Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rising to a New Challenge

Recently when I take a walk I've felt this strange urge to go faster. I felt like my body wasn't getting enough out of walking. I thought this was odd because for the last year walking has been my only mode of exercising and I couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Recently, I decided to listen to my body. Why not? It tells me when I'm hungry and tired and thirsty. Why shouldn't it tell me when I'm ready to kick up the intensity of my exercise. I jogged for about a minute and was surprised that my legs didn't fall off, but I stopped because jogging/running have always seemed like an activity for hard bodied fitness gurus who came together in a tight community flying above me.

Last week, I decided to lay that aside and try to run the dreaded mile which has given me nightmares since high school. I figured that when I started trying to lose weight and get fit last year even walking short distances seemed impossible, so why not try.

I got all suited up in appropriately warm clothes and drove to the park so that I could make the five laps around the pond that would add up to a mile. I know my endurance is zero right now, so I planned to divide each lap into half walking and half jogging.

I felt like I could have jogged the whole first lap, but I held back so I could go the distance. The result? The first two laps were easy, the third was tough, and by the end I was making strange animal sounds and felt like I was going to toss my cookies all over the trail.

BUT I MADE IT!!! It took me around 14 minutes (I don't have a timing device that measures in anything but minutes). I know 14 mins sounds pathetic to anyone in reasonably good shape, but I never would have dreamed I could do it even 30 pounds ago.I felt so alive and excited when I was done. I've gone back twice since then and have ordered an inexpensive stop watch from Amazon so I can track my efforts.

It's given me hope for how far I can progress.

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