Today, I am thankful for my ability to exercise.
I’ll admit I am never the one to bound out of bed in the morning to run or even to look forward to working out. I have daily debates in my head whether or not I want to go to the gym after work and have a million excuses why I can skip my workout for the day.
But I lace up my shoes 4-6 times a week and get my body moving, even when my whole mind is protesting against it.
Because I feel better when I do and worse when I don’t. Because I’m striving to live a healthy life and exercise is a part of that. Because it makes me feel strong and powerful. And because there will be a time in my life when I won’t be able to exercise. I’m hoping this time is far, far in the future but it could happen in an instant.
On Saturday, while my mom was on a long run for her marathon training, I got a call from her about 90 minutes into her run. She had fallen and her knee was hurting. She needed me to come get her. While her knee is fine, when she fell, she used her arms to break her fall and ended up re-injuring her elbow that she broke last year. It’s just a bruise, nothing major, but she hasn’t been able to run since then or do anything but low-impact exercise (recumbent biking and walking). When she was hit by a car, she couldn’t run for three months. She was in the middle of marathon training at this point so it severely disrupted her training program.
My worst injury to date was a sprained ankle two years ago and I was only out for a week. I couldn’t imagine having to take months off exercising or going from Ironman-fit to barely able to walk. It’s a scary thought and it’s something that could happen. So I need to take this time, when I am healthy and young, to be thankful I can exercise and to stop the complaining.
I am thankful for my body that is strong enough to carry me through weight-lifting classes, spin classes, and runs. I am thankful for healthy lungs and a healthy heart that can keep up with how I push my body. I am thankful for strong legs and arms. I am thankful for the endorphins and happiness a good workout brings me. I am thankful for sweat, racing hearts, and being out of breath. I am thankful for my ability to exercise.