Today I started my 5k in 5 weeks walking program. As I walked out the door, I was full of vigor and inspiration. Before I go any further, let me explain that I live in the hills of Eastern Tennessee and when you go for a walk around here, it's more like hiking (at least in my opinion). There aren't many flat roads and if there are, they don't last but just a bit before you're climbing up or going down to get to where you're going. As I rounded the first corner and seen the first hill...the praying started. I am not going to lie, my lazy butt has gotten way out of shape since I was last on here and did it tell on me today. Whew! When I left the house, my goal was to walk 15 minutes and then turn around and walk back, I had the stop watch on my phone ready and everything. I began my walk, plugging away, step by step, conquering hill after hill, up and down, on my path. I keep checking the stopwatch, begging for it to finally say 15 minutes so I could turn around and go back. In my mind, I knew if I went too far in one direction, I would not give myself the choice to turn back, but instead to force myself to make the complete loop, which would take me up what I've dubbed the Devil's Hills. Let me explain the Devil's Hills. This is a paved road that is a series of 3 steep hills. You turn onto the road and begin your first climb, then you get a breather for a small stretch (and I mean small stretch) and begin your 2nd climb. Then you get another breather and it's on to the third where you round the corner and turn down the street to come down to the house. In the winter, when the road is iced over and you're trying to drive up these hills, to get home, you are praying you don't end up in the ditch as you white knuckle the steering wheel and urge your car forward and upward. It's down right scary! Anyway, back to the walk. As my stopwatch approached the 15 minute mark, dread began to close in as I realized I was well over half way around the loop. So what does my motivated self do (still full of vigor and inspiration)? I tell myself, "let's go for it"! I pepped myself up for the full loop and prepare to take on the Devil's Hills. I made it down and around the road and then began the trek up the first hill. HOLY FRIG'N COW!! My legs burned, my feet burned, my butt burned. "Sweet baby Jesus what in the world was I thinking"? I felt like I was moving in slow motion. If I looked up, I wanted to cry because I felt I'd never make it to the top. If I looked to either side, it almost felt like I wasn't moving at all. So I kept my eyes on the road and forced my mind to shut up and my legs to keep going. After all, it's not like I could just twitch my nose and pop back to the house. The man who sits outside most days waved and said "hi" as I passed his house, I gasped for air, thought I must look like absolute hell, smiled and said "hi" back to him. I kept going til I made it up the first hill. Boy was I thankful for that little stretch of flatter road. Then came the 2nd hill. At this point I was seriously questioning my sanity. I began the climb. If I could have physically been two people at once, one of me would have whooped the crap out of the other me for listening to all of that "reach for the stars", " you are your only limitation", hub bub I've been reading about. At this point I wanted throw up. I was seeing stars and figured I'd best sit down before I fall down. I felt defeated. That's when I called my husband. He asked me if I wanted him to come get me and take me home. (I sure do love that man of mine.) But what does my crazy, oxygen, deprived behind do? I say "No." "How am I going to be able to get stronger and better at this if I don't make it home on my own? Giving up is what got me in the shape I'm in. It's not going to get better if I let you swoop in and rescue me when I'm pushing myself to my limit." While I'm talking to him, I'm worrying about my heart rate slowing and what a loser I am for having to stop when I was so close to home, but then I thought about something else. I was doing it! I wasn't sitting at my computer thinking about it. I was doing it!! It didn't matter if I had to take a break (although I swore at least a dozen times that I'd never do this again or if I did I'd figure out a different way to do it) I was exercising. Every agonizing step I was taking was getting me one step closer to making myself into a healthier, better me. It's not supposed to be easy. It's hard work. So I got up, dusted the grass and dirt off my butt and started hill #3. And I almost immediately regretted it lol. But I kept going, even passing the ice cream man along the way. I walked and walked until I made it back home. Nobody had to call 911, I didn't have to get CPR on the side of the road, and I didn't pass out. I made it home! I proved something to myself today. I can do this! I can do it my way and still do it, even if it means accepting the fact that I need a break here and there. I won't give up again. Gods willing, when I'm tired and laziness creeps in and tries to entice me back into skipping my exercising, I won't give in! I can do this! You can do this!! We all can do this!!