I think I found my secret weapon today.
Let me back up. Long weekend here in SA, and I had plans that I was determined to at least partially achieve, including getting to the gym. By this afternoon, I thought the gym was a write off, and therefore achieving any fitness goals as well. The kids and I had worked away at the jobs in the house and yard, and I had knocked off more jobs than I had anticipated, so I was feeling pretty satisfied about that. For the first time in months, the backyard looks half decent - there are only a couple of patches left to weed and mulch (thanks to the stellar efforts of a dear friend's husband who donated some of his holiday time to my jungle this week!!), and anyone who knows my backyard knows what a huge achievement that is!!!! I cleaned the shed out, washed and hung out more loads of washing than I care to count, sorted out my bedroom, cleaned out the car, cooked meals and washed dishes over and over, refereed far too many disputes between kids, took them to the pool and had movie night with nachos and Forrest Gump, and even got in a bit of craft work. All in all, a great weekend.
However, my plans to end the weekend with a trip to the gym were sidelined by a very welcome visit from a friend, and I just resigned myself to missing a session, which wasn't really all that hard as missing a session meant talking knitting and books instead :-) I had told the kids that when we finished the last job in the back yard, we would take the dog for a walk. I knew if I told the kids that was my plan that they would hold me to it, and I was right. I had tried bargaining with myself to get out of it - again - but the kids were laced up and ready to go with the dog on the lead, so I had no choice.
We set off at a brisk pace, and then one of the kids asked if we could run. When the next kid agreed, how could I say no? So we ran. And ran. And ran.
I haven't run outdoors for nearly 4 years, and I've only been running on the treadmill again for about 6 weeks. I wasn't planning on trying out the pavement for a few more weeks yet, and certainly not until the elements all lined up. This afternoon was warm, we were running into the wind, there were hills, I wasn't hydrated, I hadn't warmed up, and now as I'm typing this, my back is protesting loudly. But it was perfect. I've never run with my kids before, and they made it so easy. I had to pull them back to my pace, lol, but it was just so easy. Whilst DS would have run full pelt the whole way, DD is like me and needed to pace herself, but I was surprised that I had to stop to wait for her to catch up, when I could have kept running. It was simply awesome, running with and for the kids, encouraging them and being so encouraged by them. It was like I had discovered a secret weapon that I didn't realise I had, and I knew that it was the first of many runs to come.
But then it got even better :-) We live on top of a hill, which means having to get up to the top of a hill to get home. I've never run up a hill in my life, even before I hurt my back. When we rounded the corner of our street, DS took off with the dog, and DD was walking behind me. I turned around and challenged her, to see if she could run more steps up the hill than I could. She took off, and I wasn't far behind. And before I knew it, I was at our driveway. I had run up the hill.
I ran up a hill.
I. Ran. Up. A. Hill.
This is huge for me. *Really* huge. I constantly underestimate myself when it comes to my physical abilities, and I constantly surprise myself when I achieve something I wasn't sure I could do. I didn't set out to do what I did today, and I did it anyway. And the best part? When DD asked me 'Mum, when can we do that again?' :-)
Life is like a box of chocolates - you really never do know what you're going to get :-)