I have been a collector of quotes for a very long time. These are the quotes that caught my eye this week:
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
I love this quote because it speaks to why I started running and signing up for races in the first place. Growing up, I was never what anyone would call an athlete. I played soccer on a team once and hated (hated. HATED. hated.) it. I also played basketball for a season when I was 11, and called it quits after I broke my finger on the ball. That is not to say that I was not active. I took dance lessons from the age of 4 to about 17. From college and through my 20’s I was active too, but really just coasted by on my genetic fortune: no significant health problems, no surgeries, no injuries. Just enjoying myself, indulging in whatever food and booze I wanted with little repercussion to my health (that I was aware of anyway). I exercised some, but very sporadically. A little yoga here, Pilates there, dabble in a bit of tai chi, maybe join a gym for a few months…you get the idea. As I got into my 30’s, I started paying more attention to my health. I became grateful that I didn’t have any health issues even though I was eating a lot of fast food and sitting on the couch enjoying a cocktail or three (or four). I knew if I wanted to have health and longevity in my future, my habits would have to change.
Enter the Couch to 5K program around the age of 38. Better late than never. It totally worked for me, and provided the basis of years of running and regular exercise. Sometimes I get down on myself for running so slowly or wonder why I still bother with this… and then this quote reminds me why this still needs to matter. Slowly is still better than not at all.
Life is for participating, not for spectating.
I love this quote because what started out as a way to lose weight became something much more than that. It’s a hobby and an outlet for my stress, sure, but it’s also been such a fantastic way to learn more about myself and to push the limits of what I think I can do. Like I said, I’ve never considered myself an athlete, so to sign up for a half marathon or a triathlon is crazy-scary. But then to be able to do all the months of training for it and cross the finish lines of those races is unbelievably fulfilling for me. I’m not just sitting on my couch wishing I was doing something interesting and exciting, I am pushing myself to do those things. And I really do love that feeling.
Plus, I get to see things I would normally miss: a beautiful view, random wildlife (I swear a pair of cardinals followed me on a run one day), visiting a new city for a race (Boston, Hartford, Hampton Beach, next up – Newport)…and then experience the satisfaction of completing something difficult for no other reason than because it is important to me.
And the added bonus? I have the blood pressure of a young kid. What’s not to love about any of that??
See you on the trails,