This morning I woke up, put on my new cold weather workout clothes (even though it was a bit too warm for them), and set out to continue training for the Color Me Rad 5K in October.
Two weeks ago I would have never thought I would be training to run a 5K. I hate running. I'm not built for it, I can't run with any amount of endurance or authority, I get stitches every time I try, and I feel like I can't get enough air when trying to breathe into my belly.
I prefer biking. Biking is beyond just a sport, it is about commuting from point A to point B to run errands and burn calories. It is about powering up the hills and then coasting down them through the breeze with a wide grin. It is about operating a vehicle under my own power and volition. I love biking.
In contrast running held no appeal yet here I am, completing my second week of a six week beginner training program for a 5K.
I didn't expect to sign up for a 5K, not in a million years. Running is not ME. Yet it's turned into the best decision I've had in recent history.
I've had a summer of little activity (they tore up the bike path completing ongoing road construction and wanting to bike through that has been difficult) and regular nightly binging. I've gained a few pounds above my preferred amount and I've been completely stuck at getting in the mood to work it back off.
The goal of the 5K presented itself just when I needed it. It reenergized my interests in regular exercise so I'm working out once again every day and feeling great for it. I worried over affording the appropriate walking and running clothes but then I coincidentally ended up winning a Moving Comfort sweepstakes through SP and was able to get the perfect outfit for the task. And obviously the increased workouts have helped me burn off all but one pound of the summer gain. (The final pound IS presenting problems coming off but I know it's because I've been eating too high up, following the urges of an increased appetite rather than commonsense. I'm not worried though, it'll happen in time.)
I've also been listening to health-related podcasts as I train and they have offered great insight into what did occur this summer, allowing me to find self-forgiveness. I was not weak or stupid or pathetic for my slips of control this summer. Rather, willpower fades. /It is scientifically proven./
I did manage to apply willpower and control for an incredibly long span of time. Controlling myself in diet and exercise to such standards that I lost 95 pounds and maintained it without extended regain went on approximately two years total. TWO years. Two years before my willpower and control waned. Two years before I slipped and fell. That's just incredible to me.
Circumstances changed, I was tired, and this summer was a break. That's okay. There wasn't anything I could have done to prevent it from happening.
Now I'm striving for a goal I never thought I ever would want to do in my life, which turned up in my life just as I needed to get back on track with my maintenance plans and reengage my willpower.
I'm getting better at running in the process too. I'm up to running 5 minutes at time, I'm getting better with my belly breathing, and it feels a little less like torture when I run. Next week I will be up to running 10 minutes at a time, which is a huge boost to my confidence and sense of accomplishment. (Of course, the incredible new Moving Comfort clothes help with that too.)
These opportunities never happen as you expect, but they happen as you need them. Forgive yourself for falling down, and seize the opportunity to pick yourself back up again, no matter what package it might arrive in. I'm not a runner but I remain a fighter.