I went for a run tonight. By run, I mean walk, then run, then walk, then run, then pant, then walk, then walk, then run...
It was the first time I've been running for about 6 years or more. I thought I hated running. Turns out I don't!
I wasn't intending to run, really. I had mentioned to Kevin at suppertime that I was thinking about going for a run. Juliana looked at me incredulously and said "Really?" in the most skeptical tone a 3-year-old can muster. We all laughed (including Nico) at the absurd idea of me exercising in general, and running in particular.
Then after supper, I wasn't feeling well, and the kids were a bit cranky, and I didn't want to abandon Kevin with them just before bedtime. We got the kids in bed, and as I settled down to read my magazine, Kevin said, "So are you going running?" I said no, I wasn't feeling well. But an hour later, after finishing my magazine, I finally got off my butt, put on some running-appropriate clothes, dug my shoes out of the basement, and said "I'm going for a walk."
I didn't think I would run. I had so many excuses. "I'm out of shape. I have bad knees. Certain muscles that haven't yet recovered from childbirth could lead to embarrassing situations." I would tell myself "I can't go out and run, I have to look after the kids. It's too much work to get ready to exercise. I hate running. Running is boring. It's too late/dark to run. I'd rather exercise in the morning before my shower. I don't want to exercise alone. I can't afford exercise classes. I have too much other stuff to do..." Etcetera Ad Libitum.
But as I ran (and walked), I started to think about how much I was enjoying myself. How easy it was to get going. I ran up to the main road, then along it to the west, around a pretty duck pond, and back home the same way. The sky was dusky with a pretty pink crescent moon, the wind perfectly cool, and I surprised myself! I could have also done the same run (with a little extra energy expended) with both kids in the bike trailer/stroller thing we have.
One of the articles I read in my magazine (Self), right before going out, was about brain training along with fitness training. In a sidebar, there was a note about if you tell yourself you can't do something, then you can't. Your body responds to what your brain tells it. That stuck with me as I browsed the rest of the pages, and is ultimately what made me finally get off the couch. I'm still feeling the glow of exercising and actually using my body. I feel great, though my legs muscles feel a little like jelly at the moment.
I'm not saying I'll become an avid runner, get a svelte body, and run a marathon. I may never go running again. But if I ever say again how hard it is to get out and exercise, or how much I hate it, someone point me back to this post.
Edited to add: I just calculated my route on www.walkjogrun.net, and I went 4.56 kilometres in total! Who knew I could go that far on my first time running in ages! I once took a Learn to Run class that was for 5 km, and we didn't ever run 5k until the last day. I guess I'm ready for the 10k class!