As runners, we tip toe the fine line between being a source of motivation vs admiration by friends. As much as I love basking in the whole:
“You run marathons?? You are superwoman…I could never do that.”
What I recently discovered is how much MORE I love turning those words around into encouragement for loved ones.
A few months ago, I brought up in conversation with my mom that she should try and move around more and even get in some exercise everyday, as she’s a software engineer and sits at a desk most of the day. To be completely honest, I don’t even really remember this conversation…it was my mom who had to remind me that my words planted a seed in her heart, and that day she decided to begin a new routine.
It started with just stretching a few minutes after work everyday. My mom loves to dance and wanted to try something similar and low impact as a form of exercise. From there, she increased her routine to 30 minutes, then 1 hour, now 1+ hours, adding in daily walks too! Day by day, she continued to do different stretches at night while listening to podcasts/videos (thank god for those, no?) – we even did some together the last time I was home – she was already more flexible I than I was! She said how weekly dance practices were getting easier for her, and I could tell she was having more energy throughout the day and her mood was happier (which I didn’t think was possible for my mom, she’s the most optimistic person I know :P).
This past week I got this photo:
AMAZING! I couldn’t believe my eyes. She also mentioned she lost 8 pounds since she first started. EIGHT POUNDS!! I try not to let weight be a determination in my personal progress, but man is that definitely something to celebrate. 🙂
My mom, at the age of 54 is a new person. She channeled something she loved (in her case dancing), and turned it into a lifestyle change. I think it’s so important to channel what YOU love in deciding what kind of fitness activity to pursue. As runners, we tend to want to push running onto everyone we meet, but if they wanted to run, they would pick it up naturally just as we did (although I do firmly believe everyone is capable of it!). What’s more important is sending positive words to our loved ones, encouraging them to start small with something they love, and helping them take steps in the right direction.
I’m so so SO proud of you mom!! You’re the most special woman in my heart, and you’ve inspired me my entire life. I love you! ❤