Did. Done. Complete. Today was the 90th day of my 90 consecutive days of workouts. I left the house on my run tonight listening to “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey (only the most unifying bar song ever) and walked up to my porch with so much pride after a 45-minute run and “Lebanese Blonde” by Thievery Corporation was on my iPod. I gave the gold frog on my porch the thumbs up.
So now what?
Well, I plan to keep on going as long as I can. See how long I can take this. Ninety days is just the beginning. But first thing’s first: pop the champagne. I wish someone could have filmed me opening this bottle because you’d think I was playing Russian Roulette. With every twist of the cork, my anxiety grew as I wondered if that the twist that would lead to the cork popping off into the up and beyond? Popping bottles and cans of refrigerated biscuits are two skills I’ve never mastered with confidence. I swear it took me five minutes. I finally opened it and turned around and saw my neighbors across the street watching me. Who knows what it looked like from behind. I waved and poured a glass and went inside to drink in a judgment-free zone.
I actually wondered if I’d make it to Day 90. Not that I thought I’d give up, but God forbid, what if I’d fallen down my stairs this morning or twisted my ankle or had a car wreck or passed out or was kidnapped. I found it interesting that for the last 89 days, it has been nothing to rally my motivation to work out, but on the 90th day, I felt so much pressure to perform. I even procrastinated! It is evidence that if I want to do something, I’ll make it happen. Otherwise, you need to dangle money in my face.
A couple of days ago, I began to think of how I would commemorate this achievement. Should I ask someone to join me on my run? Should I plan a dinner after my run with friends? Then I thought, why should I? I did this on my own. I found my own motivation. It was my idea, and it’s a personal accomplishment that only I can really truly appreciate. My friends and family have been uber supportive, especially when they realized how far along I was getting. I thank you all for that. Thank you for your well wishes, Twitter and Facebook comments and emails. I thank you all for understanding when I couldn’t come out for a happy hour or when I had to get in my workout before meeting up for dinner or a movie. And I thank all who worked out with me! I’m so glad I didn’t give up.
In the past, there have been a lot of times when I’ve wanted to give up on something, and I have. This time, it was different because I wanted this, and I grew to need it. As I was running tonight, I returned to a memory that often reminds me of what it means to keep trying. In 2005, I was volunteering for the ice skating competition for the Special Olympics in Houston. During the technical program, one 40-something woman was working diligently on her figure 8s. The point is to complete a figure 8 without getting out of the lines carved into the ice. I stood at the wall watching her skate a little along the line, stop, rest, then start again to complete another small section of the figure 8. It took her probably 20 minutes, and this is something that takes an 8-year old novice skater less than a minute to achieve.
After the competition, she came to the lunch room where my job was to pass out hamburgers and fries to the athletes. She saw me and said excitedly, “Did you see me? Did you see me? I didn’t give up!” I said through the tears forming in my eyes, “You didn’t. You looked great!” She was so happy. Nothing could have brought her down. That 20-minute long figure 8 was probably one of the highlights in her life. And here I am 35 years old and completely capable of at minimum getting out and going for a walk every day. If she didn’t give up, then what right do I have to give up?
(NOTE: This blog post originally appeared on www.aworkoutaday.com, an archived blog I maintained for more than two years to chronicle consecutive daily workouts during that time.)