed, and there were SO MANY runners, I was envious.  I wanted to be that strong person who was running so far, so fast.

On the tenth year I decided to do something about my jealousy; I joined the Towpath Turtles.  My original goal was to run a three mile leg of the Akron Marathon, but my newfound running club buddies convinced me that I had what it takes to run the half marathon.  And they were right.

I intend to write about the powerful influence of a running club later; today I want to take it back to what got me started, or more precisely, WHO got me started.

It was you, Billy.  If I hadn't ordered those tapes, if I hadn't stopped eating chips so I could try a jump-kick, I would never have been able to run 8.5 miles for FUN this morning.  I would never have run five half marathons and a gazillion other distances since 2011.  I wouldn't be blogging for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, an opportunity that excites me since it combines three of my loves: running, Cleveland's funky neighborhoods, and writing.

I look forward to sharing my journey with you.  I promise you that while I may take a few stutter steps now and then, I will NEVER go back to being that person sitting on the couch eating chips and watching exercise videos.  I have gained so much; I intend to continue forward.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I vow to continue to move forward.

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