After the post about aging, I realized that unconsciously I shy away from the camera more and more. This is something that I noticed few years ago from my mom. She doesn’t want to take pics because she doesn’t look good, or better said, young or pretty as she used to be. I remember every time she said that I got upset. Why cares how you look, the pics are meant to serve as memories for the special moments. Yet, I take less pics of myself in the last few years. This needs to be changed, today! So here is me after 10 miles run. I didn’t have a plan of how long I’d run, maybe 6-8 miles as I really want to go through this podcast. After the episode ended, after my iPod battery died, I kept running because I CAN. I thought about why I keep exercising after I started over 20 years ago. It has been part of my daily routine just as eating and sleeping. No day without physical movement. My motivations changed over the years.
20s: I gained a lot of weight in my late teens so I started exercising with the goal to loose weight. Then it was to keep the weight for few more years. Once I started college, doing two degrees in two universities (morning and evening) was time consuming and stressful. So exercise was to cope with the stress. In grad school, stress went to another level, so I kept exercising.
30s: I became a mom at 31, got back to running 3 months after I gave birth and run a half marathon when Sofia turned 1. Running was my mental break from motherhood, a legitimate reason to be by myself. Similarly, I got back to running 3 months after Lizzy was born, and I ran my first marathon when she was 14 months. I got hooked with marathon training and running, so I kept running. I loved the mental break, I appreciated and amazed my body being able to endure the long distance and pain.
40s: I kept running but less so once the pandemic hit. No race to train, but to run to seek mental oasis. Then I learned the mental benefit of yoga and pilates, something that I was on and off in my 30s. So I incorporated them in my weekly routines. After I turned 41, I started lifting weight, really little weight compared to the gym fanatics. But it was my attempt to build muscle, to hold myself throughout the aging process, to continue to feel energetic and strong, to model to my girls about moving our body regularly.
I am not ashamed to say I used to exercise to look good, now I exercise to feel good and feel strong. I used to exercise for vanity, now I exercise for my health span.
What motivates you to exercise?