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WTF - I went running!@#!$%!@$!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let me just preface this by saying I've always been overweight, fairly active and physically strong. But I've recently entered my forties, and I've definitely lost some muscle over the years.

I used to bike 40 minutes a day, five days a week -- not because I love biking (though I do) but because I hated commuting by bus. But in February I moved and the bike ride to work is 7 measly minutes. It's better to walk it, because then it legitimately feels like a wee bit of exercise. Biking for 20 minutes now feels much harder. In just 7 months, my fitness level has significantly decreased. Grrrrrr!

Since I started tracking exercise on Spark, it's apparent that all I do is bike and walk. I want to do strength training, but I don't ever seem to get around to it. Really, I'm afraid of it. Yep.

I am stretching more, so that's a plus, and I asked a friend to go to a Zuma class with me. But I'm scared of classes! Scared of being the jiggliest, most uncoordinated person there!

But wait! I've done things I'm scared of before -- yes I have! I've taken classes before (but water aerobics with the geriatric crowd isn't as intimidating. No one can see you sweat, and half your body is covered by water.) I took dance classes for three years, which was scary at first (and performing was always scary!) But I was in a troupe called Big Dance, so all the ladies were jiggly.

The point is, I know how to push myself, surpass my own limits, and I like vigorous exercise. I've also taken taiko drumming classes, and I'm hoping to join the local troupe in September. Now there's a workout for the arms and back! I love to hit things really hard!!!! And making music at the same time? BONUS!

So I read blogs by by these CRAZY AMAZING Sparky exercisey people (yes, that means you, Erin) and I get all inspired. But the fear remains, and there's some reason for it. I have health issues and my joints can really hurt sometimes.

When I biked 40 minutes a day, my back hurt less. Just getting that blood really flowing keeps the inflammation down. And walking, even walking rapidly, isn't providing the same benefits.

Three friends and I are doing the 5K walking program; we're in week 3, and when we're done we're going to do a virtual race with a picnic at the end. Fun, right?

And I made this BEAUTEOUS poster board for my 100 day exercise challenge. It's all rainbow-coloured with inspirational words and flowers and such. Every day I write my numbers and the type of exercise I did on it. I get a star sticker for walking and biking. But if I do something different, (maybe some strength training…? maybe someday…?) I can put on a DIFFERENT sticker.

Stickers remind me of being a little kid. We didn't have a lot of money, and stickers were a very special treat. I craved them! I wanted every sticker they had at the toy store, but I could only get a couple…. So when I went to the dollar store to buy stickers for my challenge poster, I went a little crazy. Okay, a LOT crazy. I have stickers with tropical fish on them, stickers with the sun and moon and planets, airplanes, musical instruments, dragonflies, frogs…. YAY!

On day 5 of the challenge, I went running! On day 5, I put on a special sticker!

Okay, it wasn't much running. It was like 40 minutes of walking and 5 one-minute intervals of running. But it's a GOSH-DARNED START! And I did it. And my back feels good.

I was embarrassed to run in front of other people. WHY SHOULD I CARE WHAT THEY THINK OF ME? If they judge me harshly, they're judgemental jerks, so screw them.

But old ways die hard, and I was embarrassed that I'm not one of those girls whose ponytail bounces as she strides along barely sweating. I'M NOT ONE OF THOSE GIRLS…but maybe I could run a bit. So I did.

And then I ran again. It was hot, I got sweaty, and my belly made an embarrassing smacking sound as it flopped around.

And then I ran again, even increased the length of the runs. And then I did some strength training.

And I looked at my sparkly, shiny, sticker-laden poster and was filled with joy. I went running. Shame and fear didn't stop me. I went RUNNING!

These are my changes. This feels right.

There are these words I've always wanted to hear from someone else, but when I've heard them, I never believed them.

Now I'm saying them to myself: I will take care of you.

I finally believe it.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • UTMIZ_2000
    Wow, look at you overcome the fear. BRW, when I see people running I think about how hard it is on the knees. I've never been a runner, but I love to walk. I'm a fast walker.

