Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Life = Pushing yourself

I guess it must be human nature to avoid difficult things; we generally prefer to take the easy road because frankly who likes failure. So the result is that we go through life doing what we’re good at and being content to give ourselves a pat on the back when we live up to our own expectations. When it comes to exercise, I think I definitely into this category so when I may gym instructor, Rhona decided to set me the challenge of doing a 5k run, I nearly told her to get the *bleep* out of here. Fortunately for me and no doubt for her too, I didn’t –as she convinced me that she believed I could do it and that all I needed was a few weeks training, I thought long and hard and by the end of her sales pitch, my response was ‘Why not?’

I’ve always enjoyed going to gym but never ran or thought about running, in my mind I couldn’t do it but I really did admire people who ran on the treadmill. I had somehow convinced myself that my asthma prevented me from doing high impact cardio exercises. So I spent years in the gym using the cross trainer and power walking but never got round to the run or even the jog. She gave me a printed training programme for doing the run – it started with a 1 minute walk and 1 minute run which is repeated five times for 10 minutes. The programme gradually builds up week by week until you’re able to run for 10, 15 then 30 minutes without a break. I started following it and initially thought that there was no way I could learn to run for 5 minutes without stopping let alone 10 or 15 but I decided to stick to it largely because a big part of me does not like to let people down. I had promised Rhona that I would do it and I was going to keep to my promise.

Week one was probably the hardest but it gradually got easier and I started to really enjoy running, it also helped me to lose weight and tone up and oddly enough when I had overeaten or felt bloated, I just had to run and I would feel so much better.

It took me three months of training but I went from not being able to run for one minute to running for 40 minutes for a 5k charity run which I did last Sunday. I was amazed at my ability to do something that was completely outside my comfort zone and if nothing else, this experience has taught me that life is about setting challenges. There really is no point coasting through it because you miss out on so much. Our potential is huge; bigger than any of us realise and life’s challenges are what make us realise what we are truly capable of. The road less travelled is also so much more rewarding – if we all set ourselves the task of taking it once in a while even when it scares the hell out of us, I imagine our lives would be more fulfilled.

I felt a rush of adrenalin when I crossed the finished line on Sunday and I immediately thought to myself ‘I could have done this in ten minutes less’. So perhaps next year I’ll be going back to perfect my 5k run before doing a 10k and then who knows a marathon or even a once in a lifetime climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. As long as I’m healthy I’m making a promise to keep on pushing myself both physically and mentally because that I believe is the true definition of life!

1 comment:

Momma Iz said...

Way to GO!!! I love running. Always feel so much better whenever i ran but between having baby, crazy summer heat and lord-knows-what excuse i can come up with, i haven't jogged in close to 27 months! GULP! YIKES! I've promised myself for the last 8 years that i'll do a 5K but always come up with excuses not to do one. You've inspired me to go for it! Maybe i'll do the annual Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving.