Monday, August 4, 2008

The Next Level

In general, I've been very happy with the progress I've made with personal fitness over the last six months. More than a few people have noticed the weight loss, and in many ways, I feel better than I have in a long time. My feet no longer hurt at the end of the day, and my shoulders aren't all knotted up with tension. I sleep better, have more patience with my kids and (best of all), I can buy a few things from the Misses section — and they fit. Believe me, that is a very big deal.

But sometimes, I'm confronted by the fact that I have a long way to go. For starters, I'm still overweight. Nothing to do there but continue eating wisely and keep going to the gym and to the pool. I mean, I can wear shorts without scaring people, but it still kinda sucks. I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves with others, but everybody goes there sometimes. And I have a habit of picking the smallest, leanest women to measure myself against.

I've been talking to a friend about training to run a 5K, but the internal voices of mockery have already piped up. They became especially vicious when I read a copy Runner's World magazine over the weekend. The magazine was accessible and full of helpful tips for new runners, but by the time I slunk out of Borders, I felt like I might as well consider taking up competitive gymnastics.

For completely illogical reasons, I have always thought of running as something I can't do. I associate it with thin people who have a high tolerance for pain — people like my husband, who thinks a five-mile run is "fun." Or like my friend H., who is incredibly disciplined about fitness and goal-oriented. Obviously, I have a some discipline and pain tolerance, or I wouldn't be dragging my ass out of bed a 5;05 a.m. to work out. But running seems to exist at some other "Chariots of Fire" level.

My husband says this is silly; that anybody with decent knees, shoes and gumption can become a runner. He claims I've overcome much larger obstacles, if not physical ones. Then he starts saying crazy things like, "It's 90-percent mental."

Hmmm. Don't cue Vangelis just yet.


H F said...

edp, we will OWN that 5k. You have made great progress and I for one did the happy dance when I read that you're having more fun shopping. It's a long process to transform yourself, and sometimes there are reality checks along the way. But don't let that voice trick you into thinking you can't do this. You already are.

EDP said...

That is so sweet of you! Buying that skirt from Target was one of the best shopping experiences I've had in a long time. It was a great reward, and a tangible one, too. You have been a wonderful source of encouragement, and no small amount of inspiration.