Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Sometimes I am so focused on my own journey and struggles that I don't notice the effect it is having on the people around me. Lately, though I've been noticing changes in friends and family members that I know have been sparked by my own actions. It feels good. It is that feeling that makes me love being a Zumba instructor and really look forward to getting my ACE certification.
My biggest success has definitely been my husband. He grew up in a household where exercise and nutrition were a joke and never considered necessary. He was the most active member of his family because he played outside as a kid and rode his bike. The rest of them were completely sedentary. When we first met this baffled me. I was always the most un-athletic of an extremely athletic family. We played sports (on teams and just at family gatherings or outside after dinner), and my parents took us for walks after dinner almost every night. Our nutrition wasn't the greatest, but we were always active.
Needless to say, my hubby HATED exercise. Still does. He doesn't like being uncomfortable, doesn't want to push himself, and doesn't have a competitive bone in his body. He's active. He likes hiking and going for walks, but for a long time this was all I could get him to do. And, that was fine with me until I started getting healthy.
I felt so much better once I was exercising regularly, and I wanted him to feel good, too. Still, I knew I couldn't push him, and that he would have to decide when he was ready. We walked more and hiked, and we were eating better, so he started losing weight. He felt better but still could not shed his hatred of exercise.
But, he couldn't ignore what I was doing, and the more I did the more he felt pressured to do something. I didn't say anything or put any pressure on him. He just felt guilty. I organized a fun run 5k for my job, and he decided to run it. He did not train for it. He ran for a mile on our treadmill once, and that was it. But, he managed to run the whole thing and did pretty well, too. He's so much faster than me!
Every once in a while he would join me for a workout. He sprinted with me once (he's super fast), and last June he walked in the local Milk Run/Walk - a yearly 10k that I've run the last 2 years. After seeing how fast some of the ladies walked it, he decided he might as well run it this year. I was thrilled.
But, he still didn't want to train for it. Consistency is really where he needs to improve. He'll workout, but never on a regular basis. So, about a month ago, he decided he wanted to go for a run with me. The kids were visiting their grandparents, so it was the perfect time. We went for a 3 mile run, and he did great. He was pretty happy with how it had gone, and i was so happy he'd done it.
I thought that would be it for a while, but the next weekend, he went out again. He did another 3 miles all on his own. After that we set up a schedule. I do my long run one day and he runs the other - every weekend. He tried a 5 mile run one weekend and has done another couple 3 milers since then. He looks forward to his run every week and is proud of his consistency. So am I.
He feels prepared for the Milk Run, and I can't wait to cheer him on! (I'm not doing it this year b/c it falls on the weekend after the marathon).
On top of all of this progress, he's already chosen his next race. A few months ago, I found a link to Run For Your Lives - a race where you run through obstacles and try to avoid zombies. I shared it with him, and he was actually really interested in it. There was one in Boston (which is the closest one to us), but it fell during my tough marathon training, and I was not going to risk getting hurt right before my 26.2.
I figured maybe next year, but not my hubby. He was looking into other locations near us and has decided that we will either be running for our lives in Pennsylvania or Maryland this fall. I am psyched. It sounds like so much fun, and it will be our first race together.
He's stopped hating exercise. Maybe while he's doing it, he still feels that way, but he feels great when he's done and willing to do it again. He's starting to see the improvements he is making physically. I see it in his attitude. So proud of him.