I'm on Week 4 of SparkPeople's 5K Your Way Walking Program, and I have to say I am soooooo thankful for the day I signed on about a month ago and saw the virtual 5K program featured as one of the daily topics.
Now that I'm in Week 4, I feel like I now know what I'm doing, although, at first, I was totally winging it. I'd go out with no hat, no face towel. After a while, the sunblock would be drenched by my sweat and the lovely mixture would run down into my eyes and mouth. By the time I'd get home, my eyes would be blood-shot red, stinging like crazy, with complete and total blurred vision. The taste of sunblock in my mouth would frustrate me beyond belief, and it would take a good tooth brushing followed by gobs of water to get rid of the taste.
After reading some helpful SP articles for walkers, I have learned quite a few things. For instance, I now take water with me, a cell phone, and face towel (in my fanny pack). I still apply my facial sunblock, but I wear a baseball hat. That and the face towel help immensely. And then there's the lovely I-pod. Bringing the I-pod and listening to upbeat music really fills my soul with some positive energy and gets me fired up!
I wear my walking pants and t-shirts and a good pair of walking shoes, and before I leave to start my training walk for the day, I usually turn to catch a quick glance of this new me in the living room mirror.
I ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE A WALKER!!! Heck, I FEEEEEEL like a walker!!!
Not to mention what, to me, has been a God-send. My back is starting to react positively to the walking. My core is getting stronger, my major muscle groups are getting stronger, and I think it's doing a world of good for not only my anatomy, but my outlook on life, especially after a very trying past year.
Even though, at the beginning of this training program, which was not so long ago, there were many days where the pain would kick in and I didn't think I'd be able to do this, today's walk proved to me that it CAN be done, that where there is a will, there is a way. When I returned home with my sunblock intact and fanny pack on my waist, I turned to that same mirror and gave myself a thumbs up. I was not about to collapse, my back and sciatica were not debilitating me, and in fact, after I was done admiring that walker in the mirror, I realized that I had no pain at that moment. THAT WAS HUGE!!!
I think strengthening my core is key for my body to continue healing, and I'm starting to feel my long-lost friends named "Excitement" and "Determination" coming back into my life.
I did 2.5 miles in 52 minutes today and made sure to walk heel first with my neck and back as straight and upright as comfortably possible.
I am now more aware of each muscle group, and as my hips, rump, and thighs tighten with each step and help to propel me forward, I think to myself, "I love feeling my muscles as they awaken. I love knowing that they are still here and willing to work hard for me. I love the beauty of nature that surrounds me as I walk through this path of resilience and determination. I love the fact that there is a place I can turn to, where I feel loved, supported, inspired, guided, and looked out for -- SparkPeople. I love this reawakening. I love this gratitude I am feeling. I love God. I love me. And, yes, I love you.
Let's do this together.
(photo courtesy of bing.com)