I went for a walk this morning.
Admittedly, I've slacked off on my walking in the last two weeks (or three, if I'm to be honest and transparent here).
I was amazed, as I pounded the pavement, how easily I got my groove back.
It struck me, while I pumped my arms back and forth, forcing the crisp air in and out of my lungs, life is a series of habits. Some of them are good habits. Some of them are bad. Now one hopes the good habits outweigh the bad. Yet, still ... habits.
When I made the decision to start walking 3 miles every day, it was with a desire to create a habit. Everyone that is obsessed with exercise kept telling me that they felt so much better ... tackled all sorts of physical exertion better ... slept better ... managed stress better ... you name it. It was better.
And when I was doing it consistently, I felt AWESOME! Good habit.
But life gets in the way, and then you just aren't feeling it one day .... and there's a meeting (or three) that is getting in the way of what you need to do ... and professional requirements for your time ... and your knees ache ... and your feet hurt ... and your jaw hurts ... and so you just don't walk. And you don't walk the next day either ... or the day after that or the day after that. Bad habit.
Listening to the birds flit above me in the canopy of trees, not a cloud in the sky ... crystal blue stretching out before me, I had an epiphany.
Good habits are hard. They require commitment and discipline and grit and the skin of your teeth kinda determination that grows character. Good habits are time-consuming -- or so your psyche tells your brain. Good habits have amazing results, but they are no-holds-barred, you-know-whats-to-the-wall exercises in putting your intestinal fortitude to the ultimate test.
Bad habits are easy. They slip in without notice. They take up residence with out being asked, and before you ever realize it, you're slobby and slovenly and dumpy and without motivation or desire.
My bad habits have taken over, once again. I wasn't looking forward to this maiden voyage after another long hiatus. I internally whined about it. I berated myself for losing the will power. I really dogged myself for not having the stick-with-it-ness for the good stuff.
I didn't count on today.
I didn't count on the strength I felt. I didn't count on the empowerment I felt as I pumped up each hill. I didn't count on the fact that my body remembered the physical activity I'd made it work through the last few months. It remembered, and it rewarded me by making me feel alive and vital and worth it.
Life is a series of habits. It's a series of wants and needs. It's a series of choices. It's habitual. It's high time I reward myself with those positive habits. The good ones. The ones that require commitment but with great pay-offs.
Megan got her groove back!