As soon as I hear the first crunch of the fall leaves under my hiking boot and smell the intoxicating scent of autumn, I know I made the right decision.
While I haven’t completely thrown in the towel, my commitment to exercise has decreased dramatically since my move eight weeks ago. Each night I go to bed excited to get back on the horse the next day. Then the next day comes and I easily convince myself that tomorrow is a better time to exercise. A merry-go-round I’m sure you’re familiar with, whether your goal is working out or something else.
Before I moved, my sister, Cheryl, and I would work out together at least two or three times a week, usually more. We were each other’s accountability buddy. There were countless times when one of us was planning to blow off exercise when the other would “coincidentally” text with “Wanna walk later?”
That little push is often all it would take to get our butts in gear.
Now living more than two hours away from each other, we’re both missing those impromptu workouts a lot, and I’ve given myself permission to fill that void with ice cream and chips — also my go-to means of numbing out.
Last week, I visited Cheryl overnight and we took a walk on our usual four-mile loop. It felt so good to walk and talk again. She could see that I needed a little extra support, and she poured it my way in the form of laughter, compassionate listening, and tough reality checks.
This week, we picked a time to walk, and while we strolled our respective routes, we talked on the phone as if we were side-by-side. I guess we just needed to get creative with our workouts.
I’d like to think I would have gone for that beautiful nature walk even if I didn’t have the exercise appointment with Cheryl, but I’m not sure that’s true. Thanks to her nudge, I started my day with a scenic hike in the woods and talked a bit nicer to myself and my body for the rest of the day.
Why is it so difficult to ask for support? I think the answer to that is different for everyone, though I bet there are common themes.
What stops you from reaching out? If you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you had fantastic, loving support at the ready, what would you ask for?
Your Challenge for the Week
Complete the following statements:
I’m having a tough time with __________________
I wish someone would just ____________________
One place I can turn for support is _____________
You don’t have to fight this battle alone. Whatever you’re facing, others have been down that path. Find them, whether online, in a local support group, or through a friend, and ask for help. Give yourself a deadline. You’re worth it.
Oh look — my phone just dinged. A text from Cheryl: “Can you walk today at 3?”
Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.