Do you remember that one physical activity you vehemently hated growing up? The one thing that high school Physical Education teachers forced you to do once per month? You know… running?
God, how I hated running! I was extremely active all throughout my childhood, and into high school; basketball, volleyball, football, wrestling class, weight lifting. However, running was always a thorn in my side! “How could anybody find this fun?!”, I used to think up until a few months ago.
You see, the pandemic hit. I was one of those individuals who caught Covid early on. I was sick for 30+ days, and had to slowly recover. I have always been a competitive rock climber, pushing myself in the gym and outdoors training. When the pandemic began, climbing gyms shut down, and the risk of spreading Covid to small communities where most outdoor climbing crags are located, seemed selfish to visit. Weights were sold out everywhere online, and gyms were not open.
It was in April when I started becoming healthier again that I realized one thing; I had to get up off my ass and learn how to run!
I. Was. Miserable.
Then, something happened. I started slowly enjoying running.. very very very slowly. I blame it on the Peloton tread that we purchased at the beginning of the pandemic. As the guy was setting it up, he said, “Whatever you do, don’t choose Robin as the trainer – she is the toughest”.
Of course, my husband knew I would see this as a challenge, because that is just who I am as a person. I set goals – typically lofty goals, then I push myself to achieve them.
The first run I did was a 20-minute HIIT run on the tread with Robin Arzon as the trainer. I felt worked! I also felt accomplished. I also had an icepack on my chest after the workout, because it gave me an arrhythmia. It didn’t scare me.
The next day, I did the same thing. I selected Robin Arzon as my instructor, took that same 20 minute HIIT run, and did a little bit better.
At this point in time, I still didn’t like running. I remember telling my husband, “I will only do these HIIT workouts, because at least the sprinting doesn’t feel like I am running”.
In the month of April, I ended up running a little under 20 miles that month. By May, I was up to 51 miles, and by June, I hit 82 miles.
We’re only 9 days into October, and I’m on track to hit almost 100 miles this month, if I plan it right. My workouts have changed from 20-minute HIIT runs on the tread, to running outdoors every day; up and down hills. My goal is to run over 4 miles every day, taking Sundays off.
I set it to my running playlist, tie up my ‘Nike Zoom Fly 3 Premium’ running shoes, and take off. Running outdoors feels freeing – kind of like climbing. I learned quickly that a “runner’s high” is a real thing. You just have to run long and hard enough to feel it.
It was about one month ago that I realized how in love with running I truly am.
What is the point of my post? I guess it’s that life is too short, and pandemics are too long to sit on your ass, do nothing, and blame the world’s problems for your lack of motivation! Try the healthy things in your life that you hate, and keep doing them! It first becomes a habit, then it becomes a love.
This pandemic will not be over any time soon, and every minute you sit on the couch, depressed or anxious, is just another day of your life you are wasting.
We are living in a state of not being able to control anything in our world, or the actions of others. What we can change is ourselves, and how we choose to make the most of every day.
So, tomorrow, instead of staring at your television, watching another episode of ‘The Office’ and balking about politics, get up, and try to run! It doesn’t matter where you start, how slow you are, or how far you go – it’s all about change.
“Live your life. Do it now. This is NOT a dress rehearsal” – Robin Arzon