Learn to Run or Power Walk the Easy WayJan 13, 2022
Before I had any experience running, the only memories I had of running were the 7th grade Canada Fitness Test we had to take in PE class. I could have sworn that the test was created just to humiliate me and give my peers more ammunition to tease me about my ”thunder thighs” creating the earthquakes as they all watched me walk my last two laps. I was walking because I was the only person left on the track, and everyone was watching me.
If I began to jog, I actually felt my body jiggle in ways I knew I’d be mortified to see in a mirror, and the whistles would get louder...but I was still determined to finish my way.
At the finish line, I choked back my tears of embarrassment and shame as the teachers and a couple of my friends cheered me on. Together we felt the relief of that painful display over.
Maybe they saw strength.
But I felt shame and embarrassment.
As an adult, even when I came to fitness, I would see joggers running uphill and think...what the heck?? Why are they smiling?? That looks so flipping torturous, and they are doing it where people can see them.
When I quit smoking, I tried running again in hopes of relieving the anxiety I felt as a part of the withdrawal.
I don’t know what excited me more, the anxiety relief or the fact that I could breathe.
Then I could barely walk the next day.
It wasn’t until my husband Barry completed his first half marathon that I started thinking about trying an event like a 10K race.
I was standing at the finish line, witnessing the pure joy (and sometimes what could only be described as divine agony) of the runners coming through. I couldn’t help but notice the diversity.
I think I want to do that.
I didn’t know I could until I did - I completed my first 10K race in May 2011, and I wanted more.
Life felt perfect. Our kids were 15 & 16 and quite responsible and independent. I was working pretty much full-time as a Beauty Advisor, and my schedule was retail hours but flexible.
Barry and I were set to get married in October, and to add a splash of fun; we decided to sign up for a half marathon for part of our honeymoon in Victoria. It would be Barry’s second and my first.
We were following the Running Room Founder John Stanton’s plan in the book he wrote, and everything was going well.
I had a running schedule set, the time earmarked to do it, and routines established. Life was good; I felt in control, balanced, and super excited.
Then it happened, I was offered a temp position that I had been working hard for as lead manager while my manager took a four-month leave. I had been trained for this and I loved my job and my cosmetics manager and my team, and as 2IC for years I felt ready. It meant more hours, but hello….we had a wedding to plan for.
I can’t remember why, but that same year the store manager started opening an hour earlier, which meant I had to be there an hour earlier...no prob...I got this…
I’ll just have to adjust my morning runs and do them after work...Well that sucked. There is something about being on your feet all day, then trying to go for a quality run all while thinking that you should be home greeting the kids after school and starting dinner before your fiance got home from his long day … (my love language).
My workload got heavier, and just before I questioned if I was going to be able to do all of this, I got VERY mad… I was like dang it… I deserve quality workouts; I deserve to do this. I’m going to give myself my best before I give my best to the world… I’m going to try mornings for a week.
I set my alarm for 5 am, was on the road for 5:30, I prepared my breakfast and work lunch the night before. I learned my quickest, easiest makeup face and had a little bag with only the tools I needed. I also wore my hair in a bun A LOT.
It was hard at first… I had to be organized, I couldn’t let things distract me, and I had to go to bed earlier, but I did it.
Since then I’ve mostly stayed on that routine even though the type of workouts change. I no longer need an alarm, and even though I work from home, I still need to get to my office on time.
It’s not JUST endorphins from the workout..or weight loss that movement brings.
What I learned from that whole experience was
#1 It feels horrible when I break promises to myself
#2 It feels AMAZING to check things off a to-do list that I promised myself I would do.
#3 The only person that is responsible for 1 and 2 is me.
The same is true for you.
In 2018 I created a tool to help others learn how to run, or just walk fast, and get fitness in without the need for a gym, or equipment. To empower themselves.
Now feels like the right time to share it again. With the uncertainty of activities, and gyms opening and closing, instead of being frustrated, this is an easy (and free) way to keep your fitness going strong through anything.
I had called it the 1000K club, with the intent to motivate people to complete 1000 km in a calendar year on their feet. You will see there are many ways to do that. There is also a calendar to serve variety and progressive build up based on time vs distance.
You do you.
Disclaimer - Always do what's right for you.