If there is one thing that I traditionally loath more than all others, it’s running. I’ve never been a fan. I was pudgy growing up and physical activity equated to public humiliation. Running in school meant showcasing to all my classmates just how short of a distance it took to leave me doubled over, gasping for breath and blaming my nonexistent asthma for my inability to complete a lap. I learned from a young age to avoid public displays of physical activity at all cost. There were many excuses written explaining to my P.E. teachers why I couldn’t participate and many days ditched when the teachers wouldn’t buy my bullshit anymore. I am the girl who almost didn’t graduate high school because I failed gym. Repeatedly.
This avoidance of exercise became a sort of philosophy that I lived my life by. I did not run. I did not sweat. I thought people who did were silly. I would watch horror movies and when the teenage prey ran screaming from the psycho killer I would think, that seems like way too much effort. I would rather just get my head chopped off than run around all sweaty and screaming for half an hour.
Over the years I have made many changes in my life to improve my health. I lost weight, got a job at a gym and started working out, but I did so begrudgingly. I still hated working out but I did it because it was part of my job and because I liked being skinny(er) rather than fat. The gym members found my attitude endearing, my disdain for exercise mirrored their own lack of enthusiasm. I had come to accept that working out was something I had to do, but would never be something I would want to do.
So imagine my surprise when I began noticing this nagging thought I kept having. I wanted to start jogging. But I couldn’t start jogging because it’s not something I do. And even still, the thought was there. Maybe it’s because I spend most of my time with a two year old and don’t have many adult conversations throughout the day, but I’ve started to listen to the little voice that urges me to do something. When I was younger, I let fear stop me from pursuing my interests. I thought there was nothing more humiliating than trying and failing. Now I have come to realize that my time here is finite and I rather try and fail miserably than get to the end of my life and mourn the chances I didn’t take.
So I found an app on my phone that promises to take you from couch to running a 5K in ten weeks. I did my first workout on Monday, a combination of jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90. It doesn’t sound like much but it was hard and I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. I finished and I was nothing short of elated. Who knew I could run at all? It was like when I went back to college and discovered that, not only could I do math, I was actually really good at it. I’m 30 years old and still surprising myself. That’s a really good feeling.
So two workouts down now and many more to go. Today was easier than Monday and that is encouraging. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. For now, I am just happy to be taking the first steps down a new road.