Hello, everyone! How are you? Sorry for missing a Weekly Gems post this weekend – I was out of town for a girls’ weekend with my friend Elizabeth. We went back to our alma mater for the first time in a year. I missed the campus and city so much, it was great to be back!
A great thing happened today. I was in a weird and tired mood all day yesterday and today, but headed to the gym this evening anyway. The last time I ran, I hadn’t eaten much all day, I kept stumbling on the treadmill, and could barely run for more than four minutes at a time.
Today was different. I slept better last night, ate more but healthy foods throughout the day, and stayed hydrated. When I got to the gym, I went on the elliptical for about 27 minutes (1.9 miles). Then I went on the treadmill. I re-warmed up for about 2 minutes, then started running. Go for 5 minutes then break, I told myself. I was feeling good at the end of 5 minutes, so I increased the speed on the treadmill and thought, do 5 more. And I just kept going. I varied the speed throughout to get a bit of cardio interval-type training going. I focused on my breathing and kept my iPod on upbeat songs only. AND I RAN FOR 1.25 MILES WITHOUT STOPPING.
I understand that is not a great deal of distance. I also understand my pace was pretty darn slow. However, I don’t think I have ever run that far without stopping. Ever. Not even when I was middle school track and field. Definitely not when I was a varsity athlete in high school (I believe my mantra was “I’m a swimmer, not a runner!”).
I have a lot of weight to lose to be at a healthy BMI. Yes, changing my diet is hard. Much harder than getting off my butt and exercising. The thing is, I truly enjoy exercising. It’s challenging, though, because I was an athlete. I was in excellent shape, and now I’m not. I’m much further from where I used to be than I ever thought I would be. Though I do get excited when I do well during a workout, it’s extremely bittersweet to be happy about accomplishing fitness tasks I once had mastered or surpassed. That’s why today was so exciting: I accomplished something I never did when I was an athlete. And that probably isn’t because I couldn’t do it when I was in great shape – I never did it because I never pushed myself hard enough to get past my mental roadblocks.
Running 1.25 miles today was great because I did something positive for my body and made forward strides in my quest to be healthy. But it was awesome because it proved that while my athletic ability might have gotten a bit weaker over the years, my mind has gotten nothing but stronger.