Then I sprained my ankle and it all unraveled. Just as it took nearly 39 years to really commit to regularly working out and eating properly, I felt like I was right back where I started. Off the wagon. And beating myself up for it. Regularly. Daily. Hourly. Every minute of every day.
It’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.
And that first step is so damn hard. You know it.
But last weekend, I made a commitment to my first Zumba class back since the ankle sprain. And I took a friend with me. Making that double commitment gave me the obligation to follow through. It’s one thing to disappoint myself, but quite another to disappoint a friend too.
It wasn’t one of my favorite instructors, quite frankly. He only became certified last year, and still loses his place during his routines. When he loses his place, how can I keep mine? But his class, invariably less punishing than my roster of favorite teachers, was exactly what I needed. A perfect entry back.
And I did it.
I had already planned to go back the next day, for a second class. Mystic’s daughter came with me. Again, the double commitment. And the follow-through.
Later that day, when I hit the grocery store with the kids, the cart quickly became filled with fresh fruit. Vegetables. Whole wheat this. Organic that. Our collection of favorite yogurts. And $84 later… (a series on eating healthily on a budget is coming soon to Sweetnicks).
When I talked last week about the trickle down effect, I wasn’t being glib. Having a good work-out makes me more conscious of what I eat later. Of how I move. Of what I choose to cook for dinner. Of how I pack the kids’ lunches. It all begins with that one domino.
Which is, of course, the hardest one to put in place.
Later that night, as I loaded up the dishwasher, I put the iPod onto my Zumba dance mix. Forty-eight songs that inspire. That keep you moving. That make you do anything but stand still. The kids came in and out, bopping to each one, and stopping to do a Zumba move or two with me.
When I woke up this morning, the rain pattered loudly outside. The sky was dark. The kids still sound asleep, preferring to snuggle under the covers more, instead of getting up to start their day.
It’s a day to play hooky. I didn’t want to start the day. I hate rain. And winter. And combined? No thank you. All day long, I keep my mind on just getting home so I can put my sweats on and pad around in thick cozy socks with the fireplace going.
But I had committed to going to Zumba tonight.
And so through the cold, dreary, wet, dark day, we will go.
Because I know how it makes me feel afterwards.
You can’t bottle that.
And you only know what I’m talking about if you’ve done it yourself.
Whether your goals are health and fitness inspired, or work-related, or involve child rearing, parenting, or heck, even crafting… just start.
It only takes that first step.
The rest will just fall into place.
One right after the other.
January 12, 2011 – Bonus Photos
When the kids and I got home today, this monster-sized box was sitting on our front steps. Chobani (follow them on Twitter @Chobani) is introducing a few new flavors, and if you “like” them on facebook, you get entered to win a taste. They weren’t kidding!
PS – That photo on the top certainly wasn’t a depiction of today’s gloomy, grey weather. It was the sun last week right after we dropped Nick off at school. Madeline and I made a quick u-turn to grab a few pictures of it. It was too beautiful not to.
Back tomorrow. Make it awesome.