But in the meantime I got the treadmill in the basement set up, and I'm actually using it. Hooray! And even better, now that my chest is significantly reduced, I can actually run on it without my breasts aching from the jouncing that even the tightest sports bra could not previously contain. (Jouncing. That's a word, right? Yes, the dictionary confirms -- rough bouncing. Perfect description. I've never had reason to use it before. Cool.) I can run! This was, in theory, one of the benefits to come from breast reduction surgery, but honestly, I didn't really believe it would happen.
My breasts grew to a DD when I was nine years old, and I've basically not run since then. (When I was eight, I won a contest for being the fastest sprinter in my class, beating the boys. My salad days, when I was green in glory. (That makes no sense, unlike Cleopatra's original green in judgement, but I like the way it sounds anyway.)) The breasts got even bigger when I gained some weight in college, and bigger again with both pregnancies. Now they're a C. It makes all the difference in the world, and even though there's still some patches of numbness post-surgery and occasional small pains (surgeon says that should end after a year or so), it's TOTALLY worth it.
I'm not claiming that I'm running a lot. It's been a few months since any real exercise (although going up and down four flights of stairs daily does build in a little cardio. The first month after we moved into this house, from a one-story, there were days when I had to lie down and rest after climbing all the way to the kids' floor. Thankfully, I adapted.) My current workout is to a) put on a sit-com on my laptop on Hulu, propped up on a pile of unopened book boxes, b) set the treadmill to 3.0, a nice-paced walk, and c) bump it up to 4.5 and run during the commercials, for 2 minutes at a time. (Did you notice, the commercials on Hulu are getting longer? Sneaky.) I've been doing this for three days now, and I kind of like it. I think I can see that endorphin rush that exercise-people talk about, hovering in the distance. It hasn't actually hit me yet; it's still more about the out-of-breath and periodic pain, but the rush isn't that far away. I think. I might try to run eight minutes today, instead of six. And maybe it's time to break out the weights again, try some five pound bicep curls. Baby steps.
My dentist told me that he called the 40s the 'ugly years' -- because what you did for your body during that decade determined whether you looked okay for the rest of your life, or looked ugly. My dentist is kind of mean sometimes, but I love him anyway. He was mostly talking about taking care of my teeth, but I think there's something to it for the rest of the body too -- I have this sense that if I don't set some good health patterns in my 40s, I'm probably not going to start at 50. So that's the goal for this 40th year of mine -- get healthy. Lose some weight, gain some muscle, be able to actually run -- maybe for twenty or thirty minutes at a time? I hear people can do that. That would be amazing.
And yes, Dr. Yee, I will also floss. More than I do now. Baby steps.