I had pretty much written this off a no-go quite a few years ago, remembering how silly I looked running (or so I was told) as a child, and later as a teen. With my legs flapping and my arms flopping, I too believed it wasn’t a pretty sight. No big deal though; I had plenty of other activities to occupy my hours and never gave running a second thought.
Exercise has never really been my thing–that is, until I discovered yoga back in 1994. Heart-thumping, liberating, acrobatic, and introspective all at once, this package deal clicked with me and my long limbs right away. I quickly subscribed to its noncompetitive spirit and never looked back.
However, my body is calling out for some cardio–and my soul is begging for more time outdoors. I enjoy my alone time, like listening to eclectic music, and am inspired to introduce another healthy habit into my life. I need balance. So what if I have floppy arms? So what if my stride makes me look like I am hopping over puddles?
“You achieve much once you stop telling yourself you can’t do things.”
— Elizabeth Kadetsky
Here I go. I’ll start this weekend; one foot in front of the other, one minute at a time. Cool Running has a Couch to 5K running program for raw beginners. In two months–with a commitment of training just three times per week–I should be able to run a 5K (that’s just over 3 miles for those of us who never really learned the metric system) by the beginning of October. Just as the air starts to develop its New England crisp and the leaves begin to change colors. All the more reason to be outside.
I’ve satisfied the productivity experts by declaring my plans. Next, it’s time to answer to the fitness pros and register for a race. My favorite part of this assignment is that so many of them are tied to some sort of charity or nonprofit cause. So, pick your platform and let that serve as motivation and inspiration to kick butt.
- Get fitted for a new pair of sneakers from the pros at Marathon Sports. Resist the nagging temptation to purchase a heart rate monitor or a cute running skirt.
- Take a nice, long walk in my new sneakers to break them in. Load up the mp3 player with some good, rollicking music.
- Sign up for an upcoming 5K run/walk. (I’m eyeing one in my old neighborhood that benefits the Travis Roy Foundation; I wish the Boston Race for the Cure was a bit later!)
- Begin the Couch to 5K program, starting with 60 seconds of jogging followed by 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.
- Keep at it–three times a week for the next two months, along with twice weekly yoga.
Can I do it? Of course I can. Not only am I really looking forward to spending more time outdoors–and getting in better shape–but I’m excited to carve out this additional 90 minutes per week to do some additional mental housekeeping. To-do lists, goals lists, daydreaming, story ideas, more daydreaming . . . bring it on.