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.