Rob keeps telling people he’s convinced someone has possessed his wife: A non drinking running fanatic who has swapped Hello! magazine for marathon training books.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve spent 95% of my adult life avoiding exercise and bitching to anyone who’ll listen about what freaks gym addicts are. Or even worse – runners. Those selfish bastards who take up the whole pavement like they own the joint. Deliberately showing off their athletic ability to make me feel like a lazy cow.
I don’t know what changed in me. Last year my Mum and I started to do a bit of walking when she was visiting London and then one day I decided to run from every second lamp post to the next, then walk the next two lamp posts, until over time I didn’t need to walk anymore. Then the distances I was running became longer until my first 5km run. That was a huge turning point for me. I really believe that if you can run 5km without stopping at whatever pace you feel comfortable at and enjoy it – then running is for you.
I’ve surprised myself at how disciplined I can be. Despite the fact that I have no self control when it comes to Nutella. And shoes. I really feel like I’ve overcome an enormous hurdle because if truth be told, it always bothered me that I didn’t ‘get’ exercise.
The other key was my reasons for running. Although I needed to shift a few kilos when I first started running, it wasn’t the reason I started and that made a huge difference. If you’re only running to lose weight then you’ll never stick with it because you have to learn to like it. It took me 6 months to start losing weight and that was because I also changed my diet and I don’t drink alcohol. I stopped restricting all bad foods which always led to food binges and no weight loss. Now, if I want a piece of cake I have it. I just run it off later. Calories in, calories out … who knew?!!
I’ve blogged about this before but as a depression sufferer, running is my tonic. I can honestly say I have not had one bout of depression since I started running, aside from the odd day or two of a low mood which I think we’re all prone to.
On the 5th of May I am running my first half marathon. 21kms. I’m really nervous but so proud of myself that I’ve come this far. I never EVER thought I was capable of doing this and its motivated me to start trying other forms of exercise too so I can vary my training and reduce my injury risk.
So this week I’m starting pilates power plate which a friend of mine recently described as a form of torture. And guess what? I’m actually excited about it. This feeling is totally foreign to me because once upon a time a planned evening gym session had the potential to ruin my entire day. Week even.
So for anyone thinking of taking up running, even if you are a complete couch potato, it’s totally possible to do it and enjoy it. For it not to feel like it’s a chore, but to really look forward to it and reap the enormous benefits running brings. Health, fitness, confidence, emotional well-being, time for you and most importantly … self care.
We forget how important self care is. Nobody else is going to do that for you except YOU.
So chop-chop, if I can learn to run and like it then anyone can.