I'm not one for new year's resolutions.....I just don't see the point of swearing to eat better, work out, drink less, blah blah blah......seriously, maybe it is one of my character flaws but I just don't see the point. I mean, probably about .2% of the people who make resolutions actually stick to them right, that's my experience anyways! And here is the basis for my rationale, I think that you need a life changing event or some other thing that completely changes your consciousness, your way of thinking, to commit to make a life change. Whether that is an illness, a loss, a spiritual discovery....whatever, the point is it has to SOMETHING that kicks you in the butt, makes you recognize something within yourself, and says "it is time to change" and for most people, I don't think a champagne fueled January 1st does it for ya.
So for me, 30 is looming. What does this mean to end of my 20's....my second full year of marriage, getting a new house, having a new-ish job....and on more fronts as I take stock of my life, my first almost three decades, I think where am I now and where do I want to be. I've made changes in my personal life and professional life over the past year, but more on that in another post......I'm in a great place mentally but I am not happy with where I am physically....
In a way this is more about my mental state than about my physical state. So 10 years ago, when I was 19 and getting ready to turn 20, I was a division one athlete. Not only was I in the best physical shape of my life, but I also was in an amazing place mentally. I took such amazing pride in being able to decide spur of the moment to go out and effortlessly run 10 miles to clear my head. I learned amazing time management skills that I have carried into my career and personal life beyond college. But the most valuable experience for me was that if I put my mind to anything through sheer willpower I could succeed.
In my early 20's, through graduate school and my early career, I had copious amounts of time to dedicate to my physical needs. After college, I left rowing behind and turned my attentions to running.....distance running to be specific. From the time I was 22-26, I ran 3 marathons, numerous half marathons, and more 10Ks than I care to count. I enjoyed it, I loved it, I needed it!!! It was like a drug for me.
During training for my final marathon at 26, I suffered an injury, my first injury ever in all of my years of being an athlete. And, though I did finish the marathon training and run the marathon, my stupidity and stubborness sidelined me for 6 months. I DID NOTHING!!! And, all of my natural athletic ability seemed to fly completely out the window. I did recover, but I was just not in the same place mentally.....I couldn't push myself. I began to push myself in other ways, to advance in my career, to spend more time with my boyfriend (now husband), to buy a house, etc etc. And I found success in these areas....but my athletic endeavors where limited to 4 one hour trips to the gym a week spent on the cross aerobic, lifting weights or taking a class.
And after almost 3 years of this, something is just missing for me. I've know this for a long time. And turning thirty is the proverbial kick in the butt I needed to get myself back in the game. 30="my time to change".......
Now that I am ready to committ to my resolution, I determined that I needed something to motivate me because I knew that I could not do this alone. I had never gone from doing nothing to becoming an athlete again, I started as a pretty athletic kid who just stayed with it through high school and college until 26. So, I signed up with this trainer, who actually went to college with me, and her claim to fame is that she gets people to love running. The first several times I got on the treadmill, I was practically frozen with fear over the idea of "where I was then versus where I am now"....the thought of wheezing my way through 10 minutes on the treadmill scared me more than anything....I cannot even describe or explain it except to say that it was a profound fear of failure. But, at least I recognized that I could not do it alone.
So I have been working with my running trainer for about a month now and I am up to 3 leisurely miles on the treadmill with a few hills and speed sprints thrown in for good measure and I feel safe on the treadmill when she is there cheering me on. And sometimes, very faintly, in the back of my own head I hear that little voice from my athletic past cheering me on, a faint "push harder" "you can do it" amongst the voices of doubt screaming "this hurts" "I'm going to throw up". And after each minute logged on the treadmill, I get a little closer to rediscovering that piece of me I lost in 2006.
Tomorrow is my first day of RUNNING CLUB!!! Yes, I have finally gotten to the point where I feel comfortable enough going out and running in front of other people. I'm leaving my safe comfortable treadmill behind. I'm stepping into the wide open world where I'm going to have to push myself to finish the 5 mile run tomorrow. Physically it will be a stretch, but I know I will survive, but mentally I question if I can do it........
PS....since this entry is going to be a first in a series dedicated to health fitness and wellbeing.