Some things I love: feeling healthy, feeling strong. Some things I hate: exercising, getting sweaty. Something I REALLY hate: RUNNING!
In junior high P.E. I was one of those students who would choose to fast-walk my mile (with a few intermittent spurts of jogging) rather than run it. In college a friend and I chose to motivate each other by pairing up as jogging buddies. We’d pick a good time in the evening, throw on those workout clothes, and jog about a mile around our campus — even though I willingly enlisted myself in this endeavor, I cursed my friend every step of the way — poor friend.
More recently as I am stretching myself in the realm of improving my health, changing my eating habits, and including regular varied exercise in my days, I have felt the “Chariots of Fire” tug. A few months back I signed up to do a 5K walk/jog event through a site called Active. The folks at Active were kind enough to provide a nicely-detailed plan that slowly builds one’s endurance over a period of 8 weeks or 56 days leading up to an event. The event has long past, but I have yet to fully implement the plan. So, yesterday, I decided to renew my resolve and start again.
I started with a warm-up, proceeded to walk/jog seven short-burst intervals, then finished with a cool-down — for a total time of 30 minutes (provided you don’t get caught up like I did, looking at gorgeous homes, or turn back too late). As I was huffing and puffing and my nose running, I boosted up the self talk – “enjoy this jog, find your pace, you are doing it – you’re jogging!, jog as you feel comfortable, you can do this – you can do this…” And I did. I tuned in to my Nike: Running Man mix of continuous beats and rhythms, I clocked my intervals, and I jogged. And better yet — I made the jog MY JOG, and I enjoyed it! And I got to thinking…
When we give blood, vote, or support a cause we get stickers that say “Be nice to me. I gave blood” or “I Voted” (which sometimes even come with retail discounts), or at least a ribbon of some kind. Although giving blood benefits others much more than it benefits me, and jogging really only benefits me — for the GRAND effort that I put forth, I would like some flair. A button, badge, sticker, or ribbon – it doesn’t need to be hugely conspicuous, but something that says, “I did it!” or “Be nice to me. I exercised today” or “I worked out today. Hear me ROAR!” Granted, there is the unintended consequence that when I’m not wearing my badge, one can infer that I haven’t exercised, but I think I’m willing to risk it. I guess until I have my cool badge of endurance, I will rely on my toning muscles, the increased bounce (or limp) in my step, and my sassy jeans to be my flair.