How do you feel?

After seven years of baby steps, I’ve finally started making leaps and bounds in the health department. I’m genuinely shocked at how much better I feel.

  • NO JOINT PAIN – I can now run 2 miles without stopping to stretch. A year ago, I couldn’t walk even half a mile without experiencing pain and swelling in my knees.
  • NO ABDOMINAL PAIN – I haven’t felt even a twinge of that perpetual right-side ache since I gave up the baby steps and started really working on improving my health.
  • BETTER SLEEP – I fall asleep within minutes and typically wake only once or twice during the night- and I go right back to sleep. THIS IS HUGE! I have never slept well, so I really do feel like a new woman! As in, is this really me??

So, how do you feel? If you want to talk about making your own leaps and bounds or even taking your first baby steps, I’d love to hear from you. Comment or email me. I would love to encourage you as you make your move toward feeling better. I’m not a health coach. But maybe I’m a health cheerleader!

Running

I did some running when I was in my 20’s. I wasn’t very fast, but I enjoyed it and it was good exercise.

I took a break from running when my children were young and then started again when they began running cross country. I found out some things had changed over that break, most notably, my knees. X-rays confirmed arthritis in both knees, and I was advised to give up running. I learned from a chiropractor that strengthening the muscles in my legs would help to support my knees, but I filed that information in the back of my mind and settled for occasional walks.

Fast forward to three years ago. Osteopenia finally woke me up to the need to exercise and I began a regimen of weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Even though I had given up running, I walked in some 5K races in the area. My goal was twofold but simple: to finish in under an hour and not to be the last person to cross the finish line! My time was usually between 55 and 59 minutes, and I usually spent the rest of the day with legs elevated, icing my inflamed knees.

But every now and then, I dreamed that I was running. In my dreams, I had found a way to run without touching the ground! I described those dreams to a Trak Shak salesperson who recommended a Hoka running shoe for me.  Walking in Hokas has been the next best thing to running without touching the ground.

With three years of exercise behind me and Hoka shoes to support me, I started running again. In June, I walked/ran 3.1 miles (5K) in my neighborhood and finished in 47 minutes- not great, but almost nine minutes faster than my fastest walking 5K.

Is it possible that my recently improved diet could already be strengthening my muscles and joints? I’m able to run almost a mile without pain now, and my current 5K PR in the neighborhood is 44:33. I’m still slow compared to almost everyone else I encounter on the trail, but I have a new twofold goal now: to run as much as I can without causing injury and to run without concern about others being faster.

What about you? Do you run for exercise? What are your goals? Tell me what motivates you to keep moving. And tell me about your shoes!

Melissa and Morgan, Smith Family Resources
Morgan is my post-run encourager!