The Reluctant Runner: (Volume 1) Lesson #1- Get off the Couch and Into Your New Life
I am currently in a love/hate relationship. We argue, we fight, I even cheat a little bit on my significant other but today I am going to “lay it all on the table” and hope we can get over this dysfunctional relationship I have with running. Nine months ago, I decided to lace up my old running shoes and hit the pavement (walking at first) so that I could be in better health. At first it was easy..I would go out and walk for about 30 minutes and I would feel accomplished. However when I decided to start a relationship with running it all changed.
You see I wanted to run..heck I needed to run. I was 225lbs and I felt trapped in my own body. I could not fit any of my clothes, I got winded quickly and I was sure that I would continue to gain unless I took drastic steps—fast. I decided I would run but I just could not MAKE myself get out of my house that first time running.
I got dressed, pulled my hair back but my feet were paralyzed from actually leaving my house and running. At first, I thought about all the reasons I could NOT run (it was too hard on my knees, I was too out of shape, black women don’t run). After realizing how stupid I sounded I made my way to the door to open it. Another terrifying thought came to my mind, “what if people laughed at me running?” Wow. That was a thought that nearly made me crawl back in bed and try again the next day.
I sat down and collected my thoughts. Without thinking any further, I bolted out the door to my first Black Girls Run! Atlanta neighborhood run. As I pulled up, I noticed that there were all types of women (big, small, short, skinny) stretching and getting ready to run. As I approached the group, I was welcomed by smiles so my nerves got better. I was going to run—reluctantly.
I finished the 3 mile run but I can’t lie…there were several times I wanted to literally run (and hide) until everyone went home and I could walk back to my car and never come back. But I didn’t. I kept going through the pain, through the discouraging thoughts and I finished. As I look back at that moment, I can now laugh (since I really am a runner now) but I also learned some important lessons about just getting out and hitting the pavement—even when you do NOT want to.
1. The longer you think about running, the longer you will NOT do it. Going to my first run (and all of my subsequent runs after) I realized that if I just did it I was more likely to RUN. Now when I have doubts about running, I just quickly put on my clothes and just bolt out the house and think about it later.
2. That even though I am in a love/hate relationship with running every time I RUN I feel better (mentally and physically). Whenever I have had a bad day, I hit the pavement and the negativity is left on the pavement.
3. Running allows me push myself physically. After completing that first run I felt empowered, NOTHING could stop me—even myself. Nine months ago I was overweight and because of me getting off the couch and running I was able to not only shed 32 pounds but shed the self doubt that was in my head .
I recognize that there are other reluctant runners reading this that need a ten step program to reform their dysfunctional relationship with running. What is your relationship with running? Are you reluctant to run or are you a running machine?
Tune in next week as I discuss how a reluctant runner finds the courage to register for organized races.
Fran is the owner and head writer of lifestyle blog, www.bossygirl1980.com and lifewiththreekids.wordpress.com. You can find her on twitter @Bossygirl1980 reliving the good, bad and strange world of parenting.