What do you think when you see a person jogging down the side of the road? I hope you think:
- Good for them
- I wish I could do that
- Wow, they are fast
- I wonder how far they go?
You know what I thought when I saw a jogger? I thought, “Go home. Get a life. What a waste of time.” It’s true. I hated to see people exercising. I just couldn’t imagine that running down the road was the least bit fun. After all, who voluntarily sweats, gets out of breath and doesn’t look so great doing it? I was judging them and being jealous for their fitness. I wanted everyone to be like me so I wouldn’t feel out of place or inadequate. It’s not a confession I make willingly, but it’s the truth. It’s how I felt.
The first day of my weight loss plan, over twelve years ago, I knew I needed to move my body. I knew I was fat. I knew I didn’t own a pair of shorts. I understood it wouldn’t be easy. But I also had enough knowledge about weight loss that I understood exercise was a vital part of any weight loss plan. So I started that first day, walking 10 minutes from my house, and 10 minutes back. I didn’t get far, probably 10 or 15 houses away, and we are talking small lots and small houses. But I did it, and I was proud when I returned.
Over the months that followed, I went farther and got faster. In my mind, I told myself that when I got to be under 200 pounds I wanted to try and jog a little bit. The day I reached 199 was in the fall. I got up, weighed myself and decided I was going to jog a bit. I put on my exercise clothes set off down the road. I walked for a while, and decided to try jogging from one mailbox to the next one. I started jogging and thought everything was going to fall apart. Everything jiggled and moved independently of each other, but I kept going. When I reached the next mailbox, I gladly stopped. I did this occasionally during that first walk, not trying to push myself, but just to see if I could do it.
October, November and December passed with me continuing to increase my jogging distance and the quickness of my pace. In December I told John I wanted to sign up for a 5K. He looked at me like I had lost my mind. Why in the world would you want to run 3.2 miles? I explained it was a goal, and I thought it would be fun. “Fun?” he said? But he was encouraging, and said, “Go for it.” So I signed up for a charity 5K race to be held in March. I practiced and trained, using a book I had checked out from the library.
March rolled around and I couldn’t wait to go. John and all the kids came to cheer me on. I felt like a completely different woman standing among all the other runners. No one looked at me and wondered if I’d make it. No one even noticed me. I was just one of the pack. The race started, and I began jogging along at my slowish pace. I didn’t stop running until I hit the finish line. I was no where near the front of the pack, and not really even in the middle. But I didn’t finish last and I finished proud. It was one moment that I’ll never forget.
Is there a fitness goal that you’ve achieved lately? Diane