Grab Your Ugly Socks!

With a clatter and a crash, the phone slipped off the treadmill dashboard, careened off the moving belt, and skidded to a stop in the carpet behind me.

I glanced left and right. Lithe joggers ran in precise form, their arms knowing how to cycle in smooth arcs, not flailing wildly like mine.

Photo Credit: Flickr user, E’Lisa Campbell, Creative Commons cc license

Grinning and red-faced, I jumped my feet up to straddle both sides of the still-moving treadmill, scooted backwards and retrieved my music player/husband’s old cell phone. From a stair-stepping machine a row back, Mark arched an eyebrow at me and smirked.

Plugging headphones back in, I straddled the swiftly-moving treadmill belt again, gathered my courage, caught the gait, and jumped back into the jog. Staring at a smudge on the wall ahead of me, I breathed in four-four time, bouncing legs in rhythm to Superchick’s rocky Beauty from Pain album.

I’m five weeks into jogging again and I’m loving the satisfaction and joy of meeting a goal. I’ve learned that I need a plan, and I need to make it as easy as I can to choose well. A black cloth bag hangs on a hook behind our bedroom door with an easy-to-grab work out t-shirt and comfy black shorts to run in. Crumpled green and red ankle socks wait in teal and coral tennis shoes on a handy shelf, and my headphones lay on our dresser. Mark and I have chosen days we work out, and we’re trying to stick to them.

Panting and huffing, I watched the odometer click to a number I was waiting for. Hitting the cool-down button, I slowed my pace, heart racing, sweat dripping. Grabbing a sanitary towelette to wipe down the YMCA machine afterwards, I was stopped by an older gentleman.

“You’re getting an early start. Are those Christmas socks?” he asked, smiling at my green and red socks.

I laughed and blushed. “Um, yes, Christmas bears, but they’re comfortable ankle socks,” I grinned back.

It helps to have a plan, I’m learning. So whether you’re working towards fitness goals, writing word counts, business dreams, or end of summer plans, make it easy for yourself to say yes, and to feel joy in that moment. For me that looks like carving out mornings to write, setting aside afternoons to study for upcoming speaking sessions, and choosing times to grab my ugly socks and run!

What goals are you chipping away at? What helps you feel good about victories along the way? (Those reading this in email, can click here to join the conversation.)

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  1. Bill (cycleguy) on August 9, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Glad to see you and Mark taking care of yourselves at a young age Jennifer. I have always tried to do that. Cycling. Basketball (which actually hurt me). Weightlifting. Cycling. and cycling (notice a trend?) 🙂 Even though I have aches and pains now, some from stupid things I've done in the past, I am glad God has still blessed me with relatively good health and stamina at my age (63). My goal? Be fit to carry on for Him until He calls me home.

  2. Unknown on August 11, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Good for you. Nothing like a good workout to flush out the daily toxins.

    I'm trying to carve out more time away from all the goals; business, writing, etc. Even good things can become idols.

    Run like the wind, sister.

  3. Houseofmills on August 20, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    working out does make you feel so much better. That is my goal too. Gone twice this week. I realized I actually have to put it on my calendar in order to make myself workout. that seems to work….=)

  4. Jennifer Dougan on August 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm


    Cycling sounds fun, My husband likes to do that off and on too. Do you use any phone apps?

    Stamina and energy at 63 is great!

    Jennifer Dougan

  5. Jennifer Dougan on August 21, 2016 at 10:20 pm


    Nice to hear from you. Sorry I've been so inconsistent with blogging. Keep carving out time for your writing and goals — all in proper perspective, though too,I agree.

    Jennifer Dougan

  6. Jennifer Dougan on August 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Liz, I agree. It makes me feel better too, and proud of myself for choosing to work out too.

    So fun to see you the other day!

    Jennifer Dougan

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