Weight Loss Journey 1: Running in a Thunderstorm Makes You Move A Little Faster

thunder-953118_1280*****This post first appeared on Sparkpeople on July 28, 2009*****

Today I had one of those days when you’re forced to stop taking yourself so seriously. There has been a lot going on this week, some serious stuff with close friends, so my exercise has been more sporadic. Today I turned down some quality time with one of my favorite people in the world because I HAD to get in a walk. Now, I’ve walked in the rain before, which can actually be quite pleasant as it takes the edge of the humid North Carolina summer heat, but this was a different thing entirely. When I left my apartment I thought I could squeeze in four miles of walking before the sun went down. At the end of my first mile, the skies turned dark, the wind changed direction, and I could hear the rumble of thunder in the distance. The second mile runs on a hill where there are fewer trees, so I determinedly continued into my second mile, fixated on completing my goal of four miles. The skies didn’t open up, but the thunder continued and worsened and lightning started striking all around me. I think there were actually two storms converging on one another, because the two purple masses in the sky seemed to be moving toward each other.

I’ll be honest; I was scared. I swear there were times the lightning seemed only a few feet away. Since I hadn’t been to this park since last Thursday (it’s Tuesday) I was determined to keep going, and I was actually surprised at the amount of energy that I had. A good portion of the time, I was running. I think it was a combination of the pent-up energy I had from not doing cardio in so many days and my strong desire not to get hit by lightning! All I kept thinking about was my mother’s voice telling me not to get too close to the trees because lightning travels through the trunks. Then were the conflicting voices telling me I had to finish the four miles because that was my goal “even if it killed me” and the prayers I kept saying to God thanking Him for keeping me alive.

In hindsight, it really wasn’t that dangerous, but it felt like it at the time. I felt so silly, all these thoughts, and feeling like I was in so much danger. Meanwhile the other crazy people on the trail seemed to be taking their sweet time with not a care in the world. I must have looked like a cartoon character. Every time there was a bolt of lightning I would start sprinting, then slow back down into a walk until another bolt of lightning hit and I took off again like I’d been slashed by a whip. I’m sure I was the picture of anxiety. You could probably slap my face on the “before” picture of an ad for anti-anxiety medication (the “after” picture, of course, being the expression I wore when I finally reached the sanctuary of my car). Unfortunately or fortunately, I’m not really sure which, my sensible side took over and I stopped after that second mile, just about when the rain came pouring down in torrents. I have seen a lot of storms, but this was definitely one you didn’t want to be caught outside in, especially in a park full of big, lightning-conducting trees. Needless to say, I didn’t take the extra minute to stretch until I was safe (and relieved) in my apartment. What is the purpose of telling you this tale? I’d like to say that I’m an overcomer and achieved my goal regardless of the obstacles in my path. However, although I am an overcomer, circumstances can change your plans a little. I realized that while it’s important to make your health a priority and achieve your goals, you have to be flexible and adapt when things don’t turn out exactly as you plan. I think I’ve been getting into a rut with my exercise lately, not being very creative, but the important thing is that I’m still doing it and still making it a priority. Also, I haven’t been spending that much time on SparkPeople lately. However, reconnecting today was definitely helpful. Today is weigh-in day and I didn’t lose this week (I think I’ve got girl issues contributing to that anyway) but when I plugged in my measurements it was motivating to see the graphs that showed that I’ve lost inches on EVERY area that I’ve measured, and I have consistently measured my body every week since the end of May. As I write this I’m shifting my focus to the positive-no, I didn’t do four miles today, but I did run more than I have any other time! Who cares that my motivation was avoiding getting hit by lightning! Who cares that I didn’t lose any pounds this week–I’ve lost 15 pounds in two months! I’m adding clothes to my “too big” pile daily! Most importantly, though, I’m still committed to making the effort, and I’m not giving up on myself. And, thankfully, there are other ways to work out than running in a thunderstorm…

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Inquiring minds want to know: What is all this business about Weight Loss Journey 1 and Weight Loss Journey 2?

Weight Loss Journey 1: I lost 75 pounds from 2009-2011; I’m reposting the blog posts I wrote on Sparkpeople during that time

Weight Loss Journey 2: I have gained back the majority of the weight I lost and have been on a quest since July 2015 to lose the weight again.

Sorry about the timing of the posts, I know that’s probably confusing. But they are only appearing at the same time because I didn’t start my blog earlier. It may be helpful to read the posts by category if you want to catch up. Enjoy!

About bridget

I was born and raised in upstate New York, where my parents still live, before escaping the cold weather to settle in North Carolina in 2008.
I am a Gemini, a middle child, a dreamer, a lover, an optimist, and a Social Worker. I have a cheesy sense of humor, a belief that all people are basically good, and a desire to improve the world around me.
I live in NC with my husband and our dog.

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