Hello Qcitymetro, family. If you’ve followed this column, you may have noticed that I’ve been on a sabbatical.

However,
I’ve prevailed on my fitness journey. During my absence, I found a new
best friend. A friend that is loyal, doesn’t talk back and loves me
unconditionally, regardless of how uncoordinated I look when we’re
together.

Who is my new best friend?

It’s running!

Yes,
in the past few weeks, I’ve started running. A few times I contemplated
leaving my best friend on the side of the street and running away.
Especially when I have to teach aerobics the following day, the weather
is chilly or I neglected to get a good night’s sleep.

I met my
best friend after a long-time colleague challenged me to run. As a
current fitness instructor and former athlete, I’m always up for a
fitness challenge. Although I’ve never golfed a day in my life, I’d
play Tiger Woods if he issued a challenge.

Day one was
exhilarating. My strides were smooth, I had lots of stamina and I ran
the majority of the four miles. At the end of the course, my running
partner, Jerome, remarked: “You did good … for a girl.”

In the
coming days, my ego kicked in, and I looked forward to jumping into my
running shoes and outpacing him. That hasn’t happened yet. But I’m
hopeful.

With longer days, I’m enjoying my new fitness hobby.
My running partner continues to motivate me. We have a mutual respect
for each other’s athleticism. He has been running since ninth grade, is
knowledgeable and loves to run. Like a good coach, he accepts no
excuses from me. This helps to keep me focused.

Those searching
for something new and challenging that offers excellent health
benefits, I suggest running. However I caution you to get clearance
from your physician first. And seek a running professional who can help
guide you, thus avoiding injuries.

Like any relationship, I
experience fluctuations with running. On some days, I’m ready to throw
the running shoes in the back of my closet.

Despite this, I’ve kept my best friend close, and I’m not ready to file divorce papers, at least not yet.

In health and wellness.

***

Sondra
E. Z. Hines is an adjunct professor of health and wellness and is
certified to teach group fitness and Zumba. Email:
sondraezhines@yahoo.com

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...

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