My dear friend and mentor Kristin Skarie says to start something before you are ready. By saying this, she means that if we keep waiting around to start something before we are fully ready we might never start at all. In high school, I did track and cross country running anywhere from 3-6 miles a day for 5-6 days a week. Phew! How did I ever do that?
I graduated high school in 2007 and had not run since until a few weeks ago. For those of you doing the math I will save you the trouble – that’s eight years!
How did I start running again? I started before I was ready and I said yes instead of saying no, which would have been much easier.
I really did love running in high school, as hard as that might be for some people to understand. There is something about getting your heart racing and running through interesting places that is just invigorating. Ever since I graduated high school I continually wanted to go running but it just never happened. I was always too busy, too tired, too out of shape to do it or that is what I told myself so I would not have to start. One day my friend Mike said, “Do you want to start running a few days a week after work?” Instead of saying “no” because I am still too busy, too tired, and too out of shape, I said “yes.”
I was not ready to start running. We just did it, which was very freeing in many ways. The picture below is one of the places we go to run. On our first week of running we agreed to just see what our pace was going to be like. Since then, five minutes a week has been added to our running time and we are incorporating speed and hill workouts in order to be prepared to start running 5K races (3.1 miles) in the fall. See how our plan has evolved since we started even though we did not know everything in the beginning? Starting before being ready allowed us to just do it so that we could have a point from which to build upon.
Yes, it was absolutely terrifying to start running again after literally eight years of virtually no exercise. I was fairly certain that my muscles were going to abandon me the next day and of course our first day of running the humidity was at about 90%. It felt so great though actually doing it, to say we ran for more than a mile even though it was not very fast at first. We were excited to be able to tell our friends and family that we were running again.
I have actually started doing weekly “Runners Update” newsletter-ish e-mails to update friends and family about how our running is progressing. These updates also include current running research, our future plans, as well as “words of wisdom/advice” that we receive from people as we go throughout the week. What can you do today that you are not really ready to do? How can you turn saying yes instead of no into a positive outlet for yourself?
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