I went through a few dark months in the second half of 2017. I felt depressed, overwhelmed, and stretched to my limits, particularly in my mothering. I thought that my daughter’s growing up was to blame: an early case of raging hormones in a 7-year-old. Turns out, the hormonal imbalance was all mine and getting back into exercise was the fix.
I struggle with anger and am naturally grumpy and gruff. I’ve always known how good exercise is for me, and yet I let myself fall off the wagon. When my moods deteriorated, I failed to make the connection. It got so bad that I called counselors and was planning on starting therapy in January.
In the meantime, I figured that working out couldn’t hurt, so I resolved to train four times a week for 20 minutes a day until my birthday in March to see if it would help. Boy, did it ever!
I’ve now completed 20 weeks without missing a session and the transformation is astonishing. I have regained a cheerful disposition and reclaimed a deep well of patience. My outlook on life is no longer somber. I feel better inside and out.
There’s great pride in setting an intention and following through with it; in finding a way instead of finding excuses; in setting my priorities straight and reaping the rewards.
Now that I am calm again, I realize my daughter hadn’t changed, I had. I was anxious and snappy and she was just reacting to my agitation. We have a grand time together and she hasn’t once in the last 20 weeks mentioned wanting someone else as a mother.
Exercise allows me to sweat out all the gunk within, to release the angst and turmoil, to tap into the joy inside me. Suddenly life is exciting again. I have goals and the energy to work towards them.
I’m making plans.
I’m making jokes!
The problem was never with my daughter or life. The problem was that I had stopped exercising. Simple.
Exercise is now and forever near the top of my list. It is no longer a matter of wanting to do it or not. It is a necessity, a non-negotiable. To me it is medicine and the best there is—free, with a long list of wonderful side effects.
I highly recommend a workout a day to keep the doctor away, and hold the gloom at bay.
QUESTION: Do you have a regular exercise routine? What physical activities do you enjoy? What kind of exercise rejuvenates you?
CHALLENGE: Take an honest look at your schedule and assess how you are doing with prioritizing your health. If you aren’t exercising as much as you’d like, think about what activities you enjoy and add in time for you to workout. Set a goal to try it for a few weeks and see how you feel.
Edited by Kimberly Price and Nollie Haws.
Image provided by the author; graphics added by Anna Jenkins.