You know how I posted the other day that I was really ready to exercise but being held back by lack of adequate shoes? And that I couldn’t afford to go buy a pricey pair right now? Well, my mom reads my blog, and after that post, she told me that she and my dad wanted to buy me a pair of new shoes to help me out. I have the most awesome parents on earth, don’t I? Yes, yes I do. They are among my biggest cheerleaders on this journey, and I am so grateful to them for so many reasons.
So this morning, I headed out to Boulder Running Company to put my feet into the hands of the professionals. In addition to wanting to get expert help, BRC also carries Vibram FiveFingers shoes, and I’ve been very intrigued by these for awhile. I know a lot of people think they are ugly, but a) I think they look cool, and b) when it comes to shoes, I’m all about function over form. I like shoes that are very light and flexible; there is nothing I hate more than feeling as if my feet are constricted. It seemed to me that Vibrams would be my dream shoe.
However, I’m also not a stranger to discovering that the reality of a product does not live up to its hype. There’s been many a product that I have desired strongly, only to get it and discover that it wasn’t all that great. So I went into trying on the Vibrams with a big dollop of skepticism.
I am thrilled to report that these shoes truly do live up to the hype. From the second I tried them on, I was in love. I still did due diligence and tried on some other pairs. And actually, there were several others that I liked also. But I kept a Vibram on one foot as I tried the others on the other foot, and the longer I wore the Vibrams, the more I knew that these were what I wanted. They truly feel like wearing a glove on my foot. There is no slippage, no rubbing, and most importantly, no constricting. They felt fantastic, so I took the plunge and bought them.
But buying a great pair of shoes was not the best part of my day. The best part is that the weather was gorgeous, so during the first rain delay of the Notre Dame game (easily the worst part of my day), I suggested that we take a family walk. Based on my kids’ reaction, you’d think that I had told them Christmas was coming early. It was nice to know that I could do something so simple that could make my kids so happy.
As we headed out the door, though, I’ll admit that I still had a sense of trepidation. Was I going to get halfway through our walk and find that maybe I wasn’t quite as ready as I thought I was? Would I find that my body hurt and I was running out of breath?
Much to my delight, none of my fears proved true. 95% of my body could actually have gone further than we did. (The walk was only 3/4 of a mile.) However, it does take some time to adjust to the Vibrams, and I was having a bit of pain in my ankles and Achilles tendons. This is pretty normal, and they suggest that you not push yourself too hard as your body becomes accustomed to the different way of walking. So I decided that this was good enough for a start.
And it really was. I truly feel euphoric tonight, even though it was a very short walk. I don’t think it has anything to do with endorphins, or at least not much. Instead, it’s just that I feel so much optimism for the future. I have lost 52 lbs without exercising at all, and now I’m truly ready to add it. I’m not just reluctantly forcing myself to do it because I should; I’m actually looking forward to my next walk. And if I can truly learn to enjoy exercise and to greet each workout with enthusiasm, then the sky is the limit. Nothing can stop me from me from finally making it to a healthy weight.
I know this euphoria won’t last forever. I know there will still be days in the future that feel difficult or even utterly hopeless. But right now, in this moment, I feel on top of the world. This isn’t an empty optimism based on the high hopes of a new diet. This is earned optimism based on months of hard work that have paid off, and that are starting to feel a little less like hard work and a little bit more like a new normal.
I still have plenty of work in front of me, but for once I truly feel like I CAN do this. I HAVE BEEN doing this. And I AM SUCCEEDING. My ultimate goals are more in reach now than they have ever been in my life.