First it's important to remember that 3 1/2 weeks ago I was nearly sedentary. Yes, I did yoga 3-5 times a week and some light aerobic workouts so I was no couch potato but pretty much really only enjoyed heavy breathing during one specific activity, and during that one I'm not usually the one doing the hardest work.
But it's been three weeks now since I started this campaign to make real cardio training a consistent part of my routine and I've had so many gradual and, what feel to me like monumental, successes that now I can't help but start to nag all of my friends to get up off the couch and give it a try.
Last Sunday I completed a 3 mile run in 38 minutes. I know it's no crazy racer's time but let's remember, I started week one running for 5 minutes and then walking for two. I know now that if I did nothing else for the remaining week and a half, I'd be able to finish the race. That felt like the hurdle I needed to reach. From here out it's about making it the best race I can do, not just trying not to die while trying a crazy stunt.
While I was running I passed a little girl in a stroller who called out to her mom "There goes a runner". I wanted to donate to her college fund except she forgot to say "There goes a single mom raising a kid on one income", so I settled for a smile and a wink.
This morning I did my run on a treadmill for the first time and I now understand my friend's comment about not "Half-assing" a workout. I was fiddling with the settings on the machine and plugging along (without tunes again, I think I might prefer this but I'm still holding on to them as a crutch for now) when I realized I'd been jogging at a steady pace for 30 minutes and never once needed to slow down or stop. While this is great, I also felt like I never really got my heart rate up there. Again, if you haven't been paying attention, 3 weeks ago a jog to the end of my street would have gotten me to my target heart rate.
I had to end my workout after the 30 mins to get to a meeting and I felt completely cheated and realized I had essentially wasted the half hour, the precious short time I had been able to set aside to do something entirely for myself and was going to spend the rest of the day wishing I could do more. See how annoying this must be to my non-exercising friends? I was always the one they could count on to say "Oh, we can work out tomorrow, let's just chill today". And now I'm trying to find more ways to sneak in more time to run???? Who is this nut?
I realize that pretty much I'm the only one who reads this blog, with the exception of some staunch supporters, but I want to go to every person who thinks that getting fit and strong is too hard, too much not like them, too silly a way to spend precious time and say c'mon, take my hand. We can do it together - even us. And it just might save our lives.