One morning I decided to get up and run. My alarm went off at 6:00am and Mark Anthony’s Si Te Vas blasted on the radio. I didn’t feel the need to lay there or hit snooze a few more times, so I took it as a sign that it was time to take on this challenge. After all, I hadn’t been physically active in over three years.
It was the middle of March so I looked out my window to see what people on the street were wearing. This way I could figure out how many layers I’d have to pile on. “Oh no!” I said out loud as I watched the snowfall. But I didn’t let a little winter weather discourage me. The average person may have looked outside and said, “Oh heck no! I’m snoozing three more times before I have to go to work.” Not me; I sprung right into action.
I put on the jogging gear I had neatly laid over my sofa the night before. Then I went in my closet and reached for a sweatshirt, hat, and gloves, laced up my kicks and made a dash for the door. As the door closed behind me, I hesitated before walking down the five-story walk-up apartment I had been living in for the past two years. I was nervous about the elements, but above all, I didn’t believe I could actually do this run.
I began to stretch as snowflakes slowly hit the ground and rested on my hair and jacket. Since I’d always been active in sports growing up, I figured this would be a cinch. I could do a few laps around the block and then call it a morning. I picked up my legs and lifted my thighs and felt my nargas jiggle too much to my liking. If nothing else was going to motivate me, that feeling sure was. The more I ran, the more my entire body hurt. “Why did I sign myself up for this torture?” I asked myself. I was in pain, out of breath, and wanted to quit and turn right back around.
Fortunately, I can be a cabezadura. I figured since I had gone this far there was no sense in turning back. A few more steps and I would be around the corner on my block. So I kept going. “Oh, Dorothy! I think I can, I think I can,” I kept repeating to myself. My neighbors were starting to pass me as they made their way to the train. I tried to greet them good morning without sounding too out of breath, but I must of failed because I received some concerned looks. My next-door neighbor Majid stopped me and said, “Girl, get your butt on upstairs. Too early and cold for you to be out here and out of breath.”
“Thanks Majid,” I replied. “But I have to do this for me,” I finished.
Her comment made me want this healthy lifestyle even more. I was going to show her I was not a quitter! “I got this!” I said out loud. All of a sudden, I decided to sprint to the end. I sped up, even though I was only a few buildings away from home. My legs were numb; my hands were cold; and my kicks were a bit wet from the slush that formed on the ground I’d been stepping on. But I kept sprinting. And finally, my building!
I arrived at my front steps and could not believe it. “I did it!” I yelled out loud. I know the people on the street thought I was some loca since I was talking to myself at 6:30am, but I didn’t care! I felt like Superwoman! And then it hit me.
“Ay Dios, ahora para suvir esas escaleras,” I sighed. But instead of dwelling on those five flights of stairs, I just began the hike up to my apartment. As my Marine friend Anthony once told me, “Pain is weakness leaving your body.” Soon, this would become my mantra. Even though I was hurting, it was all for a great cause.
This day officially marked my journey as a healthy and proactive woman. But exercising was only the first part. Next item on my agenda would be to make better eating choices and learn how to eat healthily. Problem was I had no idea where to start!