    I'd love to see a pic of your poster. Sounds fabulous. I like gold stars. That's because I'm old and the only stickers teachers had were stars. Everybody wanted the gold stars because they meant you were the best. Give yourself lots of gold stars from me.

    Keep on keepin' on!
    3276 days ago
  • HEATHER1969
    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO
    O! WAY TO GO!

    YOU ROCK!

    And just to tell you, NO ONE is judging you... everyone is thinking... good for her.. you go girl, wish I could be that brave!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3280 days ago
  • JITZUROE
    Hey! OF COURSE THE TITLE SUCKED ME RIGHT ON - hahahaha! And I adore your writing - bonus!

    I only wanted to double check my calories for today but got snagged by your blog notice - wahoo!!!

    YAY for you running! It's one foot in front of the other with a little air in between the stride = running. I'm so happy for you!!!!! I started off with 5 min walking and 1 min running (joggling, jiggling, jostling, whatever!), and soon it felt liberating!

    Keep it up!
    Bren
    3280 days ago
  • MUSICALLYMINDED
    OMG I know that smacking sound you're talking about!! Is there anything more annoying? But lemme tell you, the more you run, that sound will go away! Seriously...as a 265 pound semi-runner...it will.

    Love your blog and the sticker board idea... as an elementary school teacher I TOTALLY dig it. If it's shiny and cute enough, you have to be excited to put stickers on it. I'm just crafty enough to make something like that but I fear my husband would make fun of me. lol

    I'm adding you! emoticon
    3280 days ago
  • CATS_MEOW_0911
    YES! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Tara, you are AWESOME!

    LOL, I am a bit nuts about the exercise. But I'm with you, if someone is judging, it's on THEM! Oh, and my friends are under direct orders to beat me if I become a perky ponytail exerciser. Not. Gonna. Happen.

    Oh, and I vote for pictures of the board, too!

    I'm with you on the joint pain; I don't have R.A., but I have ankylosing spondylitis, so I have to be flexible about my exercise, too, and be nice to my joints. Fortunately, exercise typically helps keep arthritis flare-ups at bay, so keep up the great work!
    3280 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/12/2011 7:54:49 PM
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    3280 days ago
  • SUNFLOWERSAVAGE
    You are Awsome!!! That is so cool that you were part of Big Dance! I saw a documentary about it a few years ago and had really wished they had it here.
    You are a total inspiration!
    3280 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    Okay, I have to admit I am a wee bit disappointed that you did not include a photo of your fabulous 100 day board. I like stickers too, and because I am old school, I particularly like shiny stars, esp gold ones. I am so happy to hear you are running. I love running! I am sidelined due to a sprained ankle so I am truly craving a run. Based on my experience as a jiggly, sweaty, non-bobbing ponytailed, older, sore-jointed runner, JUST RUN. Most people, when they see runners, think "good for her, I should be doing that". If they think anything negative, so what? Random thoughts by random strangers (especially non-verified) should not dictate something as important and vital as our fitness pursuits. I love the point you made about the blood flowing lessening inflammation. I am more sore after I sit for a couple hours then I am after running/walking for a couple hours. Run on, Sparkly girl PS I wrote a blog "10 things I love about Strength Training" - you should read it emoticon
    3280 days ago
  • PURPLEBABYBEE
    emoticon
    3280 days ago
  • ERICAJO08
    Check you out! Kick butt and take names!
    3280 days ago
  • SAFIYAH9
    emoticon !!!

    Just a thought: Most of those people driving by as you're running are looking at you and going "Man, I need to do that too" (at least, that's what I tell myself)

    Also, SparkPeople has some great strength training exercises here that don't use weights, and you can do them at home (where no one else can see). Just another thought.

    I LOVE your poster idea with the stickers. I could have lots of fun with that.
    3280 days ago
  • NSPIREME
    Awesome job running. What an inpiration you are - Thank you for that!

    emoticon
    3280 days ago
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