Twenty years ago. Part of me hates even being able to say that. But I take pride in hearing from others I don't look my age. At times my body feels old, but my heart is young.
Anyway, twenty years ago I was runing for the physical benefits. At that time I had no idea how much I needed to run through my problems. I needed to learn how to discipline myself. I needed that feeling that runner's get after pushing their physical limits. I didn't realize all that until more recently.
A couple of years ago, after my Mom died, I found myself unable to control my emotions. I had processed grief before, several times, but something was happening in my head that I didn't understand. I would start crying for seemingly no reason. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to do anything.
My annual visit to my doctor clued me in as to what was happening to me. She said, simply, I was getting old. I was, in fact, forty years old and quite possibly pre-menopausal. Understandably, I began to cry.
She put her arm around me and told me it wasn't that bad, that I just needed to start taking better care of myself. It reminded me of the scene in Fried Green Tomatoes when Mrs. Threadgoode tells Evelyn she just needed to get herself some of them hormones.
My doctor didn't prescribe hormones, but a simple vitamin regimen and exercise. The vitamins were easy, but exercise? I'd been down that road before -- literally. But it had been a long time since I had made it a regular part of my life.