The sun was a glorious red ball of fire, sinking beyond the clouds, but I’m afraid I was a bit preoccupied. I noticed it just enough to tell you about it, but then I continued to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. Jog for one minute, walk for 1.5 minutes. Do that for twenty minutes, with five minutes of warm-up walk, at the beginning. Not asking much, am I?
Have you ever heard of the Couch to 5k program? Well, I’ve been doing it for three weeks now, though I’ve cheated. Well, cheated in the sense that I’ve repeated Week 1’s time constraints for three weeks in a row. No, my body is not ready to proceed on to running for 1.5 minutes and then walking 2 minutes. I want to be able to do the running part a little more easily, before I progress.
Anyway, this program’s only idea is that anybody can run, as long as they ease themselves into it. So many people will try it and wear themselves out on the first go-round and then never try it again. Oh, yes, I’m one of them. Or the only time I ever run around at full speed is when I’m playing Ultimate Frisbee. Then I run my darndest, just to keep up with my brothers and some of the other speed demons on the field. But running in spurts and running steadily for a long period of time… those are two different things. I have no stamina when it comes to running. Or interest in it, most of the time.
But as I hate exercise (unless it’s doing something fun, like Ultimate, volleyball, or hiking), I had to do something new and different. Just walking, that’s boring. And dieting is frustrating. Yes, I followed Atkins successfully for six months, last year, and it worked very well. And then I promptly screwed myself up, from my cruise through to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Now, here in Australia, I’ve realized a few things. Dieting is hard enough when you’re living with your family or on your own. But when you’re living with the family you work for, and they buy the food? You can’t request special food items, not like on most diets. And if you’re getting up at 6:30am every day, don’t eat dinner until 7pm, and spend your day chasing after kids, you spend all day hungry. Eating less is hard. Eating right is harder, when you’re hungry all the time.
So, my realization was that running was going to have to be the answer. Something to burn off the extra calories, and work towards making myself more fit. Getting in shape, in such a way that when I screw up, a year down the road, I can go running, the very next day, and burn off what I gained. And if I don’t do it now, when am I going to do it? I have spare time available. I have a street that’s level and straight, so I don’t have to go up or down any hills. And I have a scale that weighs you in kilos, so you can trick yourself into thinking you weigh less. What more could I ask for?
Ok, I can ask for the strength to continue. Three weeks in. My feet have finally adjusted to the running in my shoe inserts. The first time out, I had to take my shoes off, more than once, the foot cramps were so bad. I think the neighbors may have seen me walking down the street in my socks, and wondered what was wrong with me. but I had my music cranked up, so I couldn’t hear any offers of assistance.
And today, the twenty minutes went by, faster, without me wishing my watch would speed up. Running wasn’t easy, but I think it was just a tiny bit easier than usual. And that’s a good sign, right?