Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Athletic Ability

I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. I tried in middle school to be on the swim team. I was horrid. There is at least one of my friends from back then that reads this blog and can attest to that. (I am not counting my mother, she always remembers things as being rosy) I gave up swimming for theater and speech team. I even made up my own game in gym class (with some other equally non athletes) to get out of playing the dreaded volleyball. (my hate for that game rises from the fact the damn ball always hit me in the face, on my glasses)

My one and only stint of decent fitness came from Tae Kwon Do and some incredibly well channeled anger from my first broken heart. Also, I got a kick out of impressing the guys in the weight room at the CC with my ability to do squats. Which may relate back to the broken heart more than a little.

Today was Couch to 5K - Week 3 - Day 1. Today I jogged (very slowly) for three minutes straight. I didn't pause, I didn't give up, I didn't walk. I made sure I went from "now" to "now". (now is the trigger word I have set to the exact times on my podcast) Then, I did it again. I did something I would have never thought I would be doing. It took real work not to break down and cry when I finished that first three minute interval. I knew that hyperventilating would not be good for my recovery walk. I felt like a real athlete.

When I am doing those running intervals I feel powerful. I feel like I can take on the world. I feel like a runner. I feel like a real athlete.

I work to make sure my posture is good. That one is hard because my inclination when my boobs are squished down is to try to hide my stomach. The more I run, the easier it gets. I also have been focusing on breath control more. I know that with asthma, specifically exercise induced asthma, it is is important that I not let myself get too out of breath. I pay attention to my hips, knees and feet. I have to conscientiously make sure that I am not favoring whatever body part was recently giving me trouble, for fear of messing something else up in the process. It is very much a meditative process for me.

The process I started last year, with the Shredheads, then with walking all summer, and then starting C25K this year, is something I don't ever intend to give up. I have passed the 21 days to a new habit many times over. I have taken breaks for cold weather, but by the time spring arrived I was already itching to get out and back to my routine. Spring picked a good year to come early.

I cannot thank Liz & Missy for being the final push I needed to embark on this. I cannot wait until we can all get together and celebrate this together.


Monika said...

I hope you don't just "feel" like an athlete - know that there is NO QUESTION that you ARE an athlete. The mind is a powerful thing when it comes to overcoming & achieving things you previously thought you could not. You rock! So happy for you. Keep it up!

Casey said...

Yay! I am really enjoying reading your Twitter updates about the C25K. I did it last year to prep for a 5K race. I remember feeling exactly how you describe. I felt powerful. I felt strong. I felt proud. It was a great accomplishment! Keep it up even if you end up repeating weeks. The end goal is to run for 5k. Period. Not to work up to running 5k in any given number of weeks. Keep going!

Boston Mamas said...

That's fantastic! I felt similarly triumphant when I moved to each new phase of the Couch to 5K. And I think that having it be a prescribed plan of walk and run made me lose my self consciousness about stopping for the walk portions.

Keep it up! And remember to go at your own pace. -Christine

Becky said...

What an awesome post! I know how you feel. I joined a gym at the beginning of this month, and on Monday night I decided that instead of counting reps on the weight machines, I was going to keep a running total of the weight I lifted. I lifted 22,000 pounds! I couldn't believe it. I wanted to tell everyone I ran into.

Congratulations & keep it up!