So…last week I took a break from the wide world of exercise. Prior to that week, I was getting in about 3 workouts/week (to help maintain muscle tone, lower stress levels, and keep up with the massive amounts of carbs I’ve been eating…and to claim all the happy heart benefits of exercising….). Anyway, by Saturday, my stress level was…shall we say HIGH…and I was missing the fresh air and pavement under my feet. So, I decided that I was–come what may–going to run.
I found my workout gear, running jacket, iPod headphones, and shoes. I laced up both shoes, then sat for a moment to add some recently acquired music to my “a good run” playlist. As I did, I felt something poking the inside of my right ankle. I unlaced my shoes (have I mentioned that I abhor tying shoes and avoid this action whenever possible?) to investigate. I pushed around my sock and flicked at the spot in my shoe until I was satisfied that the sharp object digging into my skin had exited.
I started a load of (long overdue) laundry.
I added a few more songs.
I took a sip of water.
Then, I popped the ear buds into my ears and searched for a song that would pump up my energy level and inspire me to keep moving muscles in a way I hadn’t done for…well, let’s just say it’s been awhile…. 🙂
Rob Bass started chanting in my ear (thank heavens my dear friend edited the song for me so I could listen to it in peace), and my feet were keeping up with the rhythm, pounding with the force of weekly frustrations and newfound strength. I didn’t even care about keeping pace or running far; I just needed the boost of pavement beneath my feet and the spirit of the earth flowing around me. I felt renewed, refreshed, and amazing. The wind hit my face like a wall, but I kept moving. A few more songs, and I was back home to lift, do push ups and abs.
The next morning, I got out of bed with shin splints. Oops! I guess I forgot to stretch those muscles! Still, with every step I took, I was reminded of the rush of energy of my run and of the work I am doing to live healthy and to be strong. The shin splints were practically a gift…and I was grateful for them. 🙂
What do you do to combat stress and to increase your personal health and strength?
P.S. Did you know that Brooks (awesome running shoes) has a Wear Tester Program for their products? You can fill out a profile, and you become eligible to try out their new gear for FREE…pretty sweet, eh? 🙂