A few months ago, I signed up to participate in my first 10K. Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” But there may be more of you like me, mid-fifties, carrying an extra 40 pounds around, and only occasionally exercising, for whom this sounds a little daunting.
So, I signed up, now what? Nothing, that’s what. I didn’t really begin preparing until it was literally go time. I started searching for an app to help me train for this event. I read articles online with training calendars and started getting a little nervous about my timeline. Did I even have time left to complete the recommended training schedule to get myself off the couch and to the finish line? Turns out I had exactly the time, 14 weeks until race day. No more procrastinating. Time to move!
On day one, after the five-minute warmup walk, it was time to run for 60 seconds. As I pushed off to begin, every muscle fiber in my quads got a wake-up call and they all wanted to hit the snooze button. My knees, well they were just angry. But, with upbeat tunes drowning them all out, I pressed on. Day one was in the books.
As the weeks have progressed, the time and distance running has gradually increased, and the pace of the progression feels challenging, but doable. By week four I became keenly aware that it was far more challenging mentally, than physically. Working through those barriers as they arise, my commitment to the process is already bearing fruit, and race day is still seven weeks away. There were days in the beginning that I gave up running before the time was up, but the day I didn’t was a game changer. The program asks for three sessions each week, but by week five, I was wanting more. I added walking a mile or a trip to the gym on the non-training days, boosting my activity level and strength. At six weeks in, I am looking forward to what each day of this process brings and welcome the increased energy and sense of wellbeing it offers.
My training for this race is just one example of the impact commitment to a process, or to a lifestyle change, builds exponentially with each step. It’s not always easy to get going. There may be a big mess to clean up first before committed maintenance can kick in. But the body and mind are adaptable and will eventually embrace the change as the goal for a better situation is on the horizon.
So, what’s your goal? What does it look like? From keeping your closet clean to running a marathon, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. The number of suggestions may even be greater than your excuses. But none of them will work without your commitment. It’s time to push up your sleeves and get to work on the best version of you.
Blessings on your journey!