From "last picked in gym class" to daily runner

by Gina Watson
(Carpentersville, IL)

-I was overweight as a child, and as a result I hated any form of physical activity. Sports were no fun to someone who couldn't keep up with everyone else, and being forced to participate in gym class was near torture.

I dreaded the thought of events such as timed races or being up at bat, where I couldn't hide, and my substandard performance was on display.

Naturally, my lack of activity was not healthy. Even though I knew this, it was difficult to get the motivation to begin a serious exercise program. Weight loss attempts failed time and time again, and I began to develop a "why bother?" attitude.

Finally I began to take a different attitude toward exercise. I stopped seeing it as merely a method to help weight loss and turned to it for a different reason: to help with the trouble I was having falling asleep at night.

I would walk on the treadmill while watching my favorite TV show, and I hoped it would have some impact on my insomnia.

Luckily, it did, and because I could see this positive impact right away, I stuck with it.

Slowly I began to notice other good changes. I felt better, more positive and upbeat. The weight loss I had coveted for so long, began to happen, and I was motivated to eat healthier and increase the intensity of my activity. I was feeling better and better physically, and this kept me going with my new routine.

I discovered that once I got over the initial roadblock of beginning a healthier lifestyle, it became easier to continue.

Eventually my walking turned to jogging, and by college I was heading out each day for a morning run. If I didn't get in my run for the day, I found that I didn't feel as good. The run was something I looked forward to, a chance to clear my head and stretch my legs.

I now encourage anyone looking to become more physically fit to find a smaller, short term benefit that exercise could provide.(my insomnia)

In this way, you can see a positive improvement right away, and that in turn motivates you to keep going, until it becomes part of your daily routine.

Once you incorporate exercise into your life, you won't want to quit; it will be a part of you.

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