I recently became a FitFluential Ambassador – I am very excited about it!
Something that has come up in some of our early communications with other members was the question of how each got started in whatever aspect of fitness we now love. So here goes my version…
My Start…Or Don’t Try This At Home
I was always a super active outside kid with tons of energy. I played sports, I fished, I hunted, I canoed, I hiked, I camped. It was just wired into who I was, and still am.
One day after I turned 30 I noticed that my pants were getting tighter, that I was getting bigger.
Actually, I was looking rather doughy, which is not a word any female wants to describe them.
So one day, I just woke up before work and I decided to start running so I could still eat pizza (my favorite vegetable). I know, sounds ridiculously simple, right? I walked through the door after that run and announced to John that I was going to run a 5K.
“Cool.” he said (John is a man of few words).
I showered, went to work (it was an overnight trip to “camp”. I am a forester, I work in the woods. Sometimes you have to stay there.) It happened that my friend Steve was working at camp too.
Steve is a good buddy of mine now. But then, I didn’t really know him, I just knew he was one of those crazy marathon runners. But because he was a runner, I mentioned to him that I had been running some (once) and that I was going to run the next morning before work.
He met me in the morning and we ran 5 miles (I had planned on 3). The entire time all he did was talk about the MDI Marathon. How awesome it was, how gorgeous it was, he was so excited about the race. He was so excited about it that it was intoxicating.
I started thinking that someday if I ran a marathon, that probably I would run that one.
We got back from our run and he told me if I just ran 5 miles like we just did, that I would be fine, that really I should just sign up for it.
Yeah, I am that easy.
When I got back to the office, I signed up. I came home from work to make a NEW announcement to John – that I was going to run a marathon in October.
“Well…That is a step up from a 5K.”
I immediately went online to remind myself how far a marathon was.
At that point my longest run ever had been 5 miles (THE 5 miles I ran with Steve) and I had been running for about 2 consecutive days. I printed off Hal Higdon‘s marathon plan, pinned it to the wall and immediately noticed that I was starting on week 14 of a 16 week program.
Plenty of people tried to talk me out of it, suggesting CAUTION…Saying silly things to me like…MAYBE I should build a base first (what’s a base? I wondered). Someone even said that MAYBE I should see if I like road racing (ahem, or see if I like RUNNING) before I run the 26.2?
Call me bullheaded, but I ignored the naysayers and I followed the plan. I remember my first 15 mile run like it was yesterday. It was pouring rain. I ran up Pleasant Pond hill and onto the dirt roads with the rain filling my eyes and mouth and soaking me to the skin, while my sneakers turned brown with mud and gravel.
I knew nothing of hydration or nutrition, I didn’t even know what GU was. I just ran. When I got hungry I stopped and picked some soggy raspberries or blackberries.
I came home soaked to the bone, chaffed in interesting places, hungry as a horse, and happy happy happy.
The race was a blast. I was bitten by the endurance bug.
Oh. And I got Steve back for convincing me to run my first marathon. I convinced him to do his first Ironman.
Payback is a bitch, huh?
Thinking of getting fit for 2012 and are not sure how to start? Here are 7 tips:
1. Think BIG, start small. Whatever your goal is, take small steps to reach it. Have mini-goals that lead you to your goal. Give yourself some time to be comfortable with training consistently, whatever that training may be.
No, I don’t take my own advice. It is my blog I can do what I want.
Here is the thing: You really risk injury by building as quickly as I did. I had an advantage – I was on my feet all day everyday walking in rugged terrain for my job, I believe that I had more of a fitness base in place than I knew – that is how I got away with it.
2. Get Moving! What matters is that you start. Regardless of how unfit you feel you are, you just need to start. Something as simple walking 10 minutes a day is a start.
3. Develop a CAN DO Attitude. Your attitude determines your action. Take the word CAN’T out of your vocabulary. YOU are the only one with the power to overcome what you perceive as impossible.
4. Be Consistent. I think this is really important. If you train once every 2 weeks you are not going to see results. Shoot for something that is doable for you, whether it is 20 minutes 3 days a week or something different.
5. Talk About It. When I was training for my first marathon, I told everyone I knew. People would always ask how my run was that day, how the training was going, or something. It was motivating, and on the days I didn’t want to get out of bed, knowing I was going to be asked about my workout for the day.
6. Find Support. Find support – even if its an online friend on Twitter or an online tracking site like Daily Mile. What was really tough for me is that as I started enjoying training more and more, my friends didn’t always understand my drive to be healthy. Work to find people who are positive about the same sort of goals that you have.
7. Have Fun. This is the most important part – smile! You might have to force that smile sometimes, but just don’t take things so seriously that you lose the fun.
If you want to be involved with the FitFluential community, come join as a FitFluential Enthusiast – FitFluential is open to everyone who is passionate about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle.