Ever watch Friends? Maybe Im dating myself, but I remember an episode where Phoebe and Rachel went running. Phoebe’s form was, shall we say, unique. Her arms swung wildly and her legs kicked strangely. Rather than be upset at her ability, her personality looked at the silver lining, she was having more fun than the people who were running ‘correctly’.
Proper form is important to avoid injuring yourself, but having fun is just as important. If you aren’t having fun, you don’t want to continue and a habit you are trying to grow will die a slow and painful death. Its mind over matter. Not that you have to convince yourself you are having fun, just convince yourself you can DO IT. Because you can.
As a child, I was never athletic. I was clumsy, uncoordinated, routinely picked last for any team sport in gym class and even the teachers would make snide comments about my ability. My nickname in gym class during the gymnastics portion was “spaghetti legs”. All this did was reinforce my inability to really do anything well physically. So, I reverted to what I was good at, academics and books, sedentary activities. Ive always said my natural state was on a couch, reading a book. Don’t get me wrong, I like that I am smart, well-read (I think) and am pretty confident that when I start grad school it will be hard, but I can do it. But I don’t think these things are necessarily exclusive.
Since starting on my journey of becoming healthier, I have started running on a treadmill. Working with my personal trainer, reading blogs like pfitblog.com and jfoyohealth.com and other sources like Jillian Michaels, I have discovered a love of running. Its not pretty, but its pretty fun. I can do anything for 1 minute. That was how it started. 3 min warm up (walking at 3.0) then running 1 min (at 5.0) and 1 min at 3.0, rinse repeat the 1 min cycle for 30min or 2 miles, whichever comes first. This is called HIIT training or Hight Intensity Interval Training, or so they tell me. All I know is by breaking it down into 1 min increments, it is doable. If I can do this, anyone can break that cycle and change their natural state, even at the ripe old age of 35! thats a lot of habit to overcome!! I’m calling it. I am no longer ‘spaghetti legs’, but a runner. For at least a minute at a time.