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Your next steps

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By Mark Brockman

I have determined that all of my friends read the Oldham Era. All three of you were nice enough to say you read my column in the September 27th issue.

Actually, several of you mentioned the article, and that just goes to show that the most awesome people in Oldham County read the Era. (This is a shameless attempt by me to receive more nice complements, I scratch your back . . . )

So, where did we leave things? Oh yes, we were having a nice conversation about getting off the couch and improving our health by moving. Much of what it takes, is motion of some sort, along with an improvement in diet (not just how much you eat, but what it is that you choose to put in your body). For now, let’s stick with the movement facet of getting more healthy.

The last time we were together, we talked (OK, I know it’s a one-way conversation, but humor me) about starting out with five minutes on day one of walking, or running, or whatever movement you might try, and building up a bit each day until we can do 30 minutes of exercise after two or three weeks. Then, what?

We level off for a bit. See, this is the good part. Now that you’ve worked your way up to 30 minutes of exercise three days or more each week, you can go have lunch with your friends and say things like, “You know today when I was out walking, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.” Your friends will be thinking, “what a show off,” and that’s exactly what you want them to think as you realize you are feeling much better, with more energy these days. The next thing you should say is, “How ‘bout walking with me tomorrow?” Before you know it, you’ll be signing up for a run or walk and your buddy will go with you.

Now for the motivational content followed by a commercial.

As a pastor, I get to sit down with a lot of people who are in all different situations in life. Some of the most inspiring people I know are people with some kind of disability. The majority of these fine folks have a great desire to improve their quality of life. They know that physical fitness is a huge part of wellness. I have a great admiration for occupational therapists and physical therapists who come alongside those who need their expertise and encouragement to understand what’s best for each of them in gaining better flexibility and fitness.

Man, these people have true grit. I’ve seen a man with partial paralysis spin his arms with a special machine with such routine and determination that no one would want to arm wrestle with him! I’ve seen a lady who had a stroke regain the use of her hands and arms when a therapist suggested she try to remember how she played the piano before her stroke. These people are determined and work hard to gain better fitness.

Every one of us has some sort of limitation. I’m certainly not going to win any trophies in my next race, but I know I’m going to enjoy a real sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line.

However large, or small, your limitations attitude is king. When you make up your mind that you’re going to get up and get moving, you will find out you are an amazingly knit together person. God gave you a wonderful resilience, so your part of making things happen is realizing that improving your fitness level is very possible as soon as you take that first step. Every step after the first one gets a bit easier. But that first one, is the one that makes the difference between kicking yourself for not exercising, and having the opportunity to say cool stuff about this morning’s workout to your friends.

It’s now October. In less than three months there will be a really fun event here in Oldham County and I’d like to invite you to join me there. It’s the 12Ks of Christmas which benefits Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center. Yes, 12K’s is a long way. And yes, the event is on December 22nd. Yes, it could be cold, as a matter of fact last year the weather was terrible. Think of it as a chance to say you did one of those “Tough Dude Mud Mania” things. But in this case you get to wear your ugly Christmas sweater while you run, or walk. Twelve kilometers is 7.5 miles. For those of you who feel you should wait ’til next year for that distance, the 12Ks of Christmas offers a 6K option (It’s almost too good to be true). You can do it!

Here’s what will keep you training between now and December 22. Go ahead and sign up, put it on your calendar, and if you’re like me, once you’ve paid the fee, you will show up and make it happen. Here’s the sign up link: https://runsignup.com/Race/KY/LaGrange/12KsofChristmas The race fee goes up on November 1, so save a buck or two and sign up now. I’ll be there. I’m hoping for snow!

Mark Brockman has been running the roads of Oldham County for years. He loves to see people go from the couch to the starting line, and has had the pleasure of encouraging a number of people in our community to get moving and get healthy.

He pastors at Sligo Baptist Church with his wife, Judy. Mark is an original. He was born and raised in Oldham County.