Country Mouse, City Mouse / I Like to Move It

Breaking Out

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Spring has sprung in New England, and I couldn’t be happier! I can officially say that I survived my first winter commuting to Boston from Maine, and just the fact that I see daylight on both ends of my day makes life so much sweeter. Well, that and the fact that the Red Sox are playing again.

The seasons are one of the reasons I love New England. Last week, I had the unusual opportunity to go for a mid-week evening run, since I had worked from home that day. It was sunny and warm, but not too warm…a perfect 62 degrees or so, and all I could think about was Northern California. I used to visit my parents when they lived there, almost always in early Spring. It was always, ALWAYS, perfectly sunny and warm-but-not-too-warm. My mom said it was like that for most of the year, and that thought crept in my mind more than once during my run that night. Why, oh why, don’t I live somewhere like that? Why would anyone live someplace that requires down parkas, knee-high, waterproof boots and to eat copious amounts of carbs when it gets dark at 4:30?

Ah, I thought. I know why. Because if I lived with weather as beautiful as a May day in Maine, I would never enjoy it so. And I, like so many other New Englanders, am enjoying it immensely.

I spent the winter running on treadmills, swimming in lap pools and doing more squats, push-ups, planks and burpees than I care to admit in boot camp. I’m grateful I had access to the gyms and equipment that made this possible, but I’m deliriously happy I can get outside after dinner for a run through my small town. I don’t spend very much time here these days, and running is my chance to catch up with my country surroundings.

All winter I’ve been craving the pool and loving my butt-kicking gym classes. I had all but forgotten about running, except for a few times when re-run episodes of Sex and The City on cable were the only thing that would keep me on a treadmill for a couple of miles. So when the weather improved and I started getting out again, I was shocked by how good it felt! All that winter training had paid off, and now instead of huffing and puffing past the woman in Old Mill mowing her lawn, I can breathe in and enjoy that amazing scent of freshly cut grass.

I’m up to the distance I was running at my max, four years, one sprained ankle and one pregnancy earlier. It’s amazing to think of all I accomplished over the winter, and how much I can now enjoy myself on those long runs through the neighborhoods of my hometown.

It can be frustrating to train for a specific sport and never see any real progress. In my case, I used to run and run at the gym, at a snail’s pace, and ignore every other machine there. Strength training bored me, classes didn’t fit my schedule and I couldn’t find time for yoga. I was stuck, like a hamster on a wheel, never getting anywhere. Then I broke out of my routine, found some new activities that challenged but inspired me, and finally found the progress I was seeking all along.

Just in time for Spring!

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