It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I just am unable to get myself to enjoy – and get motivated about – running. And boy have I tried!
It began when I was a little kid, first grade maybe? My parents enrolled me in my grade school’s cross country team and I truly don’t think they could’ve even anticipated the disappointment they would soon feel. At first, it was that I couldn’t grasp that STEADY was a key word in being able to do these races. We’d start and I’d BLAST ahead because hey, I have long legs and I wanted to use them. I’d be up front for about…a half mile, if I was lucky. By the end of the practice or race, I’d be in last place, doing everything I could to not just sit down. Actually, a few times, that’s exactly what I did.
My dad resorted to bribing me: “If you finish the race, we’ll get ice cream.” Notice I said “finish” – not “come in X place” or anything specific like that. Just…..finish. I remember one time there was a polly pocket on the line and it helped me push myself a little bit. I blasted to the front at the start of the race, lagged til I was one of the last ones during the middle, and at the very end, when I could see the finish line and my parents’ eyes just PLEADING to not embarrass them again, I took every last burst of speed I had to finish it ahead of a handful of people.
My cross country days in grade school weren’t long lived. I started horseback riding lessons, which is where we all knew my heart still is with to this day. I was built and born to be an equestrian.
In high school, since there was no equestrian team (there really should’ve been), I decided to try this whole running thing again. My mom was, and still is, a fitness instructor so she’s in incredible shape and she used to run lots of 5k’s and marathons locally. I knew it would make her proud so I joined the cross country team again, this time in my sophomore year.
The first day of practice was at a huge park (Wildwood in Toledo, for anyone who’s curious), I didn’t know ANYONE and my mom’s friend had to drop me off. As someone who is always cold, I wore pants.
Yes, you read that right. I. Wore. Pants. To. August. Cross Country. Practice.
Because I’m an idiot.
My mom’s friend, bless her heart, went over to Meijer’s and bought me a pair of Joe Boxers and brought them back for me to wear. I still have those bright yellow, smiley face shorts.
I made friends, which was a bonus, and I was admittedly in the best shape of my life. I was eating healthy, paid attention to my body and put effort into exercising outside of what I had to do. But I still wasn’t good at it. My mom started to be the only one who came routinely to my races, and just as it had been in my younger years, I was fighting to not come into last place. I didn’t do it again after that season.
Fast forward to now, some 11-ish years later….in an attempt to train for a 5k in April for the Erie County Humane Society, I was trying to utilize the treadmill in the apartment complex to get myself to run 3 consecutive miles. I started “training” in January and I still can’t run 1 mile without stopping. It’s not that I can’t breathe or that I feel my body collapsing, but it’s my darn knees. As soon as I hit the pavement/treadmill/whatever, my knees swell up and just feel so stuffy and awful the entire time. It hurts. I just don’t think I can do it.
And trust me, I hate realizing I can’t do something.
In order to keep myself active, I’ve created myself a new plan. On Monday, I go to CorePower Yoga and take a C1 class. It’s made Monday my favorite day of the week. On Wednesday, I do some cardio (walk/run 2 miles) followed by some leg work (this is a new addition and I don’t even have any exercises picked out yet so suggestions welcome!) On Friday, I do 1 mile cardio to get my heart rate up followed by some ab workouts. I’d really like to feel comfortable in a bikini again. All of that being said, I’d really like suggestions on workouts to do because I’m kind of making it up/bothering my mom about it/pinning a thousand things to my pinterest board.