Running from the Storm

breejoy2 Health Guide
  • After the horrible storm at the end of June, I felt ready to get back on track with better eating and more exercise. My first workout actually happened when I hauled all the food I had stored all over the county when my power went out. I took bags of food from four different locations, up and down stairs, into coolers, into my car, and back to my house to the fridge and freezer. It was exhausting--and certainly a workout--but I was ready to return to the normalcy of the gym and walking the pooches. But only a few days later, we got hit with yet another monster storm. I was at a concert inMarylandwith some friends that day, and even though we were enjoying the pre-show tailgate with some cold drinks, we made some healthy choices with the food. My co-worker Danielle was determined not to let us pig out on junk just because we were celebrating. We had gone grocery shopping together and ended up making turkey, cheese, and fresh veggie rollups for us (and instead of a wrap, we used big leaves of Swiss chard from her garden!), while the boys had hotdogs and chips. We enhanced the healthy start by dancing the night away to some crazy amazing-music. I’d say that in the almost a hundred degree heat, that counts as a workout.

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    Tired and sweaty but enchanted by the music, we headed home for the night. I dropped Danielle and her boyfriend off at their car, and turned west toward my house.  Suddenly, the sky broke open and it began pouring down rain. Lightning was flashing all around me, and thunder boomed so loud I could barely concentrate on the road. I could hardly see two feet in front of me, and had to drive extremely slow as I began seeing tree branches all over the road. Driving less than twenty miles per hour, I was about halfway to my house when I saw a strange glowing up ahead. It turned out to be a fire in the trees, and just before I passed, a transformer at that spot burst into a flash of blue light and several explosions followed. I haven’t been that terrified since I was twelve and trapped while tubing on theShenandoahRiverduring a storm less than two years after my cousin Noah was killed by lightning. I was paralyzed by fear and had to pull over until my panic subsided. Finally daring to budge, I drove the rest of the way home, plowing over large branches as if I drove a Hummer. Long story short, we had lost power again, and I was cursing the thought of repeating pet/food/me moving process of the previous week. Luckily, the power came back on early the next morning, and we (and it) all got to stay put.


    The close call got me thinking about how lucky I was to still have a roof over my head and life flowing through my veins. I decided it was time to work towards something I had shied away from for a while out of fear and sheer laziness…running. Running has never been my thing, but two summers ago I managed to make a 1.5 mile outdoor run a regular occurrence, and how proud of myself I was for doing it. Granted, I have been running on the treadmill at the gym, but running outside is harder. And I hate it. But I got a little much-needed inspiration last week when Danielle started coming into work looking all rosy and bright-eyed, talking about how she had been getting up early to go running despite some recent health issues that had caused some pretty intense fatigue and joint pain. She was so proud of herself, and I was proud of her too. I thought to myself, “If she can do it, so can I”, so I got up at 5:30the next morning and made myself a small cup of coffee and some (gluten-free) toast with peanut butter. After letting that settle for a bit, I warmed up by taking my pups on their normal half-mile walk. When we returned home, I released them, grabbed a quick drink, and took off jogging back down my driveway. I jogged the 1.5 mile loop I used to do, walking as needed but mostly going at a steady pace. I finished with a sprint up my driveway. I went to work feeling really good, and have actually continued this routine for four straight days. I took the day off yesterday because I am in the beginning stages of moving and have been totally exhausted, but very soon I will be living right near a bike trail only 1.2 miles from work. I’m so looking forward to being able to walk and bike to work, and go jogging on a nice flat surface. More news on that next week; time to rest up for my morning workout!

Published On: July 16, 2012