Thursday, December 22, 2011

Runners High

It has been 7 months since I quit smoking. After a nearly twenty year love/hate relationship with nicotine, I bit the bullet and gave up my beloved cigs. This was back in May. At that point I could hardly climb a flight of stairs much less run fifty yards without getting winded. Then in late September, on my cruise, I started running.

To my surprise, I found that with very little effort I could run a mile. I wasn't even winded. I was floored because for so long I had struggled to do any cardio even though I had been a regular at the gym.

When I returned from vacation I began pushing myself to run further - first two miles, then four. I'm now up to six a day. My pace is nothing impressive - between 12-13 minutes a mile. But the fact that I can run still amazes me every day.

When I catch my stride and my lungs fill with air, propelling me to go the distance; when I reach the bottom of a hill and my legs have the strength to push me on just a little further; and when I finally finish for the day and my feet stop moving, I feel strong and free - It's a high like I've never known.

All this from someone who seven months ago barely had enough breath to climb a flight of stairs.

A few years ago I lost my Cookie Grandmother to lung cancer. She smoked until the very end. I truly believe that I am blessed, that each day is a gift - let us make every one count.