As a kid, I played Tag, climbed trees and ran around the playground.
Things changed during my pre-adolescence and teenage years. I became self-conscious. Felt awkward. Lacked self-confidence about my athletic abilities. So rather than look foolish, I chose to shun all physical activity.
By the time I was in college, I drove three blocks to the Mexican restaurant instead of walked.
I was fortunate to have a naturally high metabolism, so weight was never a problem. However, I wasn't getting any exercise, so I couldn't outrun age, time and a steady diet of pizza and beer.
By the time I hit my 30s, things started to change. My body parts jiggled. My tummy had a pooch. And my pack-a-day cigarette habit meant I was out-of-breath after climbing a flight of stairs.
It was time to embrace my inner athlete.
Unfortunately, she had gone into hiding. Nay, she had expired. R.I.P.
So I had to start from scratch. I ditched the cigarettes, bought some running shoes, and hit the pavement.
I think I almost fainted after my first run.
But a little bit of persistence has paid off.
I'm not an athlete yet--I may never be. But I've discovered a pleasure in moving my body. I know the joy of feeling strong and fit. I've changed my diet, reconnected with movement and learned the basics of healthy living.
So I'll continue this pursuit of fitness, wherever the road may lead.