“You should try running.”
I’ll never forget the day that Mike said those words to me. I laughed at him. There was no way I could ever run. I’m too heavy, too out of shape. There’s just no way.
“Just try it.”
I stewed on those words for days. And I wanted to spit them out and forget that I’d ever heard of running. I even found myself mad at Mike for making such a ridiculous suggestion. He, of all people, should’ve known that I could never run. Then there were the voices. Yes, I confess, I hear voices. 🙂 These voices in my head kept reminding me of all the reasons that I could never run. What about my foot injury? What will people say? What if someone laughs at me? I’ll look ridiculous and could just imagine all the people thinking, “look out, fat girl coming through.” Oh yes, these thoughts and more raced through my head for days.
I have no good way of explaining what happened next….one day in early July, I just went out and started jogging. I didn’t know where I was going or how far I could make it but I had to start somewhere. Well trust me when I say I didn’t make it very far! I didn’t know a heart could beat so hard without flying out of my chest. I didn’t know my lungs could breathe that fast. And I certainly didn’t know how much I could sweat!! Oh my, that was an interesting day. But you know what? I felt great! Granted, I didn’t run more than a block or two before needing a nice long walk. But that’s not the point, the point is that I ran.
But then those voices started screaming at me. You can’t do this. You can’t run. Stop before you make a fool of yourself. You can’t, you can’t, you can’t. And you know what, I accepted that. It took me almost two weeks before I talked myself into trying again. This time I waited until I was in Indiana for my brother’s wedding. I figured no one knew me there so I didn’t have to care what they thought of me. Bright and early one morning, I put on my shoes and started jogging. I made it a few more blocks then the first time. For the sake of full disclosure, I also got turned around and had to ask a cop how to get back to my brother’s street….hahaha….but I RAN!
When I first started this chronicle, I said that running is almost more mental exercise than physical. Physically, running was hard. It kicked my butt. Once again, I felt the soreness in every part of my body. But mentally, running was a nightmare. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I couldn’t do this. Over and over, I kept telling myself that I couldn’t do it. I could never be a runner.
And the voices in my head won. I didn’t run again for another month. Sure, I kept meeting with Mike. By the point, we had switched to working out 3 mornings a week at 5am and we would alternate upper body and lower body. After most sessions, I would also spend 10-15 minutes on the stair master. But I knew I could never run. There were just too many obstacles to overcome….most of which were in my head.