I teared up today on the treadmill. Lame, I know. Yes….the treadmill.
I was doing 10 minutes of sprints after I lifted weights, and it was hard. I started talking to myself. The conversation went like this: I started wondering if maybe I could just cut off the last three minutes. It wouldn’t make that much of a difference if I just did seven 30-second sprints instead of ten, right? Surely three minutes wouldn’t really matter?
Then I told myself to try to think of things that would keep me motivated. I went through the usual list:
-running side by side with my fitness idols? Nope, didn’t work.
-sneaking a glance in the big mirror on the wall? Nope, didn’t work.
-thinking of the fitness expos I’ll be at next month? Nope, didn’t work.
I still wanted to quit early.
Then, for some reason I started thinking about my kids. I pictured them at the ages they are now (4 and 1) watching me on the treadmill and cheering me on.
That gave me a gust of energy.
Then I started picturing my daughters cute, chubby, bow legged, 1 year old little legs and imagined her as she grows up. I started thinking of all the times we will be able to share evening runs together as she becomes a teenager or trail hikes together when she is older. It was then that I got a huge, giant lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and actually did have to step off the treadmill for a quick second, wipe my eyes, glance around to make sure no one was looking, and swallow the lump in my throat.
The truth is: if we are exercising each day just to lose weight or see our abs, then we have it dead wrong. I’m exercising each day so my kids can grow up knowing that exercise doesn’t have to be a miserable thing. I workout 30-45 minutes a day to build a strong heart so I can run around with my grand kids some day. I spend so much time making healthy meals so my kids can learn that you feel good when you eat good food, and eating good food doesn’t have to taste horrible.
As these thoughts all raced through my mind in the course of about 15 seconds I started tearing up. On the treadmill. Lame, I know. So I wiped away my tears, and I finished those last three minutes of sprints. My motivation was shifted in a different direction today on that treadmill, and I am feeling really grateful I had this gentle reminder today.
Natalie Hodson is a mom of two showing how to balance family, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. www.nataliehodson.com