There used to be a time when I felt like I had to exercise every single day. Yoga did not count because the kind of yoga I practiced wasn’t intense enough. Every single day I had to do something so intense that I had to hurt the next day.
It was difficult for me to type that because it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it comes from the old “calories in, calories out” mentality I once had in which I convinced myself I could eat myself out of house and home and still be okay as long as I kept track of the calories and burned more than what I consumed. That works, but only to a certain extent. If I worked hard enough, the number on the scale would be a favorable one, but I found after a while the number refused to move because there is only so much a petite woman of barely 5-foot stature can lose. I was basically that dreaded term “skinny fat”. Obviously eating the right kinds of food made the biggest difference.
So there are now days in which I intentionally do nothing. In fact, there are many “rest days” in which I don’t do a single thing, exercise-wise, and I’m in better shape than I was 5 years ago when I insisted on my torturous regimen of endless workouts. However, I sometimes fall into a lazy stupor and tell myself I need to get out of the house and do something.
Last Saturday I decided to wait until the golden hour and headed to the forest preserve. This is a trail I normally run with my husband, though I hated it even when I was an avid runner. I always seem to find myself running here on the hottest of days, and at a 5.5 mile loop, the bathrooms are usually too far away when I need them the most. On Saturday I decided to grab my camera and take a leisurely stroll in the hopes of capturing some warm light as the sun started to set. I thought I might gain a different perspective on a path I often travel if I were to see it in a different light.
It was a beautiful, relaxing evening, to say the very least. I was only there for a half hour, which was long enough to clear my mind and take a few shots of the wild flowers alongside the trail. I’ve had many positive experiences running this trail, but for some reason the negative thoughts are the first to enter my mind the minute I pull into the parking lot. This evening gave me a fresh perspective that I will hopefully keep with me for the duration of this training season.