Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Down But Not Out
I've been exercising fairly consistently for the past nine months. I've been using Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home Series. I started out with 3 miles and am now up to the 5 mile dvd at home and 4 days a week walk more 2 miles at a class at church. I wanted to get back into a bit of running so I bumped it up a bit by running during the 5 mile dvd (which is 65 minutes long), two sets of running of 20 minutes each. The other day I ran for 36 minutes straight. I'm feeling pretty good, fairly confident and eager to join the running club which begins on Tuesday (led by the high school's cross country coach). But I am apprehensive too. Nervous. So this morning I asked Dave if he wanted to go for a run. Just 2 miles. No biggie. I've been running for a couple months, in place, in air conditioning, on wood floors, at home. I was confident I could perhaps outrun Dave. Well, you know the saying, Pride.... Need I say more.
My breathing was rapid, irregular, and I couldn't catch it. My mind repeated, "What the heck, I can't do this, what am I thinking..." I stopped not 3 blocks from the house and moped, "I can't do this!" Dave reassured me to relax, slow the breathing and go slowly. My mind, my negative, pessimistic mind was in control and clearly leading me to defeat. Weakly, with faint hope, I pushed on and ran down to the stop sign. We walked the length of a house and ran for 3 more blocks. Walked another block, turned around and ran four blocks. Walked some more. Ran a bit and then walked back into the air-conditioned house.
Defeated? That's what I felt like. Dave encouraged me that running in place is very different than running on the road. But more than that I realized how much of this running-thing for me is an exercise of my mind. My breathing and legs could take the pounding but my mind was constricted by doubt, by fear, by hopelessness. I caved into that defeat. Dave pulled me out, pulled me up, and urged me on.
We'll run again tomorrow, perhaps at the high school track. I'm not giving up. I know my mind is the weakest part of this machine and I need to adjust it, exercise it, and train it to work for me and not against me.