They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit. I’ve been running now for a little over a month and I think it’s finally become a routine. As a child I never enjoyed running because I would always be made fun of for my two-toned face whenever I worked out. I also hated that I was such a slow runner. I did cross country in seventh grade and the highest place I ever took was 6th, mostly because there were only 7 girls in the competition.

All of that aside, I’ve really come to enjoy running. I like the time it gives me to think and put things into perspective. I like that it makes my legs look better and it keeps me from getting a beer gut (you all know I drink far too much to not need some exercise).

The thing I find strange about it though is that I’ve never taken the time to exercise before. Exercise has always been something I’ve done when I’m bored and can’t find anything else to do. There have always been excuses for not exercising. I’d tell myself it would take too long and I didn’t want to “waste” my time. I’d say it didn’t make any difference anyway. Most of all I hated going to the gym. I hated having people look at me while I was working out and I hated feeling like a hamster on one of those hamster wheels. Gyms are NOT for me. But now that I’ve discovered running I can exercise with ease. I don’t have to worry about a gym because I can just go outside. I can enjoy the fresh air and not have to worry about distractions like other people or televisions like I used to.

I love that this is become a routine for me. I love that I feel guilty on days when I don’t go running. I used to miss a day of exercise and then it was all over. I’d never go back because I’d be able to think of an excuse every day after that. The most-oft used excuse was “Well, I didn’t go yesterday.” <—–that’s how easy it was for me to break my routine in the past.

Unfortunately, I had to work late yesterday and I’ll be working late today too so I won’t be able to go for a run. I had said I was going to get up early and run, but I gave up on that when the alarm started going off. But because I didn’t want to break my exercise streak I decided I’d walk to work instead of running. It’s the same type of exercise and if I walk to and from work it will be about two miles. It may not be running, but it keeps me in the exercise mode.

Walking to work only took me about 2.5 songs on my iPod (aka 10-15 minutes). I can’t believe I really live that close to work. People have been asking me for months why I don’t walk to work and I always have excuses: “I don’t want to walk in the rain.” “I can’t walk to work in heels. My feet will be killing me.” “I don’t want to have to get up early so I can make it to work on time.” The list goes on.

Well, now that spring is here and the weather is beautiful, I have no excuses. Today I just laced up my tennis shoes, put my dress shoes in a bag, popped in my head phones and headed out the door. It was so much more relaxing to walk to work than to drive and stress about parking and traffic. I’m hoping to walk from now on, weather-permitting. Yay for getting healthy!