I never liked running. I can do skipping, dancing, walking, swimming, biking, horse back riding… but I never really enjoyed running. Every time I thought about running, I hit this mental block of “it’s too hard,” “I can’t last long so why even bother,” “the couch looks so much more inviting than my shoes…” and “-insert more pathetic whiny excuses here-“. You get the picture. The problem is I let that same mental block cover more than just the running street but most of the exercising streets. “I can’t run… so I probably won’t be very good at hiking.” “I don’t have the endurance so why even bother biking?” I was just giving myself all these excuses and my inner lazy fat kid kept rejoicing as I slurped down milkshakes and chowed down on fried starches. So far I believe my journey has been more of a mental battle than a physical battle. My body was longing for movement way before I started getting healthy. I would just feel absolutely horrible if I spent 98% of my day on the couch. My legs were tingly. I never slept very well. I just had all this energy inside of me that needed to be used. It was my brain that was saying “Oh no, you should just rest. You are so drained and wiped out.” I would instantly agree, grab a cookie and watch whatever was striking my fancy at the time.
I missed being active, though. I wanted to go on all-day hikes in the mountains and take breathless photos. I wanted to spend all day at the lake and not feel absolutely exhausted (not to mention embarrassed in a swimsuit) after only an hour. I dreamed every night of a different life, of looking into the mirror and feeling proud, seeing and feeling muscles caused by active adventures out in the world…I do not know why it took years for me to finally reach this point of realizing I had completely lost the active kid in myself. I have no idea how I let it get so out of control. All I know for sure is that right now I am doing it. I am not dreaming or thinking about it but lying on the couch instead. Now I do not ponder about going outside and doing something active, I just do it. Right now I am pushing through the hardest mental block of all: running. I know once I push the running block down, the others will follow quickly behind it.
And I am doing it! I am running up hills that last year I could barely walk, and my endurance is getting better every day. Today I went 1.5 miles (I know that doesn’t equal out to much, but to me is a huge triumph!). I walked a little bit, but I kept up a pretty good pace the whole entire time. On the last street, I even went into a full out sprint! It felt liberating until I realized I wasn’t really breathing and got lightheaded… but besides that, I felt like I was flying! I am doing it. When my brain said, I couldn’t… my legs said “Hell yeah!” and when my legs felt weak, my brain finally said “this isn’t so bad,” and I kept going. My goal is to be able to do a 5K and actually jog most of it. I know I have the endurance to jog/walk a 5k now, but I really want to be able to jog the whole thing by the end of May.
I am half way there and it feels AWESOME!
What road blocks do you have up in your head? What excuses do you make not to do something? Make today the day you at least give that road block a nice big push! Because today is the only day you can actually do something. Live in the present and kick some butt! It will feel awesome (at least afterwards). I promise!