I used to run. I used to run two hours nearly everyday along the river by my old apartment. Before I met my husband,I ran anywhere I needed to go and could get to on foot. This was not something I would have ever done in my home town. For one, even if I ran for an hour from my highschool home, I'd never reach anything more than a gas station or cow pasture. But also because the idea of someone seeing my sweat dripping, red face huffing along the side of the road terrified me enough to stay inside and watch tv and eat microwave popcorn instead of even think about exercise.
Moving to Japan gave me a new perspective. Long out of high school and far from the kids who spat at me during p.e., I was finally in a culture that embraces sweat. The students I taught at school encouraged me to get out and move. They were ecstatic that I was red faced and out of breath when I accidentally ran into then on my runs through the neighbourhood. It was a very different cultural perspective on a plus sized woman tackling her own body. Running gave me inner strength I never learned was there, because the mentality I was brought up with taught me that if I was big, it was my fault, and therefore I was too weak to do anything.Japan taught me that I am strong enough to pull passt my weight and keep going.
But I can't run like I did back then. I've also learned something else while here. That my running was actually destroying my body. Due to an injury to my spine, my body secretly started to degrade as I started to feel stronger inwardly. As I lost weight, gained confidence and looked better, I felt more pain and fatigue than ever. This is an actual image of my spine. One of my discs has all but withered away. Running for exercise, for strength, is not possible anymore. It's now time to focus on gaining real strength in my muscles. After injury and pregnancy and being hit by a car, giving birth, breaking my ankle and now raising three children, I'm more determined than ever to build myself up. I used to run nearly everyday, but now I'm looking to run every day, head first into my life and tackle my body and all it's problems. I will run every single day, even if my body can't run like it did before. But first, I've got to learn how to exercise, how to strength build, how to fit this life into my life.