Little Victories

Today I finally broke past the four mile mark on my run/walk. it took me about fifty minutes. This is good because that is the same amount of time it has taken me to do about 3.88 miles so little victories. This morning’s run was hard but it felt great. I stuck to the two minutes running ninety seconds off and it didn’t seem easier but more doable, if that makes any sense. I pushed myself to keep running and had one longer run of just over four minutes. Sadly, it takes me about that long to go a quarter mile, so although I am running for longer times I don’t feel as though I am covering more ground. It also didn’t rain, so I was stuck with the humidity. UGGG!!!! I am not a summer person. I was a disgusting sweat ball this morning. And even though the scale reported two pounds lighter, I’m pretty sure it’s all the sweat in my shirt so I’m not particularly excited about that. Gleefully tomorrow is going to be a lovely sixty six degrees in the morning. AAAAAHHH.

As I talk more and more with people about this, and yes I have been droning on boring everyone with it, I am constantly intrigued by other “Journey to Fitness” stories. For instance, my sister did the Philly Run which is ten miles for four years!!!! Ten miles!!! Holy Shit! I can barely cover a quarter mile and she ran for ten. That feels impossible for me. But it also started me wondering about how we move in and out of fitness routines. She said she hadn’t done it in years and now doesn’t think she could run a mile. When I was in my twenties I was incredibly fit. I walked both ways to work which was about fifty minutes each way and I worked out five days a week with weights. In addition to that I had this crazy diet plan where I counted fat and only ate 13 grams of fat per day. I have no idea where I got the plan or the number. Being young and poor helped a lot. I only had so much money and was not going to over spend on food when I knew that the weekend was coming and I would be dancing and drinking three out of four nights. Remember when the weekend started on Thirsty Thursday and continued straight through till Sunday? As I moved into my late twenties and early thirties I started going more to local bars and less to dance clubs. Dancing was replaced with shuffleboard, darts, and watching sports on television. But I still had time to work out and I still walked every day, but now only for about an hour. I was never a runner or a bike rider. So not as fit, but still trim and mostly fit.

And then, somehow it all slipped away.  Intermittent attempts at returning to fitness were met with the realization that this would be hard work. I don’t love hard physical work. And I am an impatient person, so hard work with no immediate turn around often made me discouraged and sad.  The fact that I have been doing this for a little over three weeks  is also a little victory. As I have stated before, I haven’t lost an ounce – today notwithstanding, I truly expect I am two cups of water away from my original weight. But weight loss wasn’t the real goal, just a piece of a larger picture: to become strong. That was the goal. and I can see that I am getting stronger and building up more stamina. So I guess I am seeing results and they have been fairly fast.

I like to believe sometimes that nobody reads this and I am talking to myself – which I think is mostly true. And sometimes I like to believe that I am speaking to a large crowd who are dying to talk back to me. Today I am thinking about both. The first because I probably bored you to sleep with my self obsessed reflections and the second because I would really like to hear other stories. If you are a regular runner or biker or whatever, how did you get there? Were you just always this person? Do you remember a time when what you do now would have seemed impossible? If you use to be someone who was more active, what changed? Do you miss it? If you have been thinking about trying again, what is stopping you or motivating you? If you have just started, like me, what has it been like for you?