Funny how quickly we can come to take something for granted. It was a little less than a year ago that I started to write this column. In those days, every baby step I took warranted a big celebration.

Made it to the gym for 15 minutes? Celebrate! Post it on Facebook! Tell all my friends!

Walked to the mailbox or did some yard work? You better believe that counts as a workout. Hey, I’m off the couch, aren’t I?

Passed up dessert? Stop the presses!

Now, there was a good solid reason for that. I had to celebrate every baby step to help myself stay motivated, and to help me keep on taking baby steps. But things are changing.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been doing great: making it to the gym two to three times a week; doing weight training and getting ready for track events in May at the Torrance County 50+ Games; and this weekend I even met with a personal trainer for the first time.

Yet somehow, it seems the more I do and the closer I get to my goal state (an active lifestyle), the more I take it for granted. Maybe I don’t want to come off like I’m bragging, but I think it’s a bit deeper than that.

Historically, the closer I get to my goals, the more my old self—the one who was oh-so-cozy in that now-demolished comfort zone—wants to rear her head and her old ways. By old ways, I mean the beating myself up and slacking on exercise and a healthy diet. I’ve pushed past it all, my hard-headedness serving me in good stead, as various obstacles have popped up. And the cool thing is that every day I get closer to where I want to end up.

This past week, I started out with a running workout—45 minutes where I walked and ran as much as I could. It was hard, but somewhere toward the end of that 45 minutes, I lost track of time and was actually taken by surprise when time was up.

On Thursday, I got some real-world exercise delivering the newspaper after a printing disaster, jumping in and out of the car and lugging heavy bundles of paper around for half the day.

Friday I made it back to the gym with my daughter for another running workout.

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On Saturday, I went to Estancia and took part in the opening events for the Torrance County 50+ Games, bringing home three blue ribbons, one for each event I entered, because there were no other women competing in my age group. I hereby call you out: If you are at least 50, and especially if you are between 50 and 54, and you live in Torrance County, come on out and give me some competition!

The 50+ Games were super fun, and I’m thinking about participating in the state Senior Olympics in Roswell in July, if I can make it work with my schedule.

Organizer Jerry Melaragno said the initial group was bigger than years past, but as a participant I want to say that more people ought to get involved. Blue ribbons are nice and all, but there were only a few age groups where participants had competition from their peers.

However, having said that, here are some results:

Basketball free throws were for the best of 15 shots. Richard Medina of Mountainair got 10 out of 15 for the men, and Kathy Segura of Moriarty made 5 for the top women’s score. Yours truly hit two out of 15 free throws.

In the 3-point shooting contest, contestants got six shots from various points around the 3-point line. The younguns had this event locked up, with Troy Coburn of Estancia and Curt Stephens of Mountainair tied at two baskets for the men, and me at the front of the women’s field, also with two 3-point baskets.

Soccer accuracy saw Sam Chavez of Estancia get a perfect score of 50 out of 50 possible points for the men, and me on top again for the ladies’ side with 35 of 50 points.

Frisbee accuracy was won by Sam Chavez with 9 points for the men and Sheryl Boerger with 8 for the women. In the event that wrapped up the day (although I had to leave before this to make a later appointment) was huachas, a throwing event where contestants toss large washers into a little bucket. Troy Coburn came on on top for the men, and Nancy Townson won the women’s side.

Later that day, I was back at the gym, this time for an appointment with a personal trainer for the first time. More on that subject next week.

Sunday was a much-needed rest day. As I write on Monday, I have a date this evening at the gym.

So that’s a whole pile of going to the gym, and I’ve stayed on track pretty well with keeping my diet healthy and nutritious, too. My plan for making meals for the week on Sunday works great, and has become a regular part of my routine.

My theory is this: What counts as a baby step for me has now changed. My “normal” has changed. Each week I am more and more active—and that has been the point of this whole exercise.

How are you doing with your health and fitness goals? You can contact me at leota@lobo.net or 505-286-1212. Or join the conversation in my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!”