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Lace, Walk, and Run


Do you run? If you are non-disabled, you can run. Today, you may not be able to run far or fast, but you can move a tad more quickly than a casual walking pace.

Push yourself a little further and faster every time, and soon you will see improvements.

If you used to run, but life interfered with lacing up your shoes to hit the streets, keep reading. I have some advice in this piece to encourage you to get out there again.

Think about your childhood. When you were younger, running did not require much thought or planning. Without much encouragement, you played hide and seek or sports.

I loved to race my friends. Whether on the sidewalk, an empty one-way street, basketball court, football field, or an official track, I enjoyed seeing how fast I could go with my little legs. I developed a reputation as the short quick one.

In junior high school, I joined the track and basketball teams. I never placed first or became the star player, but I had fun during practices, games, and meets.

The runner was reignited in me when we moved to Antigua. I jog a minimum of 30 miles every week. The speeches of professional runner and former Navy Seal David Goggins, I'm sure, have something to do with the drive that pushes me out of bed in the morning.

Check out Goggins’ book, Can’t Hurt Me; How to Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, or look him up on YouTube. His candid way of explaining discipline and physical fitness may resonate with you.

Consistency with exercise is fundamental to muscle gains and fat losses. The summer is here, but don’t allow travel plans or backyard barbeques to interfere with your workout routines.

When visiting family or friends, one of my favorite things is exploring the neighborhood on foot. Last week, I ran from my sister’s place to the Rose Bowl stadium and through the surrounding wood trails. After California, I traveled to Chicago and jogged down memory lane alongside the lakefront trail.

I got lost in the nostalgia of my home city and did 16 miles. Like writing, running helps to clear a pathway to clarity. It helps me think.

Running can produce similar benefits for you. In addition to a slimmer waistline, keeping a consistent cardio workout on your weekly to-do list like jogging can help you better manage stressful situations. When you exercise, you can release the stress hormone cortisol.

No adult human being is exempt from stress. So do what your body needs to do, move, and give yourself some relief. Let me share one quick story with you.

During my trip to the States, I went to Target. I needed a new pair of jeans and running shorts.

Side note, if you haven't shopped in Target in a long time, stay out. You will want to buy half the store.

While waiting to try on a pair of jeans outside the fitting room, I observed two women in a conversation. One woman touched everything on a nearby rack and said, “It’s been so long. Everything looks and feels different.” The other woman nodded her head in agreement.

I assumed the woman’s comment, ”been so long,” was in response to corona. Fears of exposure to the virus kept her indoors.

Another ten minutes passed, the ladies left the fitting room, and I tried on the jeans that didn’t fit. However, the Target run was not a complete loss because I found running shorts and a couple of other items I didn't need.

Perhaps you’ve also spent more time inside over the last year. If you put away your sneakers when covid arrived in your neighborhood, maybe now is the time to get back outside.

The pandemic is not over, but as restrictions lift and the weather is decent, consider exercise outdoors.

While I continued to wear a face mask in the airport, on the plane, and inside Target, I did not have it while exercising outside. Give thanks that I made it home without a trace of covid in my chest or lungs.

Unless you are ill or injured, get out for a jog this weekend. Be sure to warm up. Walk first and then increase your pace or lengthen your strides.

My go-to warm-ups include capoeira movements, pushups, and mountain climbers.

Exercise on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate two holidays. On Sunday, we recognize the father figures in our lives; yes, it's Father's Day. Monday is Juneteenth. Sweat in honor of the enslaved Africans who ran away before emancipation.


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