My dad taught me how to skip. Just typing that sounds funny, but he was really good at skipping. And the best part about it was that whenever I went somewhere with him (walking from the parking lot into a store for example) we would hold hands and skip. We were super fast... and always had to wait for my mom to catch up. It sounds silly, and maybe those around us thought it was, but I thought it was AWESOME! Just thinking about it now brings back great memories and a huge smile to my face. It is one of the best memories I have of my dad. In 1986, my dad had a massive stroke that left him unable to move the left side of his body. Although he was able to get around pretty well with a cane for the rest of his life, his skipping days were over. I had just graduated high school when this happened and unfortunately had not skipped with my dad in a while but I remember being so sad about that ability being taken away. He would have given anything to run, skip and dance with my mother again.
This really struck me and I immediately thought of my dad. There I sat with all of the physical abilities that so many would trade their lives for and I was wasting the gift. By my lack of use, I was also running the risk of losing the ability all together. When I complained to my doctor that I can't walk because my feet hurt, she said my feet hurt because I don't walk.... and she was right. I was ashamed. I'd love to be fit and healthy, but I hate exercise and find every excuse not to do it. I've never had a plan and have NEVER followed through on any programs.
Now, I'm not a runner... yet. But having the concept of doing it because I can and for the others who cannot... I'm motivated more than ever to keep moving. This is going to be a long process but I will no longer take the gift for granted. This is for me... but it's also for those who would do it for me if I could not... and the list is long.
And I'm going to see if I can still skip. It will be hard without my partner holding my hand...but I know he'll be cheering me on. At the very least it will put a smile on my face and sometimes that's all you need to look and feel better.