As a single mom, I roll my eyes anytime someone says “No excuses.” Of course there are excuses. Of course life can throw up obstacles so big you can’t climb them. Quite frankly, anyone who says “no excuses” when it comes to exercise is probably single, childless, works no more than 40 hours a week, and an asshole.
But there’s a difference between impossible and difficult. Every day the kids weren’t in school was difficult to find time to run because it meant finding a babysitter–my gym doesn’t have childcare–or putting them where I could see them and running the same stretch of road over and over again. The only time difficult became impossible was when ice was added to the equation, because I’m not suicidal.
That happened once. Once in 39 days.
Hell, yeah, I’ll take that.
Day 1 (Thanksgiving): Roll out of bed and run two miles. Am unbearably smug about it at dinner. Eat second slice of pie.
Day 2 (November 25): Hike Old Rag, 8.5 miles. Debate whether this should count and decide it does not. Run the last mile of fire road. It hurts.
Day 3 (November 26): Three hour class on climbing technique. Debate whether this should count and decide it does not. Run three miles on treadmill. It hurts.
Day 4 (November 27): My ankles are stiff and sore from a weekend of hiking, climbing, and running. Realize I am not in the shape I thought I was, which is annoying. Run one mile.
Day 5 (November 28): Monday. My regular schedule calls for three miles, so that’s what I do. It doesn’t hurt as much as I was expecting.
Day 6 (November 29): It’s raining, so I head to the gym. Everything feels good, which surprises me. I listen to the She-Explores podcast on diversity and before I know it, four miles are done.
Day 7 (November 30): Three miles. I’ve run every day for a full week, and I’m ridiculously proud of it.
Days 8 & 9 (December 1-2): Two miles each.
Days 10 & 11 (December 3-4): Three miles each. I drop the kids with my parents and run in Rock Creek Park.
Days 12-16 (December 5-9): Alternate three miles with one mile.
Days 17-18 (December 10-11): Weekend! Run two miles followed by climbing.
Days 19-23 (December 12-16): Alternate three miles with one mile
Day 24 (December 17): Shit! Woke up to streets covered with ice. No babysitter plus ice means no run today.
Day 25 (December 18): Shit! Totally forgot about running, which means that at 4 pm I sit the kids on the front porch and run up and down the long hill of our street until I reach a mile. It hurts. That hill is a bitch.
Days 26-30 (December 19-23): Alternate three miles with one mile
Day 31 (Christmas Eve): Run up and down my street for a mile before taking the kids to the Nutcracker and then to the National Christmas tree at the White House.
Day 32 (Christmas): After presents, run up and down my street for a mile before taking kids to see grandparents. Even though the run is short, I feel like this hill is getting easier. Hmm.
Days 33-34 (December 26-27): Parents babysit kids while I run three miles in Rock Creek Park. It’s drizzly, but not cold. It feels so nice to be moving outside.
Days 35-38 December 28-31): Back at the gym. Alternate three miles with two miles.
Day 39 (New Years Day): Run three miles. I feel good about this.
Day 40 (January 2): The #RWStreak ended yesterday, which means technically I don’t have to run today. I run because I want to.