I stood in my driveway and pressed START on my phone. It was my first time using a training app for beginning runners. “Walk for 90 seconds,” an encouraging female voice sang out. I started down the sidewalk.
It was mid-January, a bit warmer than usual. I’d pulled on a pair of loose stretchy pants, a baggy sweatshirt and tennis shoes. Please don’t let the neighbors see me, I thought.
At 47 years old, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d done anything physically active. I’d been overweight my whole life, and sports just weren’t my thing. I was happy to cheer on the rest of my family—my husband, who played rec league hockey, and our three always-on-the-go kids. But I wasn’t out here for myself. It was my mother I worried about. I’d do anything for her—even take up running.
Mom had suffered a severe stroke seven weeks earlier. She’d been released from the hospital to a rehabilitation center for intensive therapy. I visited almost every day. She’d made strides in verbal and cognitive areas, but she struggled with physical therapy. It was hard to see my independent mom wheelchair-bound and unable to stand. It was even harder to see the defeated look in her eyes. “You’ve got this,” I’d cheer her on while she did her PT exercises. “Keep trying.” But progress was slow and she wasn’t happy at the rehab center, pleading, “I want to go home.” Well, who wouldn’t?
“If she doesn’t show improvement, we’ll have to discharge her,” the therapist told me. My dad went to therapy with Mom, often doing the exercises too. The grandkids came as well. I was involved in every aspect of Mom’s care plan. But how to help motivate her—I somehow needed to figure that out.
I didn’t mind the responsibility. I was used to it. I homeschooled our kids, now teenagers, making sure they got the best education I could give them. I organized events for our homeschool group. Ran our household. Played in our church praise band. Me time was never much of a priority. Still, in the past year, I’d managed to make big changes to my health. I eliminated all refined sugar and carbs from my diet, losing 75 pounds. But exercise? No way. Especially not running. I was still haunted by memories of coming in last during every race in middle school gym class.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Legacy of Flight 93
An Army officer remembers his cousin Rich Guadagno and the other 39 heroes who died in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11
After two divorces, did I really know what I wanted in a relationship? Did I even know who I needed to be?
“God Will Bless Your Business
George Turner was sure the pandemic would spell the end of his struggling bike shop. His pastor had other ideas
The 46th Peak
We decided to do this last hike of the challenge together. Partway down, I heard my husband scream
Challenge Yourself to...Connect More!
Eager to emerge from the loneliness of lockdown and socialize again? We’ve put together a list of 15 challenges for reconnecting with the people you care about—and making new friends too. Focus on a few activities, or pick one each day to try over the next two months. Pay attention to how your relationships flourish!
Reason for Hope
I feared my son would never get off drugs. Until an art class changed my heart
He was the dog I always wanted. But he came with baggage, a little like me
ALONE WITH MY FAITH
The pandemic left a lot of us feeling isolated. Including me. But it opened the door to something deeper in my music and in my soul
How two strangers found friendship and healing as they came to terms with the legacy of slavery
70 Years of Hope & Inspiration
Elizabeth Sherrill’s life as a writer has been a journey of the soul, a journey that also became the very soul of Guideposts magazine
ALI MACGRAW AT 83 FINALLY HAPPY
THE OSCAR-NOMINATED STAR HAS PUT ASIDE HER PAST AND CREATED A PEACEFUL LIFE OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT'S GLARE
Brazen Boris Becker gets 2.5 years for covering his assets
Jenna & Steve READY TO WED
Waiting hasn't been easy, but Jenna Dewan is finally walking down the aisle with fiancé Steve Kazee after a COVID-related delay of nearly two years.
Kaley: WHY I'LL NEVER MARRY AGAIN
Kaley Cuoco is taking a vow – and it's not the wedding kind!
THE EDSEL, QUIBI AND CNN+? NEW ADDITION TO BUSINESS FAILURES
The Edsel. Quibi. New Coke. The Segway. DeLorean sports cars. The pantheon of colossal business failures has a new member in the CNN+ streaming service.
PARKS & RECREATION
5 NATIONAL PARK ADVENTURES FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST
DIVERSIFYING YOUR LIGHTING OPTIONS
Black-ish Was No Televised Revolution
The show always aimed for the third rail, but it played it safe more often than not.
THE PROG-ROCK SUPERGROUP IS BACK WITH A LUSH NEW ALBUM, AND THIS TIME GUITARIST TED LEONARD DIDN’T FORGET TO PACK THE GUITAR SOLOS
BROOKE AND STEVE GIANNETTI CHANNEL SOUTH OF FRANCE ROMANCE IN AN OPEN, GARDEN-FACING HAVEN IN LOS ANGELES